The Trial That’s Coming (ATP)
My life has changed in many positive ways over the past few years, God has blessed me in so many ways and for the first time in a long time, maybe ever. I truly am enjoying and loving my life and have so much to look forward to. At the same time I see so much evidence that we are getting closer and closer to the end times and years of tribulation are coming and this makes me sad. The thought of tribulations coming to this world makes me sad and I know that when Jesus comes back we are going on to something better but I think part of me truly doesn’t understand or grasp how amazing this will be because now that I have just started to really love life I want to keep living here even longer, I know this is wrong thinking and the Bible says so specifically. This joy in life is new for me as I spent many many years in depression and anxiety. I often question my salvation which I know contributes to my wrong thinking and fear the day I meet God and judgement.
Revelation 3:10 (NKJV)
Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
What you are dealing with, in many ways, I have also dealt with. I would say that often, as people truly repent and now live a changed life, they also have these same exact thoughts. First of all, salvation is very simple. You can think of it like this, if you have a heart to be saved, believe in the Romans 10:9 instruction, then you are saved. All else is just working out details to make you a better Christian, but salvation itself is very simple. Now let’s focus on the rest of this question.
Loving life is a God thing. I often think about this natural world and am reminded that God created it. He made life and our existence one to be enjoyed and desired. Just think of John 10:10, that Jesus said He came to give us abundant life, a life full, and a life full of joy. But what of the impending tribulation? What of judgement on the earth? What of when the Bible speaks about times when men will despair of even life? Remember the above scripture of how He will keep us from that time but let’s look at some others too.
Here is an important scripture: Galatians 2:20. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Of course we know this verse when we are looking at consecrating ourselves, submitting to God’s plan. Let’s however look at it from another angle, “… the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” The first thing I ask myself here is, “What is it to live in faith?” Well, part of that can be answered in the very last part. “… who loved me and gave Himself for me.” The Word gives us a clue here to build our faith on.
Jesus didn’t die for you so that abundant life could be taken, but given. I encourage you to read John 10:10 and Romans 8:37-39. Romans tells us nothing can separate us from God’s love and we don’t just have victory but we are more than victorious. The tribulation to come cannot separate those who are truly God’s (which you are) from His love and therefore His abundant life. If it can’t separate us from His love then it can’t separate us from His life. The answer is back in Galatians, “the life I NOW live I live BY FAITH in (Him and what He promised). See how that works? When we read scripture in the light of other scripture, hope begins to grow!
The key is something every Christian needs to constantly ask themselves, “What I am living for?” Regardless of how one lives, this life too soon will be over. The amount of time we have is just not very long. As a Christian, it is important we live right and for the right things. Do we live for God, or for what God can give? Now, also being a person who came out of the depths of depression, I understand first hand where you are coming from. It feels great to live free from that darkness and I don’t want it to end! This is all the more reason we need to make Him our focus.
Jesus said there WILL be tribulation in this life that we WILL experience, but He also said to be of good cheer. What we learn is that if our joy is founded in anything other than Him, we are vulnerable. Whether in trial or times of abundance our joy needs to rest on Him. He is the only thing unchangeable. Part of that is knowing He always brings us through, keeps us from the worst, strengthens us in our weakness, then gives us the promise of victory every single time. The trap of depression is hopelessness and despair. Jesus and all that He is has now become our hope. In fact, He is what is promised. If then our hope for happiness is in anything else, we will lose it. Not because God will take it but because the enemy knows that mere human desire has no foundation. Remember Paul said, no other foundation (other than Jesus) can be laid.
Fear always tries to make us to feel as though what we have will be gone at any minute. The fact is, in this world that fear is based in absolute truth. However, we now have a new supernatural standard to live by which declares, God’s love protects, preserves, and prolongs me, therefore I always have reason to rejoice.
I encourage you, spend much time reflecting on God’s unending goodness. Spend time worshipping Him especially when you feel the anxiety and pressures of life. Do not fear a changing life, but rejoice in the one Who constantly refreshes life. Your life is indeed good and it will indeed continue to get even better. There will be opposition along the way but every opposition for the Christian in faith ends in His glory and victory. Embrace who He is and endeavor to live in His presence. It’s in that place that His life will be truly manifested in you!
Psalms 16:11 (NKJV)
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.