When I was a young girl, I was blessed to sit under the teaching of Rev. George Britt. For years he had studied the subject of the last days extensively from the Scripture and also kept up with current events in the world news, especially those concerning Israel. So, he was able to expound on prophecy in light of how it related to what was currently happening in our world. Oh, how I would love to hear what he would say about the events of our day. I believe he would remind us of Luke 21:28. "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."
Watching events unfold in our world today and seeing multiple signs God has placed in the heavens recently reminds me of the words Jesus said just before telling us to “look up, and lift up your heads.” He said, "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; 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. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." (Luke 21:25-27)
There are so many disturbing changes happening in our generation…all on the list Jesus gave over 2,000 years ago. So we must guard against allowing fear to enter our hearts and minds. Fear will immobilize us if we allow it to become our focus. Our hearts will fail us and cause our faith to fail if we are not consistently looking to and trusting in Jesus.
In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus told a parable, and like all His parables, this one has a specific purpose. The lesson is “to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” This is what Jesus said. “There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
Jesus was emphasizing the point of persistent prayer with expectation. That kind of prayer will keep us from fainting and losing our faith. That kind of prayer comes from knowing in whom we believe.
Psalm 9:10 says, “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” What does it mean to know His name? The Amplified Bible explains it like this: Those “who have experience and acquaintance with Your mercy”. Those who seek Him will know Him and put their trust in Him. And He will not forsake them. Only those who know His name, His character and authority, and stay consistently connected to Him will know beyond doubt He can be trusted. If we are not closely acquainted with Jesus, we will distrust Him when the pressure is on. Our confidence comes from His Word, His Spirit and our personal experience with Jesus.
I was offered a wonderful ministry opportunity, but during the process of working things out, there were lapses in communication with those who had made the offer. During those times, I would lose my expectation and the hope that it would ever happen. If I had been communicating with them regularly, I would have known that everything was right on course and I would not have lost my trust in their promise.
Satan knows our strength lies in our relationship with Jesus. So he tries to cut us off from our Source and turn our focus to the people and circumstances around us. If we see things as they appear instead of how they really are, we get off course. Satan knows those who do not stay closely related to Jesus will lose their hope. Hopeless people stop praying because they don’t expect answers. Prayerlessness cuts off their connection with Jesus and they become faithless. The enemy of our souls wants us to stop praying, to stop expecting, to stop reading the Word of God and allowing it to change us. He wants us to be empty of the Holy Spirit within us. Faith dies without a consistent connection with Jesus, just like a branch that is detached from the vine dies and withers.
Pray, pray and pray until you know His name! Then keep on praying. Get to know Jesus through the pages of His Word. Then your confidence and faith will be established and strong. You will trust Him as never before because you will know His heart and His power. You will understand His character of mercy and His omnipotence!
Recently I have encountered spiritual attacks that have been difficult to bear. At first I thought it was just the normal fear from seeing the happenings in the world and our nation, but I soon realized they were deliberate attacks trying to undermine my faith and immobilize me with hopelessness. The enemy of my soul was pressing my mind and emotions with bouts of unbelievable, sudden fear that I felt I could not push away. At the strangest moments, a wave of fear would overwhelm me and almost make me physically sick. Thoughts would pop up in my mind which I pushed away, only to have them return. They were wearing away at my faith and my hope.
Thank God! We have a very powerful weapon against such evil attacks. It is a sword, known as the “sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.”
I began searching for specific scriptures that would feed my faith, and allowing God to speak directly to me from the pages of my Bible. The Word of God brings to light the lies of the enemy and replaces them with truth. One of the passages I found spoke of "sudden terror". "Be not afraid of sudden terror and panic, nor of the stormy blast or the storm and ruin of the wicked when it comes [for you will be guiltless], for the Lord shall be your confidence, firm and strong, and shall keep your foot from being caught [in a trap or some hidden danger]." (Proverbs 3:25-26 – Amplified Bible)
I don’t believe I am alone in this area of spiritual warfare. It has awakened me to the urgency of knowing His name and continually praying so we will not faint, especially in this hour. Our hearts don’t have to fail us because of fear. The lies of the enemy give us no hope and cause us to feel that we are doomed, so there is no reason to continue. If you are in despair, run to the Word of God. Ask Him to reveal Himself by His Spirit. There is a safe place. We need the strength and wisdom we find there.
Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.” (Amplified Bible) ‘Defer’ means to yield in opinion. If we listen to the lies of Satan, we will begin to yield in our hope in Christ. We cannot allow trials, persecutions and the cares of this life to overtake our hearts and minds. We have a better option. Isaiah 26:3-4 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”
When we are warned of danger, we should begin to get ready. When we have a tornado warning, we have a chance to get in a safe place until the storm is over. Jesus has warned us in His Word. It’s time to hear Him and take cover in the secret place under the shadow of the Almighty. Don’t allow yourself to lose hope in Him. He is our only hope and the only One Who can bring us through whatever lies ahead. Taking cover in Christ is not withdrawing into a shell. Much to the contrary, it places us in His presence continually so we can boldly carry out His mission. (See Acts 4:23-31.)
Jesus gives us this warning: “But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (weighed down) with the giddiness and headache and nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to [the business of] this life, and [lest] that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose; For it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth. Keep awake then and watch at all times [be discreet, attentive, and ready], praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things [taken together] that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36 – Amplified Bible)
What is your eternal soul worth to you? What are the souls of your family members worth to you? What are you spending your time on? What is on your mind most of the day? Are you absorbed with things of this world, or the Kingdom of God? Do we find joy in reading the Bible and praying, or is it just one of our "disciplines" that we are supposed to do so we can check it off our list every day? We need to awaken to the fact that it is our lifeline. It is our connection with the God of the Universe. If we treat our relationship with Jesus lightly, we are in trouble, because we are not in the secret place of the Most High with our minds stayed (continuing, standing firm, remaining) on Him. If we are not following Jesus and His sayings, we are not one of His.
Are we close enough to Jesus to have faith to stand in the worst of times? Answer this question honestly. Your eternal life depends on it.
When the Son of man comes, SHALL HE FIND FAITH IN ME?