Over the past few days, I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of hearing the voice of God. At the same time, I recognize how easy it is to allow trouble and all the evil that we see happening around us, to stop us from clearly hearing His voice – AND yet, as believers who are living in the days that Jesus prophesied would come, nothing could be more important than hearing the voice of God.
Do you remember in Matthew 24 when the disciples ask Jesus, “What will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?”
To which Jesus replied, “Take heed that no one deceives you” because AS THE END OF THE AGE APPROACHES there are going to be false Christ’s – wars – famines – pestilence – and earthquakes – all of which are the beginning of sorrows.
Jesus continues by saying “THEN” great persecution will come for the sake of the gospel as the message of Christ goes into all the world.
With that in mind, listen to these statistics: According to a recent United Nations report there are more than 41 million people – in 43 nations of the world who are teetering on the edge of famine.
According to our State Department: There are 10 active wars taking place in the world – and 8 active military conflicts that are recognized by the United States Government – AND there are violent conflicts involving 64 countries, involving 576 militia groups – not including terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda.
According to the CDC: the global death toll from Covid-19 has claimed the lives of more than 4.6 million people world-wide.
AND in a study done at Gordon-Conwell’s Center for the Study of Global Christianity - there have been over 1.2 million Christian’s martyred in the past 15 years alone.
Which sounds a lot like the list of signs that Jesus gave them to identify the sign of His coming and the end of the age.
As I was taking all of this in, the Holy Spirit led me to read Revelation 1 – AND when I got to verse 9, I could feel the presence of God flood the room. It says, “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patient endurance of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
SO, as John set out to write the things that Christ was showing him, he reminds us that he was put on the prison Island of Patmos because of religious and political opposition for the true message of the gospel.
To the point that he refers to himself as a “brother and companion in tribulation and the kingdom, and patience of Jesus Christ.”
NOW what hit me about this, is that John is essentially saying that “his circumstances and distress have only served to strengthen the kingdom of God within him – AND that regardless of the outward problems that he’s facing, that there is a spiritual endurance that has been revealed in his life because he refuses to allow his immediate distress to stop him from seeing Christ!”
I need to say this because there has been a tremendous amount of one-sided teaching on faith that has led a lot of people to believe that if they have enough faith that somehow, they will become exempt from the problems of life, and this fallen world.
According to Hebrews 11:1-2 the Bible tells us that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen – and that through faith the elders obtained a good testimony.”
The chapter goes on to tell us that by faith – people like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, and Moses found favor from God – AND that by faith the walls of Jericho fell – by Gideon, Sampson, David, Samuel, and the prophets subdued kingdoms – obtained promises – shut the mouths of lions – quenched the fire – became strong – and even received their dead raised to life.
THE PROBLEM is that most people never finish the chapter - which tells us that others were tortured – beaten – imprisoned – stoned – sawn in two – killed with the sword – some were even forced to wander around hiding in deserts, and mountains, and caves.
Yet, the Bible tells us that ALL THESE people were of one faith and that ALL of them were approved by God because of that faith, regardless of whether they subdued kingdoms or lived in troubled times.
I believe that too many Christians allow the problems of the world to speak louder than the voice of God, and take up so much space in their heart that they seem bigger than God.
What I’m saying is that as believers we need to be courageous and filled with faith, knowing that if we will take on the same attitude as the Apostle John that the troubles of our day can literally serve to energize and strengthen our relationship with God – AND that nothing can stop us from hearing God’s voice or seeing the glory of God in our lives!
What's Happening in Our World Today...
These articles cover current events and world issues from a Biblical and prophecy based perspective, with an eye for showing the believer how to pray, and live victoriously in these prophetic times.