Dealing With Today's Pressures
As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered them, “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled. For all these things must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines, epidemics, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. “Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and will kill you. And you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 Then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another. And many false prophets will rise and will deceive many. Because iniquity will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:3-14 - MEV).
He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth. As for us, we can’t help but thank God for you, dear brothers and sisters loved by the Lord. We are always thankful that God chose you to be among the first to experience salvation—a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth. He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News; now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter (2 Thessalonians 2:10-15- NLT).
It seems as though we are living in the time just before Jesus’ return! For the past year in America we have been dealing with the restrictions caused by a response to Covid-19, and also with unrest that has enveloped a few of our major cities. We have also been dealing with the potential of fraud in our last presidential election.
Now, over a year later since Covid-19 began, we see the real issues that are driving the situations that have risen up in our nation and the world. We need to be aware that the human heart is wicked and that wicked heart makes us humans despicably mean, self-serving, and deceptive. There is an anti-God ideal that is seeking to join the nations of the earth together under one umbrella of law, commerce and thought. There is a system worldwide that is seeking to rule over every nation, eventually making national law and national currencies unnecessary.
Deception has never been stronger than it is today. The Covid-19 epidemic was in reality no epidemic at all when compared to history. But, the verbiage that was unleashed 24/7 by the media drove the multitudes into fear and hiding. News has become a propaganda tool used to change minds, form opinions, and produce certain behaviors. And it has worked quite well.
Jesus told us that these things would occur, and 2020 became a year of deception on steroids! I have decided to believe what God says in the face of mounting pressure to compromise with the attitude of the majority.
When Jesus was confronted with need in His temptations in the wilderness, He simply kept the Word of God in His heart and in His response. We would do well to follow Jesus’ pattern of following the Word in every challenge that life brings.
What is your current response to the changes we’ve seen in the last year? Are you following the crowd and their response? Are you listening more intently to the news and others’ opinions than you are to what God says to you in His Word about the current situations?
Listen again to what God says to us through His Word:
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world - I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you (John 16:33 - Amplified).
The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time (Psalm 34:19 -NLT).
God is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble (Psalm 46:1- Amplified).
Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me (Psalm 50:15 - NKJV).
In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, For You will answer me (Psalm 86:7 - NKJV).
Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. (15) He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. (16) With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation (Psalm 91:14-16-NKJV).
Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us (Romans 8:37- Amp).
Keep in mind that we are living on earth as representatives of the kingdom of God. We live by the laws of God’s kingdom while we live out our lives here on earth. Jesus calls us salt. He calls us light! We are to affect the people around us with faith and love that will enable them to meet every challenge and every test.
I am going to refuse the taunting voices of fear and doubt. I am choosing to be a representative of Jesus in every circumstance I face today. People are in need of encouragement, faith, love, and hope. Join me as we shine God’s amazing light on the darkness that is pulling people away from truth. We are in this to win. We are the light of the world in Jesus’ physical absence. Shine strong today.
Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. 3 The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising (Isaiah 60:1-3 - NKJV).