January 6, 2006

Distress of Nations With Perplexity

The days we are living in can be best described by reading the following words spoken by Jesus:

Luke 21;25

25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

The nations of the world seem to be in extreme distress. Significant climate change, devastating hurricanes and tsunamis are more recent examples. Our own nation of America is experiencing both drought in the Midwest and floods on the West Coast. We are told by God in the bible that many sorrows will await us in the last days before Christ's return. Who could deny that we are surely experiencing at the least what he tells us is the "Beginning of sorrows"?

Matthew 24: 4)Take heed that no man deceive you.

5) For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

6) And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

7) For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

8) All these are the beginning of sorrows

The following scripture gives us a glimpse of what the earth and it's inhabitants will experience in those days before Christ's return:

Isaiah 24: 20) The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.

4) The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.

5) The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.

6) Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.

The earth will be moved out of it's place. The inhabitants of the earth have misused the earth by greedily using up it's vast resources.

Our technological advancements may be handy for us but they have cost us greatly, and what we are now seeing is not at all the worst we will be faced with in the years to come. It is as if the earth is demanding to be heard by it's inhabitants. Some of the recent catastrophes such as hurricane Katrina have surely gotten our attention.

I passed by a major lake near our home last week and noticed how low the water level was. The scripture came to my mind in which God withheld the rain for three years. We have done without a good soaking rain for only a few months. I cannot imagine enduring a drought another six months, let alone 3 years as expressed in the bible. This recent drought reminded me of how thankful I need to be in the future for the rain that God does give to us.

In the Midwest they are going through fire bans and strong wind warnings. In many areas a person cannot grill outdoors without being fined, and all with very good reason. The wildfires are eating up thousands of acres. On the west coast they are going through flooding so extreme that mudslides are keeping most of the workers swamped. Lives and homes have been lost in all of these calamities. Other recent newsworthy happening from around the globe: Just recently, Ariel Sharon has suffered from a brain bleed that has led the world to wonder who will carry on after he is gone.

Our president of the United States is still keeping our military in Iraq and has no problem with them staying there for years if warranted. The job situation in America is not a good one. But it's funny how those who are doing well and have jobs (at the moment) cannot place themselves in another's shoes and ponder what it would be like if they were jobless, penniless and out on the streets begging for a piece of bread. God would not have it so. God would have us envision how we would feel, if we were in another's sad position. He wants us to imagine ourselves in their shoes in order for us to have understanding of their given desperate situations. All of us are to show compassion and mercy for our fellow man. Notice I did not say fellow "American", I said fellow "Man".

Summer in Winter?

At times it seems even the seasons are bucking up against each other and turning upon one another. Our winter season now reminds some of spring or summer. We are experiencing pains of the earth in such a way that it is eerily similar to the "birth pains" as a woman in labor goes through. I believe one of the next disasters we will see on the horizon is devastating earthquakes, just as Jesus spoke of.

These earthquakes we will not be ready for, because none of us are ever prepared for such horrific disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, droughts, tornadoes and hurricanes. Building an Ark In Noah's day, God told him to build an ark for the saving of his family. God gave Noah advanced warning of the impending disaster and doom soon to strike the earth. Noah gave heed and believed God, just as Abraham believed God for a child. When the rains came, I have no doubt that those mockers thought nothing of it. To them, they had seen rains before. But in the end, the people of Noah's day did not need an umbrella, they needed an ark. But they did not get one. They chose scoffing and mocking over believing.

They chose to be a hinderer instead of a helper. How many of those people who died in the great flood believed God and Noah? None of them. The believers were safely sealed up in the ark. The fact is, people do not take heed to warnings much until the disaster is knocking at their own door. Distress upon the Nations Living Through it without our faith faltering Just as Noah believed God and used the information God had given him to get through the great flood alive, we must all believe God in these last days and use the information he gives us in the bible in order to get through these last days alive and with our faith intact. The days we live in are growing darker and the sins of many is causing them to live with permanent blinders on.

Our sins and stubborn pride blinds us from having a relationship with God. We don't believe we need a savior because we are so "able" to deal with our lives in our own way. Or so we think. But this is only a lie of Satan. We don't have it in ourselves to direct our steps. We need the one who created us to help us to live this life with victory and to come out unscathed with faith whether it be at his return or if we go from this life and enter into his presence at our deaths.

Recently, the coal miners who lost their lives in West Virginia would have never imagined their next visit to the entrance of that mine would be their last. I witnessed on CNN, a woman at the West Virginia church comment on the mistaken news that 12 coal miners were alive in this manner: "We don't know if we even have a Lord anymore". I turned around from my chair at my desk to look, she had gotten my attention with her words.

What would cause a person who is solid in their faith to say such a thing? Could a false statement cause it? Could the death of their loved one cause it? Could destruction, famine, nakedness or the most serious peril cause it?

Romans 8: 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We are told in scripture that there is indeed nothing that can separate us from the love of God. The earthly trials and struggles we put up with are only temporary. As we go about living this life we can still have peace if we lean on the love and truth that God offers us.

We will someday have eternal peace when we are in his presence and taken from this world. Until that time, know that even though the world we live in is in distress, we do not have to be.
How do we not live in distress? The secret is to know who you are in Christ and who Christ is in you.