God’s Promises for the End-Times
One of the challenges that we, the people of God, face is keeping our minds focused upon God. We are facing so many distractions, so many threats. But while we must be aware of the devil’s schemes, we are not to be discouraged by them. While we are in the world, we are not to be of the world. We are to recognize the dangers, but we are not to be paralyzed by them. We are to discern the lies and errors of God’s enemy, but not allow the lies to become our focus.
When the children of Israel were on the border of the Promised Land, they received a report: Ten of their spies focused on the threats, the dangers, the obstacles, the opposition, the giants, the enemies in the land—but two focused on God, His promises, His power, His love, His desire for them, and how He had already worked mightily on their behalf. Ten focused on the obstacles and were afraid, while two, though aware of the threats, didn’t focus upon the dangers; instead, they focused upon God and were not afraid.
Hearing the report, the people had a choice: There were real dangers, real threats, real obstacles, but they also were being led by the one and only real Creator God. They had to choose: Upon what would they focus their minds? What would fill their hearts: the threats, dangers, obstacles—or faith, their trust and confidence in God and His promises?
God has given us many promises for our time to help us, encourage us, and to strengthen our faith at this critical time in human history.
If any of you don’t understand God’s methods, if any are confused in your thinking or lack wisdom, ask God—who doesn’t cast blame, but enthusiastically gives wisdom to all who ask—and it will be given to you. But when you ask, ask with the sure and confident knowledge that he longs to give you what you ask: do not waver back and forth in fear and uncertainty like a fishing bobber tossed about on ocean waves, for your fear will obstruct your ability to receive what he longs to give you. Those consumed by fear will not think they can receive anything from the Lord: they are unstable, controlled by emotions, and can’t make up their minds about anything (James 1:5–8 REM).
We need God’s wisdom, and God—who is the source of all truth, the builder of reality, the sustainer of life—longs to heal our minds, to remove the lies, misunderstandings, and confusion that prevent us from knowing Him and His methods. He wants us to understand. He wants us to comprehend. He wants us to discern reality. He wants us to recognize how sin breaks His design protocols for life and causes fear, which inflames our survival drives, the selfish desire to protect and exalt self, and that it is this fear and selfishness that is the cause of pain, suffering, and death. He wants us to understand that He is the source of all goodness, life, healing, and happiness, that He longs to restore His law of love in us and to purge our fear, remove all selfishness, and to heal our hearts and minds, equipping us to live in harmony with His design laws for life.
God wants to free us from sin, free us from discouragement, and give us wisdom to see past the propaganda, the threats, and the dangers we face in this world. He wants us to see Him and discern what He is doing. He wants us to be like Elisha, who, when the enemy army surrounded the city, saw past the threat to the angel army that God had sent to protect them and said, “Don’t be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:16 NIV).
But the devil works to obstruct our view of God by inflaming fear—getting us to focus on the dangers, threats, obstacles (real or imagined), and to forget God, to forget that we are not alone, that we are never to face these dangers by ourselves. We are never to overcome in our own strength. Satan wants us to forget that we have a mighty Savior who has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
So right now, today, ask God for wisdom to discern and don’t allow fear to paralyze you; trust God and then apply the truth, the wisdom, the insights God will give you. In so doing, you will grow in wisdom, understanding, and faith, and God will give you even more. Just as learning basic math allows you to then learn algebra, and learning algebra allows you to then learn trigonometry, and so forth, so too, we will grow in godly wisdom only as we apply God’s wisdom and truth to our lives.
This wisdom includes learning to embrace and apply other promises, such as:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5, 6 NIV).
The devil shows us all kinds of threats, dangers, and worries. It seems that just like the spies coming back from Canaan, today there are ten reports highlighting the threats for every two that encourage us with God’s promises. Yes, the devil is real, the threats and dangers are real—but our God is also real and He promises us victory if we will trust Him with all our hearts!
This war, and its many battles, is not temporal—it is a war for your heart and mind. The devil seeks to inflame fear in you and me, because fear incites selfishness, concern for our own survival. And when we are afraid, we are tempted to take our eyes off Christ, to stop thinking, stop reasoning, and stop loving God and others. Fear incites the animal-like instinctual response to danger, and if the fear is not overcome by our faith in and love for Jesus, then just like the animals, we will freeze, run, or fight. And what have we seen over the past 18 months?
- Christians paralyzed by fear, closing their churches, stopping their ministries, canceling their seminars, conferences, and fellowships. Christians frozen in fear rather than boldly moving out in faith, in trust, in love and in truth.
- Christians running and hiding, isolating, and being discouraged rather than focusing on Jesus and advancing His kingdom of love by ministering to each other and refusing the fear-messaging.
