Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April 7, 2011

"You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains."  Matthew 14:6-8

I have known many pregnant women. They all have told me giving birth to a child is incredibly painful. Labor began with rather light and infrequent contractions but escalated to continual and intense pain until the child was delivered. When a child comes into the world the pain gets much worse before it gets better! But, if you want the joy of a child, you have to endure the terrible pain.

Just as there is no painless way to come into this world, there is no painless way to get out of it. You are born in pain and you will die in pain. If you live in fear of pain you will spend your days in anxiety. You must find a joy, a purpose and a power that makes the pain in your life worth the gains it adds to your life.

In the same way, most people I know want to go to Heaven. They look forward to a blissful eternity with Jesus and loved ones in the presence of God. But to get there, they have to die and no one is anxious to do that. Before it can get better it has to get worse.

So, Jesus, when answering the Disciples' questions regarding the end of time, He compared it to childbirth saying that times would get much worse before they get better again. According to the Master, things on earth during the end times, will get very painful before they finally get better due to the Lord's return. No one welcomes the pain or the persecution that must precede the second-coming, but if you want an eternity with Him that is what must happen.

What are you to do?

Turn to the Lord and trust the Lord in the time of your trouble just as King David did!

"The LORD is my light and my salvation— Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD. Hear my voice when I call, LORD; be merciful to me and answer me.  My heart says of you, “Seek his face! ”Your face, LORD, I will seek.  Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior. Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. Teach me your way, LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations. I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.  Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD."                  Psalm 27 

Things will get worse before they get better, but when you get through the temporary bad you will find the eternal good is worth it! In the meantime, discover that He is worth the pain!