We live in tough times. As we move towards the final times, we know it will get harder. We can be sure we are moving in that direction by passages such as 2 Tim 3:1-5 “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God–having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them” Is this not true now?
Mat 24:7 – 13 tells us “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. … at that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other ….. because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved”
So it is understandable that sometimes it feels tough. But read Heb 10:39 “We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved” It is an interesting passage, sandwiched between two others. Before it goes one of the starkest warnings against backsliding (Heb 10:26-31), and after it goes the best catalogue of faith in scripture (Heb 11).
I felt the Holy Spirit encourage me that this is a test for us all. We are either moving in faith, and therefore moving forward, despite difficulties (and faith doesn’t become faith except in difficulties!), or we are allowing sin to drag us back.
The wonderful thing is that while none of us has the power to move forward, this means we have to rely on Jesus, and let His life be formed in us. This means trusting Him, and having real faith for real situations. When He begins to appear in our brokenness, then we begin to find real life. Surely this is what Paul meant in Col 3:3 “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God”