How to Look Forward to Suffering

There’s stuff going on in our country right now that bodes for an unsettled future. I do think there are things moving in the direction of what Bible prophecy seems to indicate will happen.

Do I think The End is about to drop? I have no idea. No man knows the day or hour. What I do know is that the spirit of antichrist is already at work in the world. I think we are going through some trial runs for an antichrist system.

I personally think things need to get much worse on a global level. America going down is not the world going down, hard to believe for Americans, but it’s true. I also know things tend to swing back and forth. I will not be surprised if younger generations swing the other way and fix some of our mess.

I detailed some things I am doing to prepare for tough times coming. I don’t say these things to freak anyone out. I say these things to realistically look at the signs of the times and prepare. How can I best represent Christ in the coming turmoil?

I think of Joseph and the years of famine coming in Egypt. Before the trouble arrived, Joseph directed Pharaoh to take measures to be ready. Although I have not had any dreams or special revelation from God, I think the Bible and a brain can help a guy see the signs of the times.

I get why people would respond to warnings about preparing for trouble with fear. There will be things happening that will cause you to be afraid. Pain is real.

But most of human history was surrounded by violent stuff. We’ve had it pretty easy. That is ending. That’s a bummer and scary things can happen, not minimizing the scariness of it.

However, this is when faith can become real. Faith has a hard time being real in your mom’s basement where your parents pay your bills. If you want to grow in faith then you also want tribulation.

This is where the Gospel gets cool. You’re already dead! It’s easy to say that when it costs nothing. It’s another thing to prove it by faithfully following Christ while undergoing opposition, especially if that opposition could culminate in death.

Our motivation or focus in life is not on fearing the antichrist or his minions already at work. The focus of the believer is on things above. Already a citizen of heaven. Again, all easy things to say, but life will throw some tests your way to see if you really believe it.

The scarier it gets, your faith will either drop completely or get stronger. Suffering separates the real from the fake believers. Tribulation is good for the Believer, the Bible repeats that non-stop. Tribulation is scary, but the fruit of it is awesome. Endure it for the joy set before you.

Take no thought for tomorrow, sufficient to the day is the evil thereof. One day at a time. Don’t overtax your brain by making up future turmoil; take care of today’s! Plan for the worst; hope for the best. Tune out all the noise of the world and get in God’s Word and pray.

I understand the trepidation about the future and the uncertainty. At the same time, we’re supposed to be letting go of the things of this earth anyway and laying hold of eternal life. Modify your plans. Life may not go according to the story book. But I bet it will go according to what the Bible says is the typical experience of believers.

We’ve been lucky, we’ve had it easy. Now it’s time to put on the full armor of God and put away childish things, it’s about to get real. You can do it.  Christ equips you for all you’ll need to get through it and into the next life.

So, scurry away the fear and turn it into hopeful expectation of spiritual growth in Christ-likeness. “That I may know Him, the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” That doesn’t happen by easy living.

The Gospel equips you for this stuff. Don’t have the Spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. This is our time! Shine like lights in the midst of darkness!

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