“The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:17)
These are truly days when we need to have our faith strengthened, when we need to know God is with us and will never leave nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8). God intended for His righteous ones to live by faith. The phrase “the righteous shall live by faith’ is mentioned four times in the Bible (Hab. 2:4, Rom. 1:17, Gal.3:11, Heb. 10:38).
God’s word is more than enough. His word is from everlasting to everlasting and never changes. His word is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. His faithfulness continues through all generations; He established the earth, and it stands fast. (Psa. 119:89-90). People come and go, but the word of the Lord endures forever (1 Peter 1:24-25).
So how do we live in these challenging times? We live according to God’s word. One word from God can change a nation. What God has already promised He is able to complete it (1 Thess. 5:24). The Bible says, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Rom. 10:17).
We have a wonderful God whose ways are past finding out, and whose grace and power are limitless. We may not understand all that is happening in the world today, yet we can rest assured that God is sovereign having supreme authority, control, and power over all that has happened, is happening, and will happen in the future in accordance to His divine will. He rules over all the kingdoms of the nations. 2 Chron. 20:6, Isa. 40:23, Psa.115:3, Col. 1:17).
The Apostle Paul warned Timothy: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” (2 Tim. 3:1). The “last days” began officially at Pentecost when the prophecy of Joel 2:28-29 was fulfilled that the Lord would pour out His Spirit on everyone, and verified by Peter in his sermon recorded in Acts 2:14-21. This is what the Lord said He would do in the last days. Peter reaffirmed that the Lord Jesus “was revealed in these last times for your sake” (1 Peter 1:20). And, just so there could not be any doubt, the apostle John said simply, “Dear children, this is the last hour” (1 John 2:18). The “times” that will be perilous are “seasons” or “periods” that will characterize these “last days.”
Paul’s warning to Timothy was that these last days will be filled with “perilous times.” The Greek term translated “perilous” is chalepos. Its basic meaning is “hard to bear” or “troublesome.” Other Bible versions translate the term as “dangerous” or “difficult” times. Paul said that 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 such people (2 Tim. 3:2-5). We should think it no strange thing that we are seeing hard times and times of great difficulty such as political upheaval, great distress of nations, a rise in racial tensions, sexual abuse within the church, school and worship center shootings, etc.
Jesus said: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.” Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven (Luke 21:8-11).
Christians are saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9), and we walk in faith (2 Cor. 5:7). We are called to be witnesses to the nations. This is our opportunity to tell people about Jesus Christ. We don’t have to worry about how we will defend ourselves because the Holy Spirit will give us words and wisdom that none of our adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. (Luke 21:13-15).
Note: All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.