What can we learn from this past year and how can we be prepared for such uncertain times?
As we shake the dust off our feet from 2020 and prepare to move through a new year, what on earth are we in for? Without faith in God, prayer, wisdom, and cultivating an eternal perspective, we would be in big trouble. I don’t know how unbelievers can face such stress and uncertainty.
First, let’s start with some good news: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever – and He has not surrendered His throne. When the world around us is in chaos and confusion, He is our stability, anchor, Cornerstone, and Rock.
One day He will rule the nations. There’s a reason we were told in Isaiah 9:7 that,
“There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of armies will accomplish this.”
Seven hundred years before Christ, God spoke through Isaiah about the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, and Prince of Peace, and stated that the government will rest on His shoulders.
What government? Many of Jesus’ followers were waiting for a takeover of Rome and were even expecting a political Messiah. They didn’t exactly interpret the prophecies correctly, because Jesus stated that His kingdom was not of this world.
After His resurrection, in Acts chapter 1 leading up to His ascension, the disciples asked Him an important question. These were the men who lived with Him, followed Him everywhere, watched His life, and understood His authority.
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. Acts 1:6-7
The prophet Daniel says that God gives wisdom and from His mouth comes understanding; He removes kings and establishes kings – and that, “He changes times and seasons.” Daniel 2:21-22
What a season it has been! Most of us are longing for relief and the restoration of Christ. In the meantime, things look darker, spiritually which is why believers must be the salt and light of this world until Christ returns.
Evildoers and lawlessness are increasing all around us, but the Bible has much to say about the wicked, those who appear to be prospering now. Their days are numbered and they will not know what hit them. But the righteous have a promised inheritance! Let’s walk by faith and not by sight.
Do not fret because of evildoers,
Be not envious toward wrongdoers.
2 For they will wither quickly like the grass
And fade like the green herb.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
…But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
He is their strength in time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them;
He delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
Because they take refuge in Him. (Psalm 37 excerpt; 1-3, 39-40)
So be encouraged that God is in control and all powerful, and He will reign forever. The Bible says He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Neither should we! Yes, we want justice, yes we want truth to prevail. But pray for the lost souls whose only hope is in this short life. Imagine the godly influence they could have if they repented and came to Christ.
In order to be prepared for the future, we must live purposefully in the present. In order to do this, we must let the past go so it stays in the past. It can only weigh us down.
The Apostle Paul writes about pressing on to take hold of what Jesus has, and states:
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
Forget. Reach forward. Press on.
Isaiah 43:18-19 is one of my favorite end-of-year passages I like to share.
“Do not call to mind the former things,
Or ponder things of the past.
19 “Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.
In Revelation 21 verse 5, Jess said, “I am making all things new.”
You must let go of the problems of the past to get to where God wants you.
One of the biggest battles this year – even for Christians – has not been a virus, employment, the election, or civil unrest. It has been the battle of the mind; fear.
We have every reason to trust a proven, powerful, faithful Savior. For unbelievers, this life is all there is, but we have assurance of eternal life! For them, death is so very – final.
But for us, death leads to life, and to live is Christ but to die is gain (Philippians 1:21). To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord! (2 Corinthians 5:8) We must never stop cultivating an eternal perspective and a biblical worldview. We’re going to need it! We must tell our little fears how big our great God and Savior is.
If there is one thing fear and the unknown can cause people to do, however, it is to cry out to God – whether they know Him or not. In 2020, God used COVID-19 to draw people to Him; to get some to fall on their knees and pray, to seek Him, or to come back to Him.
It was reported that people were going online and searching things like prayer, God, spirituality, and what happens after you die. Be encouraged, friends, that we have the answers so many are looking for! They might think it’s something else in this life; something they can do or work toward. So be ready to share the gospel of grace!
One interesting example: YouVersion Bible app engagement skyrocketed in 2020.
- Globally, app users read 43.6 billion Bible chapters in the platform
- listened to 7.5 billion chapters via the app’s audio feature, and
- completed 1.4 billion days of Bible devotional plans via the app.
These are the app’s highest levels of engagement since the platform launched in 2013. Bible searches in the app increased 80% to almost 600 million.
The most popular verse in the app: for all of 2020:
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Fear not! This verse was shared, highlighted, and bookmarked more than any other verse on YouVersion in 2020. Other Bible apps likely had similar results. It’s no wonder. The world has thrown so much at America and the church this year.
We have witnessed some drastic measures being used to advance a godless, socialist agenda including attacks on religious freedoms. The left has used our health concerns and vulnerabilities to their advantage. But how far are they willing to go?
Before we answer this question, we need to be reminded to be rapture ready. The Bible says believers are not appointed to wrath, and the pre-tribulation view of Scripture says we will be taken out prior to the Great Tribulation. Most of us will not know who the antichrist is – but we should love others enough to care and to warn them about what’s coming. The spirit of antichrist is already working in this world.
You’ve most likely heard the phrase, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Nothing is off limits to those who wish to set up man’s kingdom on earth. But what the enemy uses for evil, God uses for good. He can work through any crisis to bring people to Him.
ABOUT THE “GREAT RESET”
The Great Reset was unveiled at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where many of the world’s most rich and powerful people go to offer solutions to the world’s problems. Leaders have said that the coronavirus pandemic is a historic opportunity to change the way the world operates. At their annual meeting, some of these global elites said they want to ‘reset capitalism.’
They aren’t joking. And they’re willing to go to any length to force change on us. But we seem to keep forgetting there are more of us than there are of them. Yes, they own the media, major institutions in the U.S. including the education system, and the deep state in government, but many of us didn’t see this coming and we have not fought back effectively. They also see that 2020 has brought on crisis fatigue.
