Recent headlines have trumpeted the horrors of fires raging in Western USA, floods and mudslides in China, and “strange” weather all over Europe. Drought, earthquakes, storms, health crises, and political upheaval on every continent have become so common they no longer make the headlines. The whole earth seems to be sitting atop a powder keg poised to explode at any moment.

What’s going on? It’s tempting to tell ourselves that, if we just “get on with life,” all the disasters will vanish. But what if God is trying to speak to us through these storms, fires, earthquakes, and wars? Are we surrounded by too much “noise” and “busy-ness” to see the big picture? Are we so busy trying to simply make it through one more day, that we aren’t listening to His voice?

Old and New Testament scriptures accurately describe the difficulties we face today. One scripture is found in the Gospel of Mark 13:8 (NKJV), "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows.”

That last sentence causes shivers to run up and down my spine! “These are the beginnings of sorrows!” (Emphasis added.) How can things get any worse than they already are?! As the end of the year approaches, is there any hope in the midst of all the unknowns we face today?

The last book in the Bible, Revelation, paints many overwhelming pictures. But it also talks about overcoming. Each of the seven letters to the seven churches close with the words “he who overcomes.” Revelation 2:26 (NKJV) promises, “And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power [authority] over the nations.”

How do we overcome? What “works” do we need to do “until the end?” The promise of “power over the nations” is wonderful… yet too mysterious for most of us to even begin to fathom.

There is a historical record in the Old Testament about a man named Job. Job lost everything: his children, his livestock, his wealth, and even his health. His wife was so distraught over their losses that she told him to “curse God and die.” Job replied, “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” (Job 2:9-10, NKJV) His reply revealed a heart fixed on humility and worship before God, no matter what.

That word, adversity, as seen in Job, characterizes the current tide of disaster roaring across the globe, and hints at what some have called “impending doomsday.” Keeping an attitude toward God like Job’s is challenging when each day guarantees new adversity. But keeping Job’s humble, worshipful attitude also becomes life-giving. Job overcame by honoring God in adversity.

In Revelation 2-3 the Lord Jesus tells us what to do to overcome. As we gaze out at fires, storms, wars, political upheaval, and our current worldwide health crisis, what are His instructions? He tells us to:

  • Repent
  • Get out of our comfort zone
  • Return to Him
  • Be faithful
  • Keep an alert eye out for Him
  • Do what we have been told to do
  • Hold fast to the faith
  • Receive God’s chastening and rebuke as an act of His love (“The Lord chastens those He loves.” Hebrews 12:6).

These instructions are pretty straightforward. Yet each requires heartfelt, zealous action. The pressures we face daily from outside are what actually produce that zeal in us.

His promises to us as we overcome are exciting. He promises us power (authority over the nations), a place in the throne room of heaven, secret manna to eat, and food from the Tree of Life! His promises stir my soul and keep me running.

How about you? Does the thought of seeing Him smile as He welcomes you into His presence lift your heart? Does it stagger your imagination to think that on that day, He will embrace you, then place into your hands those great and precious promises?

In light of Jesus, our awesome Hope, no matter what it takes, let us fix our eyes on Jesus, and keep running. We will overcome and find great peace – only through Jesus Christ – in the midst of every adversity!