A Time of Great Distress

We are living in a time of great distress. We should not be surprised. In Matthew chapter 24, Jesus was asked this question by his disciples, “What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus responded by giving them signs for which to watch. He said there will be wars, and rumors of wars, and famines and earthquakes in various places. He said, “All these are the beginning of birth pains.” He went on to describe a time of coming deception and wickedness. Then, in verse 21, Jesus said, “For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.” I personally don’t believe we have yet reached this point of unequaled distress. However, I do believe it is on the horizon.

Certainly, we are living in a time of great distress. All around the world we are witnessing events that are causing incredible suffering. Look no further than Afghanistan. Christians, women and children, and former Afghans who assisted the United States over the last twenty years, all wonder if they will be alive in the next few days.

In Luke 21:25, Jesus said, “On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.”  Do you see the truth of this verse? Right now, all around the world, nations are perplexed at the “roaring and tossing of the sea (the world).” Natural disasters are causing problems that have no solutions. The Middle East presents an unsolvable problem. Our national debt is now over $28 trillion and climbing. As the United States declines in power and prestige, China is becoming the major super power of the world. Russia is controlled by a ruthless dictator, as is Turkey, Belarus and many other countries. Iran is an on-going source of world-wide terrorism. The COVID-19 virus has morphed into a more contagious Delta virus. Politicians have no answers to these problems. Governments are literally perplexed and the people are in great anguish.

How about the stress that many families are facing? Many are being stretched to the limit as loved ones die, personal debt mounts and children rebel! Divorce is rampant. The issue of money is the number one factor pulling marriages apart. A friend of mine has struggled for years trying to secure a job. He was married with children. A few years ago, his wife told him that she had had enough. They are now divorced. What happened to ‘til death do us part?’ Alcoholism, drugs, depression and suicide are rampant in our country and around the world.

I could go on and on; however, I’m sure you’re getting the point. We are living in a time of unparalleled distress. With that said, let me add this warning and prediction. Things will only get worse as the end approaches. This is not some prediction by a modern-day prophet. I am not a fortune teller. I’m just going by the Word of God. “For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.”

So, let me ask you, how are you doing? Are you experiencing distress? Did you know there is a way of peace even in the midst of incredible suffering. It is known to believers as the peace of God. Paul writes about this peace in Philippians. Philippians 4:6-7 states, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” You must be in Christ Jesus to experience the peace of God. The peace of God comes only to those who have made peace with God. God’s judgment often comes to drive men and women to the cross. When people reject the grace of God, they usually must face His judgment. Again, God’s judgment is a tool He uses to drive us to the cross. It is only at the cross that peace with God can be made. Have you come to the cross? Are you experiencing incredible distress? Then, maybe you need to bow your knee before the One who died on the cross for you. Make peace with God so you can experience the peace of God. Amen!