Are You at a Breaking Point? - By Jonathan Brentner -
If not for my belief in the rapture, I would have reached a breaking point long, long ago. As it is, I sometimes feel anger boiling up within me as I see entertainers celebrating abortions, the evil that intensifies each and every day, and the greed and hatred rampant in our world.
Apart from the promises of Scripture, I would throw my hands up in despair as I watch a sadly deluded world embracing the evils of socialism as the solution to all its problems. When has totalitarianism ever solved a problem?
I also know many believers have reached a breaking point due to illness, grief, and affliction. Pain touches the lives of so many followers of Jesus.
I have no easy answers for those who feel as though they have reached a breaking point, but I know the truths of God's Word are able to calm our hearts and reassure our minds regardless of what confronts us today.
It's Supposed to Be this Way in the Last Days
When it seems as though I am about to whither under the burdens of the day, I remember what the Bible says about the last days. In short, the Bible long ago predicted it would be this way in the last days.
Paul's words in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 describe our world today with its treachery, brutality, harsh exchanges on social media, and loss of self-control.
Jesus told us conditions before His return will be like the "days of Noah" as well as the time of Lot (Luke 17:26-29). In both cases, exceeding wickedness continued to grow worse with no end in sight.
Revelation 12:12 warns of Satan's increased activity in the last days as he knows his time is short. I believe this not only refers to our adversary's activity in the world, but also his stepped-up attacks on God's children.
I know it's not easy for those of us who feel the breath of the devil's fury. But rest assured that God sees our pain and frustration, His relief is on the way, and He is much more powerful than the one who seeks to destroy us (1 Pet. 5:8; 1 John 4:4).
The Lord will Judge the Ungodly
Scripture also assures us God will judge the wickedness of this world. Those who refuse to repent of their sins will someday pay a severe penalty for their rejection of the Savior, both here on the earth and in eternity.
I recently read Psalm 10 and sensed anew its relevance for today. The Psalmist's question in verse 1 is one we often find ourselves asking today, "Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?"
He answers his own question in verses 14-15, assuring us that the Lord does "see" and that He will "break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none."
The Lord's response to the wickedness and deception we see in the world is on the way. Count on it. He will judge the wickedness that confronts us every day.
The Lord sees. His relief for our affliction may not arrive as soon as we would like or wish, but rest assured, Jesus' will intervene in our lives just as He surely will in this Christ-rejecting world.
Our Ultimate Hope Rests in Jesus' Appearing
In the meantime, our focus must remain heavenward because it's from there "we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him to subject all things to himself" (Phil 3:20-21).
Our ultimate hope does not rest in the improving of our circumstances, and it certainly does not reside in a fallen world where evil continues to increase exponentially (although it's already far beyond what I thought I would see in the last days before the rapture).
Our definitive expectation comes from the Lord's promises to take us to His Father's house in heaven, to a place He is preparing for us (John 14:2-3). After we arrive safely in heaven with our Savior, God will pour out His wrath on an unsuspecting world as described in Revelation 6-19 and in Isaiah 13:9-13.
In spite of what we see in a world corrupted by Satan for his evil purposes, we know the Lord's fierce judgment on an unbelieving world is rapidly approaching. We see the signs of this everywhere we look.
In spite of what we experience in a fallen and harsh world, we hold on to our certain hope that Jesus not only knows all about our grief, but is coming to take us into His loving arms and keep us safe during the time of trouble coming upon the world (Rev. 3:10).
Jesus Will Reign in Righteousness
In addition to the rapture, we look forward to Jesus' righteous rule over all creation that begins with what we refer to today as the millennium; this is the time our Savior reigns over the world that once rejected Him (Psalm 2:7-12; Zechariah 14:9-27).
The biblical descriptions of this thousand-year reign of Christ tell us that sin will remain on the earth during this time; it will be a period of testing for mankind (Rev. 20:1-10; Zech. 14:16-19).
How does Jesus' future reign as king over all the nations encourage us? First, the Bible also says that as believers we are "fellow heirs with Christ" (Rom. 8:17). As such, we will share in Jesus' inheritance of the nations as He reigns over them (Rev. 5:9-10, 20:4). We will reign with Him.
Second, we have this wonderful promise in Revelation 21:4, "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."
Ultimately, we look forward to a time when sin and death will no longer exist, and Jesus Himself will lovingly wipe away all tears and remove all our pain and sorrow.
We Walk by Faith
Our hope consists of things we cannot see with our natural eyes. We currently do not see the Lord's judgment on the rampant wickedness of our day. We recognize the biblical signs of the last days, but it requires a look of faith to hold on to our hope of Jesus' appearing and our heavenward excursion through the clouds.
In 2 Corinthians 5:4-5, Paul writes of our hope in the rapture, "For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened-not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee."
Notice how the apostle continues as he describes our lives as we anticipate the reception of our new bodies, "So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:6-7).
We walk by faith, not by sight.
The Bible tells us that wickedness will grow exceedingly strong in the last days, but also reveals the Lord's harsh judgment of an unbelieving world. Scripture warns us of Satan's increased activities in the last days, but also assures us of His deliverance of us from this world.
God's Word does not promise us immediate relief from our afflictions or a quick judgment on the evil around us. It does, however, guarantee a joyous future in eternity full of joy, happiness, and pleasure for those who know the Lord as their Savior.
While we may be at a breaking point from what we see in the world or experience as a result of this fallen world, we walk by faith in anticipation of a much better day. Our eternity with Jesus could start in the next moment, later today, next week, a year from now, or at a later time. We cannot know the exact timing of His return in this the season of His appearing.
But we do know Jesus sees all we see (and much, much more), loves us more than we can imagine, and is now preparing a place for us in His Father's house (John 14:2-3).
Until then we walk by faith, relying on the Lord to give us courage in these last days.
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