I am presently in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, in a cove surrounded by rocky, chaparral-clothed ridges, situated on a plateau forested by oaks and buckeyes, punctuated by boulders and arroyos. I am normally at profound peace in this place. I can breathe; I can rest; I am free from migraines; I am home.
I sat outside this morning enjoying a cup of coffee, listening to the sounds of deer, wild turkeys and blue jays, woodpeckers and titmice (after feeding them all), and hawks and ravens. The ever-present sound of the Kaweah River provides a welcome pink noise against which the soloes of the many creatures around me scintillate.
But even here, I can feel the ending of the age, a crushing sensation. The feeling of this age, the zeitgeist, the unstoppable demolition of everything on which the world has depended creeps over these mountains like a poisoned fog and invades every formerly-safe space. Everything here feels it, even the ground squirrels and the rocks in which they dwell. But people feel it the most, and those of us who “watch and pray” quake, travail and mourn even as we rejoice for the nearness of our Blessed Hope. This dynamic produces a tension within every believer, though, and that tension is both a blessing and a burden unique to our times. Sometimes it utterly breaks me.
Yesterday I reached a point where I had to completely detach from my studies of Bible prophecy, watching world events fulfilling it, and trying to manage the stress that all of these things inevitably produce in my mind and body. It simply became too much. I must admit to despair.
When I awoke early this morning, I turned that despair over to the Lord. There was simply no proceeding beyond that point without surrendering all of it to Him. I think that’s where He wanted me all along.
Several verses immediately came to mind:
2 Timothy 1:7: “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].”
Romans 8:15: “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, ‘Abba! Father!'”
Charles Spurgeon’s teaching on these passages  is wonderful: A certain bondage that brings us to Christ is a gift, but once we come to faith in Christ, there need be no fear; we can approach the Father with the boldness of favored sons and daughters.
Spurgeon calls us “the twice-born, the true aristocracy of God.” As we cry “Daddy!” from the depths of eternity that God has placed in our spirits, His power, love and composure flow anew, the fountains of living water that the Savior promised to those who believe. The Holy Spirit, the One Who keeps the spirit of antichrist in check through us, imparts only the power of God, the love of God, and a calm, balanced and controlled mind.
Boyd Dennis, a dear friend of mine and tireless minister of the Gospel in Nairobi, Kenya, once said, “When you come to the end of yourself, you find the beginning of Christ.” I’m coming to the end of myself more and more as time passes.
If the end of your “rope” has gone from the last yard to the last foot to the last inch and the last millimeter… God remains faithful, and our deliverance is at hand. Let go if you have to. God has got you firmly in His grip.
I will close this with some final words from Spurgeon:
Dear friend, dost thou believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? If so, all the privileges of an heir of God are thine…. If thou hast believed, thou art a child of God, and the Spirit of God sets his seal to thy adoption. Go in peace, and rejoice in the Lord for ever.
Nor fret, nor doubt, nor suffer slavish fear:
Thy spirit is released, thy path is clear.
Let praise fill up thy day, and evermore
Live thou to love, to copy, and adore.
Jeffrey Ady, PhD
Dr. Jeffrey Ady is a retired university professor and served as an ordained minister for 20 years.