Assurance about Fast-Moving Global Events
Believers everywhere wonder, “Are we in the very last years of human history?” Any thoughts on this subject are mere speculation. One thing is sure, however: World events are accelerating.
According to what Isaiah saw, the earth was not headed for rejuvenation but for total ruin. “The earth is violently broken, the earth is split open, the earth is shaken exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall totter like a hut; its transgression shall be heavy upon it, and it will fall, and not rise again” (Isaiah 24:19-20, NKJV).
When such a time comes, what will happen to true followers of Jesus? If the world grows steadily worse until Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled—if we are to go through calamities beyond our imagining—how will God take care of us?
Just as the Lord warns us about troubles ahead, he also reveals how he will protect us.
Our God has a definite plan. It is simple, yet it is as absolute as the universe itself. His plan can be summed up in one sentence: He will see us through everything by the power of his predetermined word.
We are going to be preserved by the spoken word of God. It is a word of deliverance pronounced from the very foundation of the world. Indeed, this plan is something God determined before the world was.
Our God is never caught off guard; nothing surprises him. He had a plan to preserve us long before there were nations, armies, wars, depressions, plagues and violence: “He…has determined their preappointed times” (Acts 17:26). God foresaw all these things, and he spoke into existence a word of preservation that is as eternal and unshakable as his own character. “By the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth… But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment” (2 Peter 3:5, 7).
Until that time, Jesus Christ upholds all things by the power of his word. “Who being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3).
You see, Jesus spoke a sustaining word to all created things. So, when he came to earth as a man for thirty-three years, all created things were sustained by the eternal word he had already spoken at the beginning. Only at his command did these forces change and obey a new order. When Jesus’ disciples saw him calm the sea, they said, “So the men marveled, saying, ‘Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey him?’” (Matthew 8:27).
As surely as he created all things by the power of his word, the Lord has spoken into being an eternal word of preservation to keep all his children.
For years, I have wondered about the full meaning of the Lord’s words that “man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3). Now I know.
Moses spoke these words to the Israelites as he reminded them of God’s faithfulness. The meaning is this: “The Lord allowed you to experience hunger. He humbled you by bringing you to a place where all human ingenuity was in vain. If God had not taken care of you supernaturally, you would have died. The issue was not food but rather trust in him. The Lord who spoke the world into being had a word of preservation for you. All his words were yours by faith.”
When Israel was in the desert, God did a new thing for them. He spoke the words, “Let there be manna. Let them wonder what it is.” He created something new.
Israel could have called together their princes and leaders to plan and strategize how God might feed and care for them. No one would ever have conceived that God would cover the ground with small, white, round seeds, a new kind of food that humankind had never seen or tasted before.
Do you want to know how God is going to preserve you in all your hard times? He will do it by speaking a new word if necessary, by creating all you need by the power of his word. All God had to do was speak the word “manna,” and an entire generation of Israelites was preserved.
Jesus used this same truth when Satan tempted him to turn a stone into bread to ease his hunger pangs. Christ answered, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
As Jesus faced hunger and thirst in the wilderness, his heart was at rest because he knew the Father had spoken the word that he was safe. His mission had been spoken from the foundation of the world, and no weapon formed against that mission could prosper. He trusted in his Father to preserve him in God’s own way, by the power of his word.
Many Christians are trying to figure out how God will take care of his people when the world’s ruin comes in full force.
Some Christians plan to isolate themselves in the mountains or desert. Jesus has a different plan for us. “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’” (Matthew 6:31).
Our heavenly Father knows what we need, and he said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). Do you hear Jesus’ promise here? He will give us all we need. Christ’s predetermined word about us was settled in heaven long before any of us were born.
I believe God has a certain desire toward his people in these troubled times. It is to bestow on us an unshakable conviction that he is going to keep us from the power of the wicked one. God is desperately trying to fill us with consolation and peace. He has sworn that his word for us is enduring and eternal.
“Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil” (Hebrews 6:17-19).
Is your soul bound by fear or anchored in hope?
Do you enjoy a strong consolation based on knowing that God cannot lie and that his word has gone forth to preserve you in evil times? Take time to read and digest all of Psalm 91. You will find the eternal word of God delivered once and for all. It is given by a God who cannot lie. Though it was spoken to the ancient Psalmist, it holds true for every generation since then and especially for us.
Consider also this word from Revelation. “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number…Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?... So he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation’” (Revelation 7:9, 13-14).
These believers “came out,” and there was “a great multitude.” They went in, but they came out. Not only did they survive great sufferings, but they came out shouting with a very special testimony. “Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever” (Revelation 7:12).
These people did not “just survive.” They overcame. They sang of the one who brought them out. God had proved himself to them in every way. They had learned to “serve him night and day,” meaning through their darkest times as well as their most blessed times.
God isn’t interested in simply preserving us physically with food, water and shelter. That is no great victory in his eyes. The overcomers described in Revelation 7 triumphed in the worst of times because the whole Word of God came alive to them. They had his strong arm and his glory and wisdom to the end. Every word out of his mouth became real, and they praised him with great thanksgiving.
Imagine no despairing, cowering or surrendering to satanic threats. These overcomers came out washed, dressed in white and victorious, and so will his people today. Therefore, be encouraged. His predetermined Word says no matter what we are going through, we are coming out. Hallelujah!
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