- Christians embracing the weapons of the world and attacking their own members and employees with accusations, threats, mandate enforcement, termination from employment, coercion—all in order to make themselves feel safe, to protect their properties, business, and interests, rather than wielding the weapons of God and presenting the truth, rejecting the multitude of lies and propaganda, standing up for liberty, loving all people equally and refusing to violate God’s law in order to obey man’s.
Understand, Satan’s primary weapons are lies and threats that incite fear and undermine our faith in and our love for God and one another. But we must not focus on the threats, the dangers, and the worries that inflame our fears. We must focus on our Mighty God, for He has promised us:
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you (Isaiah 41:10–13 NIV).
Right now, today, we are on the border of the eternal Promised Land. We are on the verge of the complete fulfillment of God’s promise to Adam that Jesus would crush the serpent’s head, win the war, and return the universe back to peace, love, and eternal security. Jesus and all heaven are standing ready, eager to come and take us home. Jesus revealed these events to John:
Then I heard a powerful voice in heaven announce: “Now the Remedy that heals–and the power to apply it in order to advance God’s kingdom of love and exercise the authority of his Christ–has come, for the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them constantly before God, has been cast out of their hearts and minds. They overcame him by partaking of the Remedy–the perfect character of Christ the Lamb, symbolized by his blood–and by the evidence of their self-sacrificing lives, as they no longer loved their own selves so much as to shrink from death: they were healed to love just like Jesus. Therefore rejoice you who live in heaven, for the sacrifice of Jesus has exposed Satan as a liar and fraud, and confirmed God’s trustworthiness! But woe to the earth and to the sea of its inhabitants, as the devil–who has no beings left in the rest of the universe who will listen to him, and therefore is furious–has turned his entire focus on destroying you, because he knows his time is short!” (Revelation 12:10–12 REM).
Satan roars, but God pours His love into our hearts (Romans 5:5)—and “there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18 NIV). It is when we have partaken of Jesus, our precious Savior and Remedy, that we are filled with His love and fear loses its power over us.
Jesus wants us pure, cleansed, free from fear and selfishness, and restored to holiness. He wants us to be His witnesses, shining the beauty of heavenly love and truth into a world darkened by Satan’s propaganda and fear-messaging—but the only way this happens is for us to choose to trust Him instead of choosing to act in fear and seek to save ourselves.
Understand, when we face the dangers, the abuse, the injustice of this world—the accusations of the enemy, the rejection of our friends and family, the threats from our governments, the assaults of the wicked—and every earthly voice tells us it is right, necessary, and just to fight back, to retaliate, to use Satan’s methods to protect ourselves, to pass laws, mandates, and executive orders to force others to behave in ways that will make us feel “safe,” it is then that, instead of giving into the fear, we cling to Jesus, we surrender our lives to Him, we trust Him with all we hold dear, we apply His wisdom, and we live out His law, loving our enemies and praying for those who spitefully use and abuse us, so that we become “perfect,” mature, true, and genuine sons and daughters of our Father in heaven. Just as Jesus said:
You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. … Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:43–45, 48 NIV).
Yes, the threats and dangers are real, but the victory is ours for the taking. When faced with the fires, we win the battle by clinging to Jesus, receiving His love into our hearts, and remembering that we are not alone. Our Creator God loves us and has promised that He will never leave nor forsake us, that He “is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1 NIV).
I don’t know what dangers you will face, but I know that if you hold tight to Jesus, trusting in His promises, that you will be His witness, His beacon of heavenly light in a dark world. Cling to Jesus and you will be a modern-day Daniel, who faced lions and, by prayer and trust, was an agent for God to win the heart of a pagan king (Daniel 6:16–27). Or, when you cling to Jesus, you may be a modern-day Stephen, who while being stoned was not abandoned by God, but had heaven open to him; his face lit up like an angel and he saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55). And, despite the injustice of how he was treated, Stephen loved his enemies and prayed for those who stoned him—he was perfect just like his Father in heaven. And as God’s man, Stephen was a light of heavenly truth that penetrated the darkness of Pharisaism that was enshrouding Saul’s mind.
Jesus has promised:
Here I am! I stand at the door [of your heart] and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne (Revelation 3:20, 21 NIV).
I pray for this victory, for this love, to be like Jesus, to love my enemies and pray for those who would abuse me, to be a light of heavenly truth and love that will reach souls trapped in the darkness of this world’s fear and survival mechanisms. I know it is only by clinging to Jesus, by trusting Him, by remembering His promises, by remembering all He has revealed and done in the past, by keeping my eyes fixed on my Savior and knowing that no matter the threat, the danger, the fear, that I am not alone, that I will be able to stand.
This is my prayer. I encourage you to make this your prayer as well.