We live in a world that is fast becoming topsy-turvy.
World events that we thought would never happen or laughed off as an impossibility are becoming headlines with alarmingly increasing regularity. Celebrity couples we admired and thought would last forever are falling apart just like anybody else.
Fear easily creeps in and strikes our hearts as we see such news. It begets the question of where is God in all of this, or, if there is a God watching over the world at all.
The Bible tells us, from Jesus’s own lips, that in the last days, there will be
“on the earth distress of nations,…(and) men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth” (Luke 21:25-26).
But He also says to His disciples before this to not be troubled or terrified (Matthew 24:6, Luke 21:9). He encourages and reminds them even more clearly in John 14:
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
We can be at peace and at rest when we already know what’s coming, and we have a sure assurance of the promises that are in store for us as believers in Christ. As Jesus said to His disciples, “See, I have told you beforehand.” (Matthew 24:25)
We can guard our hearts and be filled with Jesus’s own peace, the peace that is beyond the world’s grasp and that surpasses human understanding, when we know that He is a faithful and loving God who keeps His word.
Too often we make the mistake of judging and seeing God from a horizontal view upwards – meaning we perceive and decide how God is like based on circumstances we see happening around us. If what we deem as a crisis happens or if something we prayed for doesn’t happen, we take it out on God and blame Him, or decry Him as a phony altogether.
But we’re not meant to see God from horizontal upwards, but rather we are to see from His view on high downwards to assess our situations and circumstances.
Because when we who are in Christ realise that we are already seated with God in Christ way up high, our problems, situations, and the circumstances around us begin to rapidly dwindle in magnitude and severity.
That is not to say that we jump to the other extreme and excuse ourselves from studying and getting to know God accurately and intimately through His Word by simply acknowledging and pronouncing that He is altogether sovereign and supreme and unfathomable, and we can never fully understand why He does what He does or allows what He allows, but it’s all good and it’s all part of His will and grand plan.
No, even though God is sovereign and supreme, and there will still be things about Him or experiences we’ve had that we cannot fully comprehend as of now, He has left us more than enough information about who He is, what He’s like, what’s He’s done and His will for us, His promises to those who are His, and what will happen in the days to come.
It’s all recorded in His Word, the Bible, that has been given to us – See, I have told you beforehand.
Open the Bible and simply read as it is written, asking God to give you understanding and leaving behind your own preconceptions and interpretations, and start seeing a bigger God.
See a God who prepares the solution before the problem arises – a God who brings up the mountain a ram to be sacrificed in place of who or what you love, even before you ascend the mountain yourself (Genesis 22).
See a God who already foreknew Pharoah’s hardheartedness and wasn’t the least fazed by Pharoah’s repeated refusals to free His people the Israelites despite suffering several plagues upon Egypt, who delivered His people out of Pharoah’s hand finally not by a man – but by the blood of the Lamb, and who protected His people from their enemies and secured them safe passage, and then utterly destroyed their enemies before their eyes (Exodus 1-15).
See a God who time and time again gave His people overwhelming victory against all human odds despite being heavily outnumbered and disadvantaged, simply as they entrusted themselves unto Him.
See a God who humbled even the most arrogant and powerful king of his time to finally recognise that his office was given by God, and that God alone is the Most High and King of heaven, whose kingdom and dominion is everlasting (Daniel 1-4).
See a God who took the most wicked act of mankind in torturing, mocking, and crucifying His sinless Son whom He sent to them, and simply turned it to serve as the point of salvation, healing, and restoration for all mankind, to demonstrate the unfathomable depths of His wisdom, His love, His grace, His righteousness, and His justice all in one act.
This is a God who is bigger, wiser, kinder, more faithful, and more trustworthy than we can ever imagine.
This is a God who tells us beforehand and gives us forewarning again and again of what is to come, and urges us back gently into the embrace of His loving grace.
This is a God who promises that whoever believes in His Son Jesus Christ whom He sent fulfils His will and shall never ever perish, but be taken up by Him to safety before the worst happens on earth, and enjoy everlasting life in an incorruptible and undying body with Him in heaven forever.
Peace and rest cannot help but flood our heart when we believe unto Jesus, and we believe what He says to us.
How do we know for sure that the things Jesus foretold His disciples – on the end times, the great tribulations that will come upon the world, the promise of the bodily redemption and rapture assured for Christians spoken through the apostle Paul, the coming judgement by God – are going to happen? After all, everything seems to be moving along as it always has been.
Just as nobody doubted Noah any longer when the floodwaters finally came, nobody is going to doubt the judgement when the judgement finally arrives. But it won’t help anyone any more to believe only then.
Hundreds of years before Jesus came, God gave numerous prophecies through various prophets concerning the coming Messiah who would be sacrificed on the cross for the sins of the world. Today, no one denies that Jesus really lived as a person on earth, no one denies that He was crucified, and no one has ever found the body of Jesus in any grave.
He came – God as Man – as He said He would, He suffered and died on the cross on our behalf as He said He would, and He rose again from the dead and ascended into heaven, as He said He would.
He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). When He says something, you can count on it.
God doesn’t need you to understand everything before you believe. Simply believe, and understanding will follow. Simply believe, and you will surely receive everything His Son paid with His blood to give you.
Because when we encounter Jesus, we encounter grace.