About ten days ago now, the weather forecasters were warning us in the United Kingdom that it was going to turn very cold. At the time, we were enjoying some really lovely spring sunshine, which was especially good for Dean and me. We were having some work done on the outside front wall of our home to make it weatherproof, as the bricks were crumbling. (Our home is about 130 years old)! But a few days later, the cold set in with a stiff north-easterly wind, accompanied by sleet and rain showers.
I still had to take Henry my dog for his morning walk along the seafront, but I was well covered with my fluorescent waterproof jacket and trousers. However, my hands were frozen, as I had needed to take my gloves off. As I walked home, thinking over this and the warnings we had received about the weather, I thought of warnings in the Scriptures that tell those of us who believe in Jesus that we will have to suffer hardships.
In the Book of Acts we read, ‘After preaching the Good News in Derbe and making many disciples, Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch of Pisidia, where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the kingdom of God’ (Acts 14:21-22, NLT).
The hardships will come in many forms, and those who are not believers will suffer too. The difference between us is that those who are of the world have no hope. They can only cling to the here and now, and many people’s hearts are failing them for fear of what is coming. They like to think that hardships are temporary and that things will return to normal one day. But Jesus was very clear in His teaching that things are going to get worse in this world before He returns.
So how can we stand as believers in Him? God has given us His word and many promises, including that He is with us, and His grace will be sufficient for us. Also, we know the end of the story. In Revelation 21, we are told about the new heaven and new earth, where we will be with our Lord Jesus forever. This is our hope to hold on to in these hard times when the world is getting darker, and evil is getting worse. Just think. No more pain. No more separation. No more crying or mourning. No more sadness or sickness. May the Lord Himself encourage you in these days!
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