OUR TIMES and OUR RESPONSE
As I write this post we are faced with some significant difficulties - crime and violence are on the rise in our nation, financial challenges are before us, and geopolitical tensions are escalating with the war in Ukraine. There is no question that we are living in the last days. But while we know the times that we are in there still must be a biblical response from those of us who are born again blood-washed believers. Let's read what Jesus says concerning the end time: "And Jesus answered and said to them: 'Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows (Matthew 24:4-8)."
Jesus explains that:
Wars and Rumors of Wars
Without venturing into the rest of the signs He gave in Matthew 24 it appears that we are edging closer to the Lord's return. But the key is not in what's happening but how we respond. We know that the world is unraveling but we as believers must maintain our composure during turbulent times, we must act like, better yet, we must know Who holds our tomorrow. It is clear that trouble, adversity, and the fears of our day are all around us. So we must develop practical skills to manage difficult moments.
Before we establish some core principles for handling our adversities, let us first recognize the sources of adversity and challenge.
The Sources of Adversity
We must understand a basic and fundamental truth - nothing happens without a reason. There is a reason for trouble or adversity happening in your life. Let us evaluate the six reasons that trouble comes:
Human Error. We make errors – ignorantly or intentionally. Sometimes we think we can do something wrong and get away with it. – Joshua 7:1
Rebellious Choices. Adversity and challenge can be the by-product of someone's rebellion against the purpose of God. the prophet Jonah was being sent to Nineveh but he decided to head to Tarshish - so the sailors, investors, and the end-users lost goods and services because he rebelled against God's instruction (Jonah 1:1-9).
Satanic Attack. Satanic spirits or demonic spirits attack you in order to make you bitter, angry, frustrated, or even sick in the body. Remember the Parable of the Sower - those by the wayside are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved (Luke 8:12).
The Challenge of the Times. Because I live in the world, I can be temporarily affected by what is happening in the world around me. There are times when good, praying, tithing men and women face adversity and the challenge of the times. But even in times of challenge, I have the assurance that God will deliver me out of all my troubles (Psalm 34:4).
The Call of God. Because of the Call of God on your life, you will need to endure some trouble in your life. The Lord uses adversity and challenge to develop us. In the book of Hebrews, we learn that Jesus' suffering He learned obedience (Hebrews 5:8).
Prophetic Fulfillment. When the Lord has established an unconditional prophetic declaration over a person, a time, or a nation there is nothing that can stop it. Trouble and adversity is an assignment to produce the will of God. Even in our example with Jonah God sent word that Nineveh would be destroyed - while they received a reprieve 200 years later the city would be destroyed.
The season that we are currently in is not the end but it is a time of adversity. So how do we handle these difficult moments.
How to Handle the Difficult Moments
In order to handle the challenge of our day and the coming prophetic challenges that will arise we need tangible practices that will give us the grace, we need to endure and overcome. Below are the seven steps to endure and overcome your time od challenge and adversity: