The first few weeks of January are normally a very bleak time for many people. They suffer from a dramatic emotional slump because they experience such a letdown after the festive Christmas season. The lights are taken down and all the ´well-wishing´ has subsided. The gift giving has stopped and the well-intentioned New Year´s resolutions are rapidly going down the tubes.
This year in particular, due to the very tragic events and because of the countless loss of lives caused by the Tsunami in the Far East, it is even worse. People have become overwhelmed by events that are beyond their control. New Year´s Eve parties broke up well before midnight because hearts were just too heavy to celebrate while thousands were still unaccounted for in that region and the death-toll was rising by the hour. There was also the lingering memory of four hurricanes that recently ravaged Florida one after another leaving thousands homeless.
It is obvious that 2005 is headed in the same direction as three inches of snow falls on New Orleans and on the beaches of Galveston, Texas, which are unheard of events. Floods, blizzards and mud slides are ravaging many cities in California where they have received more rain in the past two weeks than they normally experience in an entire year. Twelve feet of snow has fallen on Lake Tahoe with five more feet expected. The week´s heavy rain and snow system also produced flooding along the Ohio river and has effected communities in West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, forcing residents to evacuate. The Philippines recently experienced the worst typhoon season on record with a ´Super-Typhoon´ in December killing more than 3,000 people. It has snowed for the very first time in history in the United Arab Emirates, which is classified as the ´hottest place on earth´ and which normally receives less than 120 millimeters of rain.
Even weather forecasters are calling what is happening ´Biblical Weather´. They are right on target because I believe, along with countless others that have read their bibles, that we are witnessing the ´Signs of the Times´ foretold in scripture -- earthquakes, wars, famines, death and strange happenings on planet earth. Luke chapter 21, verses 10 and 11 of the King James bible states, "Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines and pestilence and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven." Then verse 25 continues, "and there shall be signs in the sun and the moon and the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring."
If you didn´t know the final outcome this could seem like a very frightening period that is coming upon us and you might ask, ´Why would God allow all of this to happen?" We can find the answer again in scripture. This was NOT God´s plan for mankind. He created the Garden of Eden for us. It was man that destroyed it but man has been blaming God ever since. It is man that is threatening our very existence with nuclear weapons. The apocalyptic events have only been foreseen and foretold by God. He is not the author of them but He has given us a road map of where this planet is headed because He did not want to leave us unprepared for what is to come. Right after the forewarnings in that chapter of Luke, Jesus encourages us with these words, "and when those things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." The message is that He is returning to STOP the annihilation of His creation!
In the meantime, as natural disasters escalate, He promises to be right there with us in the midst of every storm as this magnificent promise in Psalm 46 states, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea ... the Lord of Hosts is with us." (KJV)
This is not a time to be despondent. If we have built our lives on the Kingdom that cannot be shaken we should not become distressed and overwhelmed as those who have no hope. If our eyes are fastened on eternity God will be able to make His kingdom known through us. So this is a time when the Church needs to rise up and prevail and press forward, pointing to the imminent return of Christ who is coming to rule and reign with Peace and Justice on the earth. So in actual fact, this is not the ´end of the world´ that is coming but a glorious new future for those who have put their hope and trust in Jesus Christ.
Copyright Donna Martonfi www.psalm40ministries.com