Cain, the first man born on earth, in a fit of rage lured his brother Abel into a field and then violently put him to death. What a beginning to the history of mankind. After that fateful day, there have been countless acts of violence, wars and evil of all kinds. Because of sin, our world has been in one conflict after another, ripping families apart and destroying all forms of relationships.
Each one of us has encountered evil at the hands of another person. Sometimes people we trusted and loved and sometimes from people we did not even know. The pain of life has taken its toll on people and it seems like the world, with all its pain, is about to burst.
Never in my life (61 plus years) have I seen a world so full of hate, evil and warfare (personal and political). But the Bible prophesies about this when Paul wrote in II Timothy 3:1-4,"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." I don't know about you, but this is a scary list of evil that is predicted to come. It feels like we are in these "days" as I write this. Another prophecy has come true.
Just think about what has happened to America since the pandemic. Obviously, people have become ill and some tragically died, there were riots in our streets, businesses burned down or boarded up because of the forced closures, horrible behavior and name calling from ALL SIDES of the political spectrum and sadly, the death of many churches and the decline of people's faith in Christ. Jesus put it this way in Matthew 24:10-12 concerning the last days, "At that time many will turn away from their faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold." Thankfully, Jesus also said in verse 13, "But he who stands firm to the end will be saved." Like never before, as the world gets worse, I want to stand firm to the end. If you're reading this letter, then that probably describes you as well.
Before we drown in the doom and gloom, let me encourage you with some words from Jesus. The disciples, like us possibly, were filled with grief and fear because Jesus just told them He was leaving them. But He did say, as recorded in John 14:1-3, Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." This is great news about our future, but what do we do in the meantime? Jesus knew His disciples would have to live on earth for a while before entering our Father's happiness and so He also told them to encourage them, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
Take heart my friends, no matter what is happening in our world today, Jesus has left us HIS PEACE.