I have to stop reading so much news.
I wake up in the morning and the first thing I do is grab my tablet, go through my daily Bible reading, and then go down the list of my usual news and information websites.
Sometimes I’m intrigued or fascinated by what I read. Sometimes I’m infuriated. Sometimes I shake my head in amazement at the corrupt machinations of humanity. Sometimes I relish the reprieve of a genuinely delightful human-interest story. It restoreth my soul, as Psalm 23 says.
Lately, though, a subtle distress has been creeping over me.
I like to synthesize and process the news and current events into a big picture format in my mind. I look for trends, common themes, and connecting points that help me see, if possible, where we’re at in God’s prophetic timeline.
It’s a thing with me.
What I’ve seen lately is remarkable! For the first time, Israel is signing positive agreements with nations that have historically ignored, opposed, and even warred with the Jewish nation. This development was so sudden and unusual that some have suggested the Messianic Age is upon us. It could be.
But I also see such darkness rising around the world. Nations are facing off with each other militarily. China versus India, NATO versus Russia, Turkey versus Greece, and Egypt and the Kurds and Syrian rebels, and so on and so on. Financial “wizards” are forecasting devastating world-wide financial crashes. Antisemitism is growing and Christian persecution and martyrdom are rising close to biblical levels.
Even here in the United States, we see cities roiled by riots, accusations and disparaging names flying like shrapnel in battle over social media and the press, and political discourse reduced to cheap lies, smears, and innuendos.
All around us the sea of humanity is raging under the hurricane of a foul spirit. And like it or not, this could also be a sign of the approaching Messianic Age.
Speaking of an approaching Messianic Age, my Tuesday evening Bible study class just finished the book of Daniel. It’s a remarkable book!
It tells of an exile from Judah named Daniel and his life during the Babylonian and Medo-Persian empires. It also records Daniel’s prophetic visions of huge waves of empires roaring across the ocean of humanity from Babylon to the very End. Then suddenly at the End of Days, a final epic wave of an empire rises then crashes on the shore of God’s kingdom as the world transitions from human hegemony back to God’s rule on earth, the Messianic Age.
Pretty vivid stuff!
Throughout the class, my brave students hung on desperately as the deluge of information – biblical, contextual, historical, and prophetic – almost drowned them, but thankfully they survived.
However, what they saw on the prophetic side was not a pretty picture. They saw the sea of humanity rising and falling with the tsunamis of successive human empires. Each empire rose and fell, with none being able to sustain its heights forever. In fact, Babylon fell in one night as the Medo-Persians found a way under the famously gigantic walls of the city.
At this point, let me ask you a question. Do you think the United States is invincible and impregnable? Fat chance. The barbarians are already well within the gates!
So back to the class. What my students studied in Daniel seems to show we’re reaching another nexus, a point where prophecies are connecting with the “now.” And this is what is creating that quiet distress in me. To be totally honest, if I dwell on world and national news I could easily give in to hopelessness. But I refuse to give in.
I refuse because there is a great lesson I’ve learned from Daniel that helps me deal with the news of the day.
God is sovereign.
Let the following words from King Nebuchadnezzar’s mouth sink into your ears, mind, and heart.
“The king said to Daniel, ‘Your God is indeed God of gods, Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, since you were able to reveal this mystery.’” (Daniel 2:47 CSB)
“For there is no other god who is able to deliver like this.” (Daniel 3:29b)
And finally, “Then I praised the Most High and honored and glorified him who lives forever: For his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are counted as nothing, and he does what he wants with the army of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. There is no one who can block his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’” (Daniel 4:34-35).
According to Nebuchadnezzar, God is sovereign over all gods and kings because He reveals what can’t be known, He delivers in ways that can’t be done, and He does whatever He wants.
He is the all-knowing, all-powerful, unstoppable Sovereign of all realms, supernatural and natural.
And my quiet distress lifts.
Because no matter what screams at me from my tablet during my morning news review, my understanding of God – Who He is and what He can do as the Sovereign God – reassures me that I am in good, strong, caring, wonderfully loving hands! And so is my wife. And so are all who call on His name.
In that moment when we call out to Him the “God of gods and Lord of kings” enters our life and sets up an impenetrable perimeter of sovereign, divine protection and preservation around us (1 Peter 1:5) so that no matter what goes on in the world, even that which brings death, can’t override His sovereign will and power to preserve us unto eternal life with Him.
Take heart, my friend! The turmoil of this world will pass away. We’ll eventually hit that singular prophesied nexus where the last wave of human dominion crashes into God’s kingdom arriving on earth.
And the Sovereign God, who was there from the beginning and is here with us now, will carry us through the End into a new beginning forever.
Distress, be gone!
Pastor Jay Christianson
The Truth Barista, Frothy Thoughts