Are you feeling tired or discouraged? Life has gotten more challenging for Christians in the West in recent years. While our brothers and sisters across the globe have long been dealing with pressures worse than we currently face, for most of us, persecution is new. Pastors in Canada are jailed simply for holding a church service. Churches in America are occasionally overrun with protesters.
The pressure to conform to society’s ideas of wrong and right or face ostracization is rampant. This is not the world in which most of us grew up. Having spent most of our lives at ease, the time has come when our faith is being put to the test. For some, hope seems lost. But take heart; this is not the end. Your reward is coming.
Jesus came so that we might have rest (Matthew 11:28-30). He does not lie (1 Samuel 15:29; Hebrews 6:17-18). If we hold fast to our faith in Him, that rest is assured. The afflictions we are going through now should serve as a reminder for us to look forward to what is coming. Life is not about what is here and now. All that is here is death. True life is found in eternity with our Savior. As Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 4:16-17, these light afflictions are working towards our eternal glory.
If you’re like me, that rest, that glory, cannot come soon enough. I’m ready. Honestly, I’ve seen enough. As long as we are here, though, we have work to do. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are. Every tribe and nation will bow before the Lord, so whoever you are, wherever you are, your mission is to tell everyone you meet about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Your life must reflect the glory of Jesus to those around you.
Every time you feel discouraged, remember your ultimate destination. Don’t focus on your current circumstances. Look forward to your eternity with Christ. Your best day here is nothing compared to any day in Heaven. All you see and feel is temporary (1 John 2:17). Be strong and courageous (Deuteronomy 31:6). This life is passing away. All that will remain is what you do for Jesus. Don’t fear what anyone in this world can do to you. The worst thing they can do is kill your body, but they cannot touch your soul, which is eternally secured in the hands of your Father (Matthew 10:28; John 10:27-29).
These days are not easy. None of us are above moments of weakness and discouragement. Rather than dwell in the moment’s misery, let it trigger you to get excited about the promises of Jesus. A new heaven and a new earth await us (Revelation 21:1). God will make everything you see new and perfect. No longer will you face pain, rejection, fear, or frustration. You will be reunited with your Creator, held fast in His love, and delivered from every anxiety.
The growing evil in this world means the return of Christ is nearing. I don’t know when, but Jesus is coming back. When He does, the struggle will be worth it. In an instant, He will transform your body and mind, and you will see Him as He is (1 John 3:2). You will never be discouraged again. Don’t let go of that picture. Don’t lose hope. Jesus is coming again, and He is coming for you and me.