WE ALL GO through different seasons in life. And since the pandemic, the season has been really different. But guess what? We don’t have to be concerned or afraid. God already told us in His Word that the last days would be difficult times (2 Tim. 3:1 NLT).
My parents went through difficult times during the Great Depression and World War II. During the war, there were all kinds of shortages, and a lot of items were rationed. They had to use rationing stamps to buy things like sugar, coffee, and even tires.
The COVID-19 pandemic was a very challenging time, and we also experienced shortages. But I remember thinking, “If my parents survived shortages, I can too.”
Living in the Last Days
As we approach the Lord’s return, God does not want us just to survive. He wants us to thrive. Daniel had a vision of what the last days would be like. God told him that many evil and corrupt things would happen, “but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits”
(Dan. 11:32). The definition of exploits is “bold or daring feats.”
The Amplified Classic says, “The people who know their God shall prove themselves strong and shall stand firm and do exploits [for God].” Daniel was telling us that in the midst of whatever may come our way, we must stand firm. What are we going to stand firm on? God’s Word. It never fails. But we can’t stand firm on His Word if we don’t know what it says.
Standing firm, obviously, is not going to be an easy thing to do. The exploits—the things God has prepared for us—are not going to be easy.
The Apostle Paul warned us about the last days.
2 TIMOTHY 3:1–5 (NLT)
1 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.
2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.
3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.
4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.
5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
Peter also gives us advice for the last days. He wrote, “The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers” (1 Peter 4:7 NLT). That verse in The Message Bible says, “Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer.”
To be forewarned is to be forearmed. None of what is happening today should surprise us. It should warn us. I grew up in a church, and the guest preachers talked about the last days, end-time prophecy, and 666. It was a warning to me. Even as a child, I knew I needed to stay close to God.
Following God’s Plan
Daniel told us that in the midst of these trying times, the people who know their God will be strong and do exploits. We have assignments, guys. God has things He wants each of us to do.
Jeremiah 1:5 in The Message Bible says, “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you.” God’s ultimate desire is for you to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. He has plans for you, but He also gave you a free will. Are you going to follow the plans God has for you? Or are you following your plans?
I’ve found out that when we follow the plans God has for us, He gives us the grace for them. I have endeavored to follow God’s plans all my life. Did I like all those plans? Absolutely not. Have I encountered situations in following those plans? More than I want to mention. But every time I encounter something and it looks like I’m going under instead of over, I remind God of His Word.
He said in Jeremiah 29:11 that His plans are “for good and not for disaster” (NLT). His plans are to give us a future and a hope. I like what God said in the following verses in The Message Bible.
JEREMIAH 29:13–14 (MSG)
13 “When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.
14 “Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.”
How badly do you want to follow the plan of God? Do you consult Him before you make decisions, or do you just decide for yourself? Do you consult Him before you buy a car, or do you just buy a car? Maybe that’s why you’re having trouble with your car. Maybe that’s why you didn’t get the right price. You didn’t consult with God.
Do you consult God before you buy a house? Are you sure that’s the right house you need? God knows the future. He knows what we need and what we don’t. Do you consult Him before changing jobs? Or do you just change jobs because you’ll get a hiring bonus? What does the future hold for you in that job? Is it really where God wants you?
After Ken and I were married, with every ministry position we took, our pay was cut in half. I told the Lord, “I thought we were supposed to multiply, but we’re dividing every time.” Yet He always provided. And had we not obeyed Him, we would not be where we are today. Were there hard times? Absolutely. But as we have followed God’s path for us, He has blessed us exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think.
Share this Post