If you want to feel despair, simply turn on CNN. If you want to feel utter despair, scroll through Twitter.
There have been many times throughout history when people felt sure the world was coming to an end. Godlessness seemed to abound, rampant were the evils of the world.
As believers, we know this is going to happen. If you take a few minutes to read Romans 1:18-32 you will understand that this has all been written down before. What I am saying is nothing new.
A glimpse into that Romans passage says, “God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts...” (v.24) “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator...” (v.25) “God gave them over to shameful lusts...” (v.26) “They did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God..” (v.28) “They became filled with every kind of wickedness...” (v.29) “They not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them..” (v.32).
This is the state of America.
But God! Oh, God!
Before Jesus' disciples fled from him at the time of his crucifixion, he told them what would happen. In John 16:33 Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
If you need a glimpse into a sliver of hope that these may not really be the end times, I urge you to look at your children. What are they doing right now? What are they learning? How are they reacting? Are they leaning into Jesus? Or are they throwing in their lot with the world?
Our third daughter, Maggie, has had a penpal through Focus on the Family's kid's magazine called Club House. Her penpal has moved back and forth between Hawaii and Tennessee and so has sweet friends from both states. Since much of kids' lives and connections have moved to the internet, Maggie's penpal invited her to a Zoom FaithGirlz Bible Study.
These precious 9 and 10 year old girls from PA, TN, and HI prayed together, read Scripture together, encouraged one another, and prayed some more for each other over a 45 minute Zoom meeting.
Courage, dear heart! (C.S. Lewis).
Yes, things may look bad when when you're looking to the world for... well, anything really. Our comfort, encouragement, and faith should come from God, God's Word, God's Spirit, our relationship with Jesus, and fellow believers.
So be encouraged. The day and hour no one knows (Matt. 24:36-44), but we must be ready.
Are you ready?