We’re living in tough times. People aren’t acting right. There are a record number of mass shootings and murder suicides, the young are maliciously beating the old, there is more selfishness, loneliness, and incessant talking than ever before. There is a frenzy of greed and arrogance possibly never before paralleled in the history of evil.
But to anyone who knows their Bible, the outrageous behaviors in these last days don’t surprise:
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” 2 Timothy 3: 1-4
“Perilous times.” Interesting way to phrase it. I often think of peril in terms of violence inflicted, natural disasters, or some kind of debilitating disease. But, here, the Bible states clearly that selfishness is perilous. I suppose that would account for the violence. But what about the heartbreak? The pain brought on by a people who continually devalue one another as human beings? Could that be considered perilous? I think it is. And how is it perilous to be unholy? Unthankful? A humbled and honest few can attest to the fact that being unthankful, unholy,unloving, unforgiving, & despisers of good, will lead to peril.
So we are living in perilous times. How do we cope with it? I have three suggestions that I think hold some weight, they are,
1). Know who you are in Christ…center yourself.
You have every reason in the world to be the most self-assured person on the planet, for you are a child of the Living God.
Yes, you do, and you are, but for all that, don’t let it go to your head. Keep your humility. Remember scripture says that God chose Moses because he was the most humble man on the face of the earth (Numbers 12:3).
“For I say to every man that is among you, through the grace given unto me, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3
This compilation by Neil T Anderson expresses beautifully exactly who you are in Christ and how God views you according to scripture:
I am accepted
I am God’s child ~ John 1:12
As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ ~ John 15:15
I have been justified ~ Romans 5:1
I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit ~ 1 Corin. 6:17
I have been bought with a price, and I belong to God ~ 1 Corin. 6:19-20
I am a member of Christ’s body ~ 1 Corin. 12:27
I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child ~ Ephesians 1:3-8
I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins ~ Colossians 1:13-14
I am complete in Christ ~ Colossians 2:9-10
I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ ~ Hebrews 4:14-16
I am secure…
I am free from condemnation ~ Romans 8:1-2
I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances ~ Romans 8:28
I am free from any condemnation brought against me, and I cannot be separated from the love of God ~ Romans 8:31-39
I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God ~ 2 Corin. 1:21-22
I am hidden with Christ in God ~ Colossians 3:1-4
I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me ~ Philippians 1:6
I am a citizen of Heaven ~ Philippians 3:20
I have not been given the spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind ~ 2 Timothy 1:7
I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me ~ 1 John 5:18
I am significant…
I am the branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life ~ John 15:5
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit ~ John 15:16
I am God’s temple ~ 1 Corin. 3:16
I am a minister of reconciliation for God ~ 2 Corin.5:17-21
I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm ~ Ephesians 2:6
I am God’s workmanship ~ Ephesians 2:10
I may approach God with freedom and confidence ~ Ephesians 3:12
I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me ~ Philippians 4:13
And I would add:
“…you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
As a Christian you have been rooted in the solid foundation of God’s love & acceptance toward you. You are among the most blessed and privileged in all the land. Do not mistake this! Walk with your head high and your heart courageous because of it. When others rail false accusations and hurtful comments your way, you do not need to be shaken, or lose your resolve. Stay centered always in the truth of who you are in Christ.
2.) See others as God sees them: God views each one with great worth.
“Everyone is someone in the kingdom of God.” Truer words were never spoken. We are each wonderfully and fearfully made. (Psalm 139:14). If we understand this, then we will never look down on anyone regardless of class, color, gender, or any other factor that differentiates. Each is a person of optimal value to the Lord. In fact scripture plainly states that it is often the lowliest by the world’s standards who are chosen by God:
“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty” 1Corinthians 1: 26-27
“Did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?” James 2:5
When we hold our fellow man in such high esteem, we would never dream of using them for our own gain, or demeaning them in any way imaginable. Kindness toward all people shows a mature understanding of God.
Hitler’s master race, and her modern twin, depopulation, are a few of the extreme dangers that grow out of a warped view of our fellow man, whose parent view is a warped view of God.
3.) Do good deeds. Get out of yourself.
The best way to battle an evil age is to overcome evil with good.
“Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12: 17-21
Love the poor. All through the Old and New Testament, we are exhorted to help the poor:
Deut. 15:7. If there is a poor man among you, one of your brothers, in any of the towns of the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand to your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.
Deut. 26:12. When you have finished paying the complete tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and the widow, that they may eat in your towns, and be satisfied.
Lev. 19:19ff. Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the LORD your God.
Is. 58:66ff. Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke? Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Jer. 22:3. Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place.
Luke 12:33. “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys.”
Luke 3:11. And [John the Baptist] would answer and say to them, “Let the man with two tunics share with him who has none, and let him who has food do likewise.”
Mt. 5:42. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
1 Jhn 3:17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
Matt 25: 34-40 “ Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Unhappy because someone has ridiculed, hurt, or used you? Unhappy because of the overwhelming evil in the world?
Go do something good. Show immense value to your fellow human beings, and value yourself in the process. It’s a miracle cure. Will you suffer even more evil because if it? Probably. I won’t lie. BUT yours, a full and rewarding life will be, and in the end, will yield a life eternal.
May God richly bless you all.