"Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things." Joel 2:21
If you watch the news lately, you will see plenty of reports which could incite fear. From worldwide plagues to civil unrest, from violent crime to economic uncertainty, from terrorism to global warming, etc. Satan is doing his best to instill fear in the masses. The world wants you to operate in fear, because then you remain controllable. This is why it is so critical that we take everything to the Lord in prayer.
Even those in the world can pick up the changes in the atmosphere and are feeling the need to make preparations. The issue is that - in spite of the physical manifestations of trouble - the problem at its core is spiritual. In order to endure the times which are coming, we must find our refuge in the Lord. In all of this, we must remember in Whom our hope lies (Psalm 39:7; Psalm 62:5-8).
Some might look at these things and say, "Oh no, the end must be near!" I say, "Rejoice! The end must be near!"
How do you maintain peace in a whirlwind? How do you remain steadfast when the very fabric of the world seems to be disintegrating around you? You die now. Of course, I am not speaking about suicide; I am talking about cold-blooded murder (Romans 6:6; Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5).
Don't be misguided like Peter was, presuming that you will be able to stand because you are not fully aware of what is in your own heart. This is the time to pray for cleansing, purging, and strengthening so that He enables you to stand. I can only imagine how Peter felt when the words of the Lord came true and he found himself cursing to deny Jesus Christ. Yet, there was one command that Jesus later gave him to get him back on track, "Feed my sheep."
Our focus now must be on doing the will of the Father. Many of us have spent a large portion of our lives living for ourselves - even if we called it living for God. It is the mercy of God which has been longsuffering with us and given us the time to finally get our priorities in order. Jesus let us know about these things to come precisely so that we could be prepared.
"And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." Matthew 24:6-14
Even though Jesus told us that these things would be, many people will be unprepared. There are those preaching a "Kingdom Now" with people trying to reclaim the world for Christ before He returns. This will never happen and is not Scriptural. There are those who have been taught that they will be long gone, having been whisked away in a Pre-tribulation Rapture. Scripture does not support this idea either. Still more are so focused on trying to obtain prosperity in the world that they have no idea of the times and seasons in which we live. Let not such things be said of you.
"And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares." Luke 21:34
"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." I Thessalonians 5:4
The truth is that the world will become increasingly more evil - to unimaginable heights - prior to Jesus' return. Just as with Sodom and Gomorrah, the cry of the world's grievous sin is great and will have reached up to Heaven (Genesis Chapter 18).
What an everlasting shame it would be to read all of these warnings in Scripture, see all of these signs around us, and yet do nothing. What lamenting there would be to know that God's mercy and grace gave you time, but you were unable to rouse yourself from a spiritual stupor. I don't want to be one who knew the truth, but was unable to be transformed into the truth because I loved darkness more than light (John 3:19).
Jesus is coming back in judgment, yet it is only the sinners who have reason to fear. Die to self now so that you can live eternally with the Father. The Lord is prepared to do great things through those who are His - and that distinction soon will become undeniable (Daniel 11:32).
"The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" Isaiah 33:14