We need to be mindful not to get drawn into debates about the end of time and the return of Christ, but rather, to note that the things that are taking place around us are just but the beginning of birth pangs.
To those of us who already know that Jesus will return and are waiting upon Him, we are also called to engage in doing the work of the ministry. Both of these hold equal levels of importance. The former (waiting on Him) keeps us on our toes, the latter (engaging in ministry) keeps us in the place of fulfilling His work. Without the latter, we can end up being fatalistic and even hole ourselves up in isolation, holding nothing but despair disguised as “faithful perseverance”. Without the former, we can end up ministering with all our might but miss the bigger picture behind why we are doing what we are doing.
For some time now, we have heard of this group of individuals in the Bible called the Bereans (Acts 17:11). They studied the Scriptures and examined them (i.e. not blindly receiving the Word). We also read about another group called the sons of Issachar (1 Chronicles 12:32), who understood the times and knew what Israel had to do. These groups of people are the ones we should all aspire to become in our faith journey. This way, we can keep ourselves on point for the things of God, not swing to extremes, and remain wise and balanced in how we approach our day-to-day.
Knowing and Doing have to come hand-in-hand, as we aspire to live out our theology in a practical sense. It can understandably be depressing for those who are without hope, as they watch world events bring nations to their knees – COVID, and now, the possibility of a Third World War. But not those of us who know our God and how this will all end. It is with the end in mind – that He is victorious and will return for His church, that we will be in His presence, that He will wipe away every tear from every eye, and that He make all things new – that we now live with hope, with joy, with the abiding work of the Spirit in our lives, and with the abounding grace of God empowering us to fulfil His call.
Dear friend, let’s not forget that we are still in the “soon but not yet”, and whilst there is foreseeable doom and gloom around in the near future, we can still live out hope and point others to the One who gives life and light. So look up and look ahead, He is ever-present in your circumstance and never far. He will finish the work that He has begun in your life!