“rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;”
We are living in uncertain times. Society around us is changing at an accelerated pace; the government ushers in new laws that most of us don’t find out about until we’ve broken them; our economy is as fragile as thin ice. We have nothing in this world that we can put our trust and confidence in. We have nothing here that can offer us peace of mind and rest. So, what are we supposed to do? How can we have hope in such a hopeless situation?
Bills, broken relationships, hunger, homelessness, wrongful convictions; these are all realities today for people all over. It seems like there is no escaping it. We can do our best to live a quiet life where we don’t harm anyone or cause any trouble, and even then, it’s like it comes looking for us. There are many things that we won’t understand in our short time on earth.
This is why we must move our focus from uncertainty to certainty. We must shift our focus from darkness to light. Jesus is the light in this dark world. Jesus is stability in a storm. And, He is waiting for each of us to call out to Him.
If we look for hope in this world, we will be let down. The bible explains clearly that this world will not become a better place. It tells us that it will only worsen as the enemy’s spirit here grows stronger. So, if we are hoping that we can live happily ever after in this world, we will be let down.
However, the bible also tells us that we are to put our hope and trust in things that are not of this world. These are things that thieves can’t steal, things that can’t rust, and things that moths can’t destroy.
We are called to be the light in this dark world and to have confident hope in Jesus, our Lord.
Jesus will return and take us to a place of everlasting peace and joy
We are told that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us;
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
This is how we can have confident hope. We can see the promises of God and we can rest in this. God is wise and God is faithful. When God says He will do something, He does. Jesus came to earth to take back power over sin and death and to redeem us through His blood shed on a cross. This was God’s plan for creating a way for us to be made right with Him; for us to have a way to come to Him; for us to walk in freedom from the enemy while here on earth.
Now, God has a plan to bring us to a Heavenly home that is eternal and that is filled with peace and joy. We can have confident hope that this will also come to pass exactly as the Father has said. We are given a hint of what Heaven will be like;
“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’”
The chapter goes on to describe the layout of the Kingdom and the type of building materials used; all high-end of course. The main takeaway is that this place that is being prepared for us will be a place that lasts forever, where there is no more pain or sickness or sorrow or fear or suffering. This new place will be nothing like our current place. This is what we must have confident hope in.
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Trust God during troubling times
While we are still on this earth, we are given the Great Commission;
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”
We are also given instruction on how we should wait;
“Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning” NLT
To be dressed for service is to be dressed in the Armor of God. This is God’s apparel for each of us. Ephesians 6:13-17 describes this armor. We are told to keep our lamps burning; when we follow Jesus, we are to be like Him: the light of the world. By keeping our lamps burning, regardless of our troubles, we will go about as a living example of Jesus in this evil world. We will keep our lights burning bright for the Lord, in hope and anticipation to keep winning souls to Christ.
God tells us that we are to take the knowledge we have been given and to go out and share it with the lost, that they, too, will gain in this valuable and eternal knowledge that leads to Life.
The only way we will be able to live like this while we are struggling here on earth is to shift our focus from our own problems and turn to service and worship to God. By doing this, He will give us a fulness of peace in our heart. This is the only way to have hope while in a hopeless world.
Our biggest troubles will become nearly non-existent when we go out and direct our focus and efforts towards helping others. This is what God wants of us. While we are being of service to God, He will work out our troubles for good; He will take care of the things we can’t (Romans 8:28).
“be unceasing and persistent in prayer” AMP
“Be persistent and devoted to prayer, being alert and focused in your prayer life with an attitude of thanksgiving.” AMP
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Hard times will remain. Against our best efforts, things will happen. God wants us to keep our spirit lifted high during hard times. Many of us turn to alcohol or drugs or spending or food when we go through hard times. We do this just so we can remember what it feels like to experience pleasure.
Jesus is asking us to fill ourselves with Him during our hard times; that He will give us peace in our minds, joy in our heart, and that we can experience the true pleasure that comes through Him.
The way we move closer to God is in fellowship with Him; in prayer. This is our direct line of access to the Father. Through Jesus, we can come boldly into the presence of God at any moment. We can bring any and every thought or concern or praise before the Lord. We don’t have to wait until a special time or bring a special offering. Our full surrender is the only offering the Lord wants from us.
Apart from full surrender to God and us seeking fellowship with Him, there will be no lasting peace for any of us. The devil is out deceiving many every day, telling them that self-pleasure and self-satisfaction is the way of the times. He is telling them that all this bible stuff is old-school and that we are in a new time.
Well, we are in a new time. We are in a time of ever-increasing darkness. The light is starting to burn out on this world. This is why we must redirect our focus and hope to the things that matter. In doing this, we can still sleep well, we can still laugh, and we can still have peace.
Putting our hope and trust in the unknown can be difficult. People have struggled with this since the beginning. However, God’s Word and God’s Character have not changed since the beginning. We are told that He doesn’t change. It is up to us to learn about what God says concerning living in troubling times, and even in the end times.
We don’t know the day or hour of the Lord’s return, but that there will be a return. We don’t have all the answers, but we are given directions; trust God and keep doing good. Be a bright light in a dark world and share our faith of the Good News of Jesus anytime opportunity presents itself. We are wise to pray for society, to pray for our governments, for our schools, for our churches, and for ourselves. We are told to never cease praying.
Living apart from God in this world is hopeless. But we can live in this world with the Spirit of God in us; this is where we will realize true hope.
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how. Also, if you need prayer for your life or your family, feel free to fill out a private prayer request in the provided prayer box in this article. My wife and I would love to pray for you.