Might hard times we are going through right now be God’s method of helping us practice for the end times? If we view them that way, they can be.
As many of you know, I was recently hospitalized 11 days and had arm surgery. I am in a cast and typing this with one finger. I am also facing open heart valve surgery in a couple weeks. This qualifies as mild hard times of a sort.
In my church we have a saying, “never ask ‘why me?’ but always ask ‘what is God accomplishing through this?'” So I have been seeking God on this issue: ” God why are you allowing this?”
There are probably hundreds of more reasons than i can understand, but one might be so that I could write this article. Although I am no prophet, God has historically given his writers hard assignments as symbols to write about. Hosea was asked to marry a harlot, for instance. Paul endured more than one can imagine. Then there was Job; who makes our current suffering seem insignificant.
Practice for the End Times
So what might we learn through the hard times we face? In my case, although modern medicine is a fantastic expression of God’s grace and healing, the operation I’m facing stops your heart. What stops might not restart. Death is possible, I comfort myself with this simple verse:
To live is Christ and to die is gain. (Phil. 1:21)
If God heals me through this surgery, I get to continue to live for him; possibly more than ever, If I die, I get to BE with him forever. There is no fear in his perfect love. I win in either outcome.
In the Great Tribulation (which means widespread persecution, BTW), we may all face a moment where we must choose between worshiping Jesus and dying or worshiping the Antichrist and living a few brief months longer (but then being eternally separated from God). That choice is easier if you have stared down death before with “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Once you do that you already know how you’ll respond; you’ve practiced it.
Tomorrow your workplace may ask you to dishonor Jesus or be fired. Will you trust God’s provision or your job? This is practice as well. In the end times only those who take the Mark of the Beast will be able to buy or sell. Those who have already practiced trusting God for their provision know how to respond. They’ve been there.
People complain that our religious liberty is evaporating. Soon sharing our faith may be illegal. How will we take our faith underground? We will know if we study the underground church in other nations and begin to practice it! (more on how to do this in the future.)
It’s my opinion that at the second seal, the Antichrist will unleash all Muslims everywhere on a world-wide terrorism explosion. Will there be fighting on every street? Most Likely. What we are seeing right now is a microcosm of what is to come. Dealing with it is practice putting into motion Jesus’s directive to not be terrified by it. (Luke 21:9) because these are the things that must take place.
Might God be giving us everything we need to overcome the end times right now in the form of mild difficulties? Are they blessings in disguise? God causes all these things to work together for our good. Let us view our lives as God’s masterpiece that he is painting with dark parts and light. The combination is beautiful.
We must “never ask ‘why me?’ but always ask ‘what is God accomplishing through this?'” I shared that phrase and “to live is Christ and to die is gain” dozens of times in the hospital; mostly to looks of disbelief. How we respond to these practice sessions is part of our witness, Let us use what God gives us wisely.
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