Waves of evil come ever more quickly to our world — each wave bigger than the one before. There seems to be no stopping it. The more adamantly people reject God and His ways, the more pain they bring into their lives. With more pain comes a greater desire to self-medicate. Children die of overdoses while drug cartels grow more powerful. Such are the times we live in.
Even those followers of Jesus who live the most insulated of lives now regularly face fallout from a deteriorating society. The rising tides of evil seem to be overtaking and overwhelming us. Governments often work against the best interests of their own citizens. Businesses squeeze more money from customers while giving less value in return. They seem more interested in political correctness than in serving their customers or their employees.
Jesus compared end time events to "birth pangs." What do we know about the labor pains of a woman giving birth? We know that as the birth approaches, the waves of contractions come closer together and become more intense. They lead to something wonderful, but while they are happening, they hurt!
Right now, we stand smack in the middle of a hurting world. We should be full of compassion and empathy, but we should not be surprised. God told us in advance — in some cases, thousands of years in advance — that such times would come. The truth is, we are a privileged generation. We see with our own eyes the fulfillment of prophesies from ages past. We live in a time when God is on the move in special and unique ways.
Yet even our privileged generation directly feels the pain of this hurting world. The Bible predicts hyperinflation for the last days. That’s a sign of glorious things to come, but it’s no fun. If you’re living on a fixed income, it can be a nightmare. Bible prophecy talks about super-plagues, super-wars, deception everywhere, the loss of human rights, churches falling away from the truth, and hundreds of other sad and frightening trends.
But the Bible also says, "Fear not!" We live in terrifying times, but we are not to be terrified. The times are not greater than the God who holds us in His hand.
In John 14, Jesus tells His disciples how the Father would soon send the Holy Spirit as their Helper. The same Holy Spirit lives in us. Then, in verse 27, Jesus said, "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, nor let it be fearful." [NASB]
The Prince of Peace Himself gives you access to His peace. To the world, peace can simply be the cessation of hostilities. But God’s peace goes deeper. The Hebrew word for peace is "shalom." It means "total wellbeing." It has to do with every part of life.
Sometimes we lose peace because we choose not to access the peace He offers. Colossians 3:15 says, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts." That means to give His peace command over your thoughts and feelings.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 pronounces this blessing, "Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance." Jesus longs to give you His peace in every circumstance. Those circumstances include the times in which we live.
Do not fear the times.