Are You Ready? :: By Holly Spate

It is hard to imagine our world getting any crazier than it already is, but it seems each day tops the last, and things are happening at such a pace that it’s hard to keep up. With all that’s going on in our personal lives, in our cities, our country and the world, it can be so tempting to let our minds and hearts get both distracted and discouraged. It can be so easy to get negative and feel overwhelmed. It can be so easy to feel squeezed by stress and paralyzed by fear.

It’s within our human nature to react to what’s happening around us. It’s normal to have feelings and to respond to those feelings. However, as followers of Christ, Jesus made it clear that we are to live by faith, not by our feelings, as feelings can and will lead us astray. Feelings can fester deeper when we give in to them…when we allow ourselves to take our focus off of our Heavenly Father…leaving our faith behind. We desperately need to resist the urge to give in to our feelings and our fears. When tempted to fear, we should not look around but look up…to Him. We should run to Him. We desperately need to be close to Him, to trust Him, and to put our complete faith in Him, no matter what we see, feel, or experience in this life. Seeking Him alone will calm the fears and bring calm.

As we live out our days, and we see the chaos, the destruction, the darkness, we need to remember how desperately we need Him…how desperately all of humanity needs Him. John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Philippians 4:13 reminds us, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

If we abide in Him, if we press into Him, if we hold to His truths and the promises He made, we should not fear. 1 John 4:17-18 states, “This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

No matter what is going on in this world, no matter what evil ensues, we are told we can have peace and calm in His presence. No matter who sits in government, we can have assurance in knowing God sits on the throne. No matter how dim things seem to be or how dark things get in this world, we can know with certainty in our hearts that the Son still shines. In John 16:33, Jesus states, “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.”

Our Father is our shield, our hope, our joy, our Savior! He’s our SAVIOR! He came to save us…to rescue us. He is pure love. He is perfect. He is Omnipotent (all-powerful), Omniscient (all-knowing) and Omnipresent (all-present).

Thankfully, God did not leave us alone in this world to fend for ourselves. He has given the gift of a helper…the Holy Spirit.

He has also blessed us in so many other beautiful ways. He has given us the gift of the Bible, His holy Word. He has given us the ability to pray, which He states is powerful. He has given us His trustworthy promises. He has given us His armor.

Ephesians 6:10-18 states, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

He has given the gift of being joint heirs…sons and daughters of the King of Kings, the maker of heaven and earth. We have an amazing inheritance: “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Romans 8:17).

And, one day, we will have the gift of a new body and a new home. Each day we have now is a gift from Him, but we have been promised a bright future beyond all of our days in this present life. We have the blessed hope and the assurance in knowing He is returning for His own.

If you are living a life without Him, if He is not your Heavenly Father, if you have not accepted Him into your heart…come to Him today. He died for you. He loves you with a perfect, unconditional love. No matter what sins you’ve committed, He will forgive and wash you clean. He wants to be Lord of your life. Accepting Him into your life will be the greatest decision you will ever make…ever.

Romans 10:9-11 says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”

As the world rushes into chaos, you, as God’s child, can rush toward your Heavenly Father… pressing in ever closer to your Creator, the One who formed you, loves you and promises to never leave or forsake you. Run to your Father’s arms…it is there you will find rest, comfort, assurance, protection and peace.

Remember, as the world grows darker, the Son still shines. As the world grows more evil, the Son still reigns. As God’s child, you are in the BEST hands possible.

As we see and experience the birth pains and groaning of the earth increasing, we see more clearly that the day is fast approaching when we will soon meet Him in the clouds. One day (maybe very soon), the day will arrive when He will call us home.

Imagine what a glorious day that will be… a day when we stand in the presence of our Creator, our Savior, our King! A day that will be the end of this life and the beginning of a bright, beautiful new life for all eternity.

Are you looking to Him?

Have you accepted the gift of His salvation?

Are You Ready?