We’re worn down, but we don’t have to accept their ‘new normal’ or surrender. Don’t give in to the sensationalism and fear-mongering of liberal media activists. We need to understand however, that the groundwork had already been laid and globalism had advanced to the point people are open to things that we never would have accepted a century ago:
- For the first time in world history, churches were closed on Easter, Resurrection Sunday this year!
- We quarantined healthy people.
- We shut down the most vibrant economy in our history.
- Governors told citizens how to or if they could celebrate holidays with their families.
Life may be changed forever due to COVID-19 but always remember this fact: our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the devil who comes to kill, steal, and destroy. He was a liar from the beginning and the father of lies!
The godless love money more than truth. They will try to gain power at any cost, but the Bible teaches us that it profits nothing to gain the whole world and lose your soul (Mark 8:36) in the process. Rest assured the God of truth has not relinquished His authority. He allows trials and intrusions in our lives for His purposes.
I believe 2020 is a wake-up call! Jesus is standing outside the door of a lukewarm and wayward church knocking! If the church does not repent, return to being the church, preaching the gospel, equipping the saints and standing for righteousness, we will just get more of the same. Lukewarm church-goers will fall away, lawlessness will increase virtually unchecked, and prophetic signs will converge setting up the return of Jesus Christ.
We are warned over and over in Scripture that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief. In Matthew 24, Jesus prophesied the destruction of the Temple, and it came to pass. His disciples were marveling at the massive stones and beautiful temple buildings as they were passing through.
But He responded and said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” 3 And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. Matt. 24:1-4
Not one stone? It happened in A.D. 70 when the Romans surrounded Jerusalem destroying both the temple and city. But note that Jesus didn’t answer them specifically. The first thing out of His mouth was a warning not to be deceived. Stay alert! Watch and pray!
I had the privilege of interviewing author, prophecy expert, and watchman on the wall, Terry James this last week on Stand Up for the Truth. His website is Rapture Ready, and our discussion inspired me to talk about prophecy today and to reset our perspective as we head into the New Year. Remember, forget the past, reach forward, press on, and fret not. God’s got this.
In an article called, “Thoughts on Reset,” he shared part of a letter that was sent to President Trump by a Catholic archbishop. This obviously is not an endorsement of Roman Catholic doctrine, but the urgency and geopolitical importance are worth noting. He warned President Trump about a “global conspiracy against God and humanity…”
It is a pretty insightful analysis about what’s happening. First, Terry James said: “…[T]he globalist minions, both human and demonic, strive to bring about another Babel—a global order that is contrary to the God of Heaven in every way possible.” The thought here is the tower of Babel was man’s first attempt at globalism. It failed.
The archbishop warns about the “forces of Evil being aligned against the forces of Good,” and about world leaders “pandering to this suicide of Western culture and its Christian soul;” Just take this as a reminder to pray fervently.
Here are some excerpts from the October letter to the president: (link leads to Catholic Family website)
“…A global plan called the Great Reset is underway. Its architect is a global élite that wants to subdue all of humanity, imposing coercive measures with which to drastically limit individual freedoms and those of entire populations. In several nations this plan has already been approved and financed;
The purpose of the Great Reset is the imposition of a health dictatorship…and adherence to a program of vaccination against Covid-19 and Covid-21 promoted by Bill Gates with the collaboration of the main pharmaceutical groups.
Beyond the enormous economic interests that motivate the promoters of the Great Reset, the imposition of the vaccination will be accompanied by the requirement of a health passport and a digital ID, with… contact tracing of the population;
[The great reset] will be activated between the end of this year and the first trimester of 2021…
For this purpose, further lockdowns are planned, which will be officially justified by a supposed second and third wave of the pandemic…. You are well aware of the means that have been deployed to sow panic and legitimize draconian limitations on individual liberties, artfully provoking a world-wide economic crisis.
… Mr. President, you are well aware that, in this crucial hour, the United States of America is considered the defending wall against which the war declared by the advocates of globalism has been unleashed. Place your trust in the Lord, strengthened by the words of the Apostle Paul: “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). To be an instrument of Divine Providence is a great responsibility, for which you will certainly receive all the graces of state that you need, since they are being fervently implored for you by the many people who support you with their prayers….”
–Carlo Maria Vigano, Archbishop of Ulpiana, Open letter to the President of the United States Donald J. Trump, Sunday October 25, 2020
He makes some strong and some prophetic statements. I agree with Terry James who believes this “Reset” is a blueprint by Satan himself, and that they are doing their dead-level best to implement this hellish plan.
The plans of the globalists and push for a new world order and one world government will progress, and then will eventually be thwarted by the Lord at the return of Jesus. But if the people rise up, the Great Reset may fail sooner. Time will tell.
One thing we know is God will judge our enemies and those who practice lawlessness. We sure need wisdom, don’t we? How do we respond to those who unleash evil on innocent people? We must not only be Good Samaritans, I believe we must take some initiative and be proactive to help raise awareness about these agendas.
The days of the wicked are going to end – and their end will be a rude awakening. For those who trust in Jesus, however, we will be awakened to everlasting life when the mortal will take on immortality and death will be swallowed up in victory forever!
“Remember this, and be assured; Recall it to mind, you wrongdoers.
9 Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My plan will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; Isaiah 46:8-10
The Word of God stands forever, and He declares the end from the beginning. It is not for us to worry, fret, or fear. Be alert, watch and pray. Forget the past. Reach forward. Press on. Let’s run the race marked out for us fixing our eyes on Jesus – one day at a time.