The date is July 16, 2021
I’m noting that because of the current events I’m about to reference. As a News Hound, I like to keep informed about what’s going on in the world. I guess it comes from my childhood.
My childhood/teenage years were spent growing up in a lakeside home and observing how the wind affected the surface of the water. We lived on the south side of the lake. When the wind blew from the south, the water was like glass. But when I visited a friend on the north side of the lake on the same day, the waves were crazy-large. But when the wind swung around from the north, we on the south side “enjoyed” the tossing of the waves.
I never knew how dangerous waves could become until I went fishing with a friend on Leech Lake. Here’s a tip. The larger the lake, the higher the waves. The higher the wind, the much higher the waves.
Here’s another tip. Don’t go fishing with a single-minded, laser-focused fisherman determined to get walleyes. Don’t get me wrong. Walleyes are mighty tasty, but not worth swamping a boat and losing your life!
When my friend launched out from shore on that ugly grey day, there was a strong wind rising. By the time we were out in the middle of the lake on our way to the “sweet spot” where walleyes the size of Moby Dick could be snared, the waves were four freaking feet high! That’s three feet higher than anything I ever saw growing up!
We had to blast forward into the waves to keep the boat from getting swamped from the side and going down. My single-minded fisher-friend was maniacally laughing as he plowed the nose of the boat into each successive, demonically-energized wave. Each swell would crash into the boat’s nose, fly up over the driver, and whomp down on poor, pitiful me and my more reasonable fishing buddy, Mark. There we were – two miserably soaked idiots pounding through the surf in a galvanized washtub with a tornado strapped on the rear and driven by a psychopath.
Yeah. I’m kinda tuned into the weather, wind, and waves thing.
That’s why I read the news.
Events around the world are waves set off by the winds of life. There are economic, cultural, political, and yes, spiritual winds that can whip up entire nations into a froth. The Bible even talks about the turmoil of nations as waves.
You silence the roar of the seas, the roar of their waves, and the tumult of the nations (Psalm 65:7). Literary tip: Hebrew often uses parallels to equate and describe its subject. “The roar of the seas” = “the roar of their waves” = “the tumult of nations.” Got it? Going on.
Therefore this is what the Lord God says: See, I am against you, Tyre! I will raise up many nations against you, just as the sea raises its waves (Ezekiel 26:3) God says He will stir things up and the nations are going to break like waves over Tyre. Reminds me of being in a boat on Leech Lake as in “We’re all gonna die!”
The Lord will pass through the sea of distress and strike the waves of the sea; all the depths of the Nile will dry up. The pride of Assyria will be brought down, and the scepter of Egypt will come to an end (Zechariah 10:11) This is the reverse. God is going to forcibly quash Assyria and Egypt’s threat against Israel. The point? God is in control.
So what’s going on today?
· The Taliban have retaken 85% of Afghanistan just a few weeks after the U.S. withdrawal.
· There are huge demonstrations in Cuba demanding the Communist regime’s ouster.
· China is on India’s border with 10s of thousands of troops. China is also threatening Taiwan and Japan as Japan rattles China’s cage.
· Crime and gun violence are surging in our nation.
· And in the last few days South African society is disintegrating. Huge riots and inter-racial battles are continuing. Entire shopping malls have been looted and torched. No police, no firefighter response. The black South Africans are threatening to wipe out the White and Indian populous. Food and energy production has come to a standstill as people group rises against people group.
Sound vaguely familiar?
For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom… (Matthew 24:7). Please note that “nation” is the Greek word, ethnos, meaning “people group” as in “ethnic.”
What will come of all this? Who knows? But it sure seems like things are falling apart. But then I think of my grandfather who lived through WWI, the global Spanish Flu (he lost a sister to it), and WWII.
We just think we’re experiencing the crashing waves of nations in distress. Shoot, our current events can’t hold a candle to the last two generations! The early to mid-1900s were tsunamis compared to today.
If we’re afraid now (childhood lake ripples), what level of fear do you think the past two generations endured (Leech Lake “demonic”-type waves).
But there is coming a time when the whole world will be thrown into turmoil as the End Time winds whip up people group against people group and nation against nation into a vicious, heaving froth.
Jesus says it will be a time the likes of which human history has never seen. Compared to the documented history of WWI and WWII, I can’t even imagine!
“Can I get off the boat now while we’re still near the shore?”
Not only will humanity be in upheaval, but so will the heavens be, both physical and spiritual. Check this out:
Then there will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and there will be anguish on the earth among nations bewildered by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and expectation of the things that are coming on the world, because the