But understand this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, opposed to what is good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God. They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power. So avoid people like these.
God placed this study on my heart a few years ago, yet it wasn’t until the global spread of Covid and the worldwide shutdown that I knew that now was the time. Not only was Covid spreading around the world at an alarming rate, but so were fear, isolation, and depression. Each one ushering in death in their own, unique way.
As the virus spread, my heart began yearning for heaven with each passing day. Maybe you’ve felt that yearning, too.
Since 2020, it seems we’ve experienced one travesty after another, and, if you’re anything like me, there have been days when I have prayed, “Come, Lord Jesus, come. I don’t know how much more heartbreak and evil I can see. This world is too broken, too evil, and I can’t stand seeing innocent people, innocent children, hurt anymore. Please make it stop.”
Our days, for several reasons, are becoming more and more difficult. Society seems so self-absorbed that it is disheartening. What was once labeled as sinful is now celebrated as good, and the love people once had for God feels as though it is growing cold. I know it’s tempting to feel discouraged when we read 2 Timothy 3:1–5 because Paul describes our current culture so accurately.
So, how should we live in this tension of heartbreak for our world and our longing for heaven? Are we to spend our days barricaded in our homes, closed off from the world so that our hearts stop hurting? Or should we bravely engage this broken world and share why we have a never-ending hope and how they can, too?
We have a hope that is not dependent on anyone or anything other than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
As children of God, Jesus is our hope in this broken world. Each day we are given puts us one day closer to all this heartache coming to an end. But in the meantime, as we wait, we do not wait in vain. We have so much work to do with the time God has given us. Let’s not waste it worrying about the future and all the details we don’t know or can’t understand. Instead, let’s focus on what we do know: Jesus is coming back. We don’t know the day or the hour, but we know the time is near. The end-time “birth pains” are increasing and getting closer and closer. So, how do we respond and choose to live?
We choose to be brave.
We choose to keep our eyes focused on Jesus.
We choose to renew our minds with God’s Word.
We choose to encourage our sisters and brothers in these dark days to be lights that point to God.
We choose to get to work instead of hiding at home.
We choose to share the hope we have with others, the hope and reason we don’t have to fear the future.
We choose to have faith instead of fear.
We choose to actively pass our faith on to the next generation.
We choose to trust God.
Yes, these last days we find ourselves in are difficult, but we are not alone. God is with us. He promises to never leave us nor forsake us, and we know that God always keeps His promises. He is the ultimate Promise Keeper. But for now, we can take heart, encourage one another, and stay on mission. There is a world that needs to know that lasting hope can be found in our risen and returning Lord.
Love God Greatly,
Week 1 Challenge:
We know Jesus is coming back! Though we don’t know the exact day or time, we know each day we are given is one day closer to His return. Keeping that truth in mind this week, set aside time to pray for the salvation of any of your unsaved family and friends. Pray that God will use you in their lives to help them experience Him through you. Pray that God will open their hearts and minds to His saving grace and for their need of it. Pray for the Holy Spirit to move powerfully through you and for these friends and family members to respond to God’s free gift of salvation.
Week 1 Reading Plan
Week 1 Memory Verse
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