by Rev. Daniel Blair
What is your breaking point? As we fast approach the end of days many are being faced with that question. How much can I endure before I break down emotionally, slip into the abyss of faithlessness, and lose all hope? How much can I suffer before I experience the trauma of a psychological breakdown and a life of psychotropic drugs? How much can I lose before I breakout to a life of lawlessness and depravity of spirit? We should be deeply saddened and grieved in the spirit that many in our day have already reached their breaking point; not only the unbeliever but those who profess Jesus Christ as Lord. How did they get there? What caused the believer to reach a breaking point in his life? The simple answer is they don’t have God’s Word hidden in their heart; it has not become a part of their life. So when the storms of life come crashing in on the believer he has nothing to draw on to help him stand firm. For example, when depression deepens due to responding to life’s problems without drawing exclusively on godly counsel, namely the proper application of His Word, then the breaking point is inevitable. Or if he is overcome by all the bad news in the world without filtering it through the theological lenses of faith and hope then he too is destined to experience the breaking point. Or if he or his family suffers due to the many tragedies striking the planet in the form of natural disasters, plagues, pestilence, and lawlessness without a clear understanding of the value of trials and tribulations then he too will reach his breaking point.
Dear Christian we must take time to build a solid theological belief system which is our only hope for standing firm in our faith. The starting point in building a theological belief system believes categorically that God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (See II Peter 1:3-4). For we all have problems and they will increase in number and severity as we approach the end, therefore it is absolutely essential that we believe that God has an answer to all of our problems. Not only does He give comfort but He gives wisdom on how to respond correctly to each and every problem we face in this life. Although this is great news it takes a life time of prayerful study of the Bible and listening intently to the indwelling Holy Spirit. I have done just that in my new book: Stand Firm: Godly Counsel for the Last Days, which still must be appropriated into the life of each believer. Many Christians know the truth and can even quote the correct response to life’s problems from the Bible, but fall woefully short on application. They say application is the most difficult part, but with God all things are possible. Let me encourage you to respond to life’s problems correctly by using God’s Word as your guide.
As we look out on the horizon it is difficult to see good news. From a government that’s quickly losing its credibility by spying on their citizens, withholding the truth, and making questionable decisions on the world stage to the unfeigned talk of rebellion or a military coup we must refocus. As Christians we cannot get stuck in the mere of negative reporting, but we should look at the big picture. No matter what happens in this country or around the world our King is still the same. We are part of the unshakeable Kingdom that can never be moved. Our faith and hope is in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who one day will bring this world to a close and reward His faithful servants who stood the test by remaining faithful to Him alone in the midst of their greatest trials. Quite frankly, we cannot change the direction of this world that has been set on the path to destruction, but we can stand firm rescuing the perishing and actively building His Kingdom here on earth. As a fellow “watcher” in the affairs of men and the destruction coming upon the world, we must not lose focus by following world events, but we must constantly refocus on our eternal hope in Christ Jesus and working feverishly to build His Kingdom. Let us face the world with music in our heart from the old hymn: “My hope is built on nothing less, Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.”
Finally, we will suffer greatly as we approach the end, but it will help to understand the value of our trials and tribulations. James wrote, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (James 1:2-3). Consider it pure joy! How can we experience joy in trials, tribulations, persecution, and suffering? The joy comes from knowing that God uses it to strengthen our faith. A strong faith enables us to have a closer intimate relationship with God. It causes us to trust Him in every area of our life, becoming dependent upon Him for everything, thus experiencing the full measure of His love and grace. It gets better! Now a strong faith, which has gone through the fire, develops perseverance (patient endurance). And patient endurance will weather the storms of suffering and persecution making us mature, complete, and not lacking anything. It was Tertullian who famously declared, “That the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” The persecutions strengthened the faith of the early Christians, which in turn filled the church with mature and committed believers. Dear children, please don’t be counted among those who will reach their breaking point, but respond correctly to life’s problems by using God’s Holy Word, stay focused on Kingdom work rather than negative reporting, and stand firm in your faith allowing your trials and tribulation to develop patient endurance.
Copyright © 2013 Rev. Daniel W. Blair