Tomorrow is not guaranteed. If you’re putting your trust in things you can see, touch, and count, you’re living in a world of illusion. The year 2020 is just a blip on the timeline of eternity, and only God knows the end from the beginning.
This morning, Ravi Zacharias, author and founder of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries went home to be with Jesus. He left an incredible legacy in 48 years of ministry around the world. He was 74.
And a few days ago, a Christian friend of ours lost his wife after a battle with Cancer. She was 40.
Decades ago, my oldest sister, Lynda and her husband were killed in a traffic accident when they were just 24 years old.
If we’re willing to admit, there are so many reminders for us not to take life for granted. Perspective checks. We can ignore them and remain in denial or we can take these to heart – and acknowledge God’s sovereign.
In Ecclesiastes 7:1-2, the Bible states:
A good name is better than fine perfume,
and the day of death better than the day of birth.
2 It is better to go to a house of mourning
than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of everyone;
the living should take this to heart. Ecclesiastes 7:1-2
Why the sobering approach today? Because I’m seeing people suffering with depression or loneliness, missing their family members, church, or going through hard times. Lost businesses, jobs or wages. I’m seeing other people majoring in the minors; arguing at protests about politics or on social media about various responses to COVID 19 and what power-grabbing governors are doing.
Pestilences are not new to world history. But is this a sign of the end times? Jesus warned about wars and world unrest and said not to be afraid when these things happen:
He continued by saying to them, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, 11 and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. Luke 21:10-11
Jesus further explains these things are the beginning of birth pains and that God can use anything, even the current crisis and trials in our lives to open doors of conversation for us to share our faith in Christ. In verse 13 He suggests even if you get arrested, share your testimony about what the Lord has done for you.
The point here is fear God, not a Virus.
Two months prior to receiving a Cancer diagnosis, Ravi Zacharias had shared part of a centuries-old hymn by Richard Baxter (1615-1691) called, Lord, It Belongs Not to My Care. The last stanza goes like this:
“Then I shall end my sad complaints
And weary sinful days,
And join with the triumphant saints
That sing my Savior’s praise.
My knowledge of that life is small,
The eye of faith is dim;
But ‘tis enough that Christ knows all,
And I shall be with Him.”
That kind of real faith inspires people. Maybe you need encouragement today. That’s one reason I didn’t want to get into the mud and mire of all the typical news stories and headlines. Cultural and political divides, evil men, and media bias will still be around tomorrow and so will all the tedious arguments.
Here’s more perspective from a standpoint of early church history.
Just before the Apostle Paul was preparing to be executed for being a Christian, he wrote a letter to a young disciple named Timothy. Here’s part of the last chapter Paul would ever write:
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8
Are you waiting for the return of Jesus, and are you ready to go if the Lord should call you Home earlier than expected?
If your hope is in temporary things like people, politics, or possessions, you will be disappointed and left feeling empty. But if your hope is in Christ alone and you trust in His forgiveness and salvation, you can be content even in the hardest of times. Perhaps like today.
Circumstances always change. God and His promises are eternal. He offers true peace and stability to those who look up and wait for our blessed hope and the appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Fear not, friends. We are here for such a time as this!
Video courtesy of Freedom Project Media