It would be great if I could cheer your heart with tales of better days ahead of us, but I can't. Have you read the end of the book? Do you know how it all ends? Dark days are upon us and it is only going to get worse. If you can't handle life and faith and trust now I fear for you in the days ahead. Now is the time to increase our faith and learn to trust, to rely only on Jesus for all our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs. But, in saying this we also recognize that neither are we a people of despair.
I guess that is one of my greatest concerns for us, followers of Jesus, at this present time; we so easily fall into despair. How can the children of the light, of the Creator of all things, the bearers of God's righteousness, be a people who so easily fall into panic and despair over trivial matters? Does that sound like the trust Jesus told us to place in him? It doesn't matter what it looks like to us; we know Jesus has the victory. Read the end of the book!
As evil seems to increase and the Church appears to decrease, we must increase in our relationship with Jesus. As more and more "Christians" fall for the tricks and lies of the enemy, we must increase our strength and brilliance in the Spirit. We must become better trained, more submitted, fully obedient and on fire for Jesus. The darker the world becomes the more active we must be in rescuing the perishing. The more the enemy spreads his lies the more we must be shouting the truth from the roof tops.
We can't allow ourselves to fall into the trap of the enemy. We can't allow the patterns and philosophies of this world to take root. We have to spend more time in the Word not less. We need to stand on the truth of the gospel and on the teaching of the Holy Spirit. The Church must rise up and cut all ties from the thinking of this world and cleanse herself in the holiness, the righteousness of God and start living the difference. And we have to encourage each other as the darkness not so slowly moves through the land.
As the world calls us stupid, relics of the dark ages, superstitious, religious, narrow minded, to be pitied, we will encourage each other to stand in the knowledge of the truth and in our relationship in the Lord. We will not despair but instead stand shoulder to shoulder in this great battle as we refuse to yield our ground to the enemy. We will shout out to each other with great words of encouragement, singing together and sharing God's Word to remind ourselves to press on. This is the attitude we must adopt as the darkness increases:
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:19-20)
If it was important then, how much more important now? My friends, things will not get better for us, dark times lay ahead, but we know how it ends. We are heading to victory and we need to encourage each other. We do not cry. We do not weep and mourn. We celebrate, rejoicing at all times, trusting in all things, knowing God uses it all for our benefit. We speak to one another. We encourage with a song in our heart and a smile on our face. We know how it ends. So, let us encourage each other to be brilliant in the Lord, to keep on serving in joy and strength, to continue to pray and worship, to continue to lay down our lives for the lost and deceived:
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
The Day is approaching!