Stresses of life that sometimes seem to build every minute of every day assault us, depress us, bring about a sense of gloom—even doom, on occasion. This truth of the human condition seems to be a growing affliction as hourly news reports appear almost designed to cause feelings of hopelessness.
Just a quick scan on one day of our Rapture Ready news briefs, although necessary and invaluable in keeping us informed, makes us know that impending wickedness our way comes, as Shakespeare might put it. The world is preparing for war—and that possibility is quickly growing beyond being merely rumor, as Bible prophecy forewarns. Here a few such headlines that portend things that could break out into global warfare.
- Russian Gunboats Head to the Black Sea to Join Military Buildup Near Ukraine
- China in New Threat to Taiwan: “Island’s Military Won’t Stand a Chance”
- US Warships to Deploy in Black Sea until May 4
- Japan Lashes Out at China On Uyghurs, Hong Kong ahead of US Visit
- Iran Is Testing Nuclear-Capable Missiles, Israeli Ambassador Reveals
- 2 US Warships to Deploy Near Ukraine until May amid Russian Military Buildup
- German Chancellor Merkel Demands Putin Pull Back Troops from Flashpoint Border as War between Russia and Ukraine Seems Imminent
These were all posted on one day’s Rapture Ready News—Saturday, April 10, 2021. If we included the less prominent potential conflicts, we wouldn’t have enough space for making the points I wish to make with this commentary. Suffice it to say that just going through the many potential military confrontations Israel faces against its enemies on any given day would itself fill a commentary-length article.
We know, as believers in God’s Word, that it is only the Almighty’s staying hand that has prevented all-out nuclear war since nuclear weaponry came on the scene. Every weapon ever created has been used to make war. So has the atomic bomb, but not since Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. It has to be the God of Heaven who has prevented such horror.
Certainly, Bible prophecy indicates that nuclear weapons will at some point be used. The Tribulation era likely will see millions killed through use of such weaponry. China, which likely will be the leader of the “kings of the east” forces, will wipe out one-third of humanity. This implies nuclear warfare.
The last part of our title in this commentary—“life’s gloom”—fits this point. It is a time of gloom, thus depression, that we face with regard to possible warfare in our future. And considering all the other things confronting us or potentially confronting us in our daily lives, the gloom and depression just deepen.
COVID-19 has disrupted our lives like nothing in memory, even for my generation. We each have things in our lives—cancer, accidents, deaths of loved ones, prodigal children, unfaithful spouses, economic loss and many other depression-producing things—with which we must deal. Even when those who are without Christ in their lives, who have wealth, fame, and position, are seeming to have a great time of living it up, as they say, there come moments when severe depression sets in. The drugs, sex, illegitimate gain or ill-gotten wealth can’t provide the constant high on sinfulness to assuage coming down into the inner-darkness that the conscience tells one that he or she faces with regard to a bleak future.
So let’s look now at the first part of article’s title—“a joyous look.”
If I may give a personal example of the reason you can expect joy in the face of impending doom and gloom, maybe you can at least begin to understand. I, myself, do indeed understand how good my God is, and would like to just pass along the good news that is missing all too often in people’s lives today.
And the “good news” is all wrapped up in the “Good News”—that is, the news that Jesus Christ came to die on the cross at Calvary, was buried, and arose on the third day to take away your sins and mine. All who believe in Christ’s sacrifice in order to redeem (save) them from the consequences of sin can be assured not of gloom and doom, but of comfort and joy in this for all eternity. If we could just truly understand—all of Heaven’s riches belong to the believer!
When I learned at thirty-five years of age I would go totally blind due to a retinal disease, I was, to say the least, devastated. I had a young family with a child to raise. The gloom and doom was overwhelming. But it lasted only several days. Like Paul the apostle, I asked the Lord to take the disease—to restore my eyesight back to normal. I received no healing, no comfort. I then asked the Heavenly Father to take away all fear and anxiety that was so agonizing—remembering Paul’s answer from the Lord that God’s grace was sufficient. The healing was instantaneous. All fear was gone, and it never has raised its proverbial ugly head again.
When the total blindness came fifteen years later (a miracle in itself, as most victims of RP lose vision much more quickly) I had to push away from the computer screen and lament, “Lord you will have to do something if I’m to continue writing.”
Actually it wasn’t a demand, but a plea. Within several days I had my answer. My God-provided editor showed up on our doorstep after answering an ad for help because of my blindness. Angie is now my editor of going on twenty-nine years, I think, and is now, in the deepest reaches of my heart, my daughter. Together we have produced a number of books in our Lord’s service.
Joy again replaced gloom and doom.
Then, on Good Friday of 2011, I had the “widow-maker” heart attack. It came out of nowhere—not a hint of health problems.
I died clinically at least three times on the way to the heart cath lab, and was given a heavenly vision of three trips to somewhere on the periphery of Glory. My cardiologist, who took the case while I was in coronary ICU that Easter, told me just a few weeks ago that I was in superb condition for my age. It’s now ten years (and at least ten books later) after the type of heart attack that I was told 95 percent never survive.
Again, joy prevails over gloom.
But the most spectacularly wonderful thing for the believer in Jesus Christ to know concerns our eternal destiny. No matter how much wealth or good things of this life you accumulate or acquire—or, conversely, how much you lose or never gain—the joy that awaits you cannot be adequately imagined. The following from God’s Word should, if fully grasped in the deepest reaches of your spiritual understanding, take away all fear of troubles of this life, and give comfort straight from the supremely loving heart of our God.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. (Romans 8:14–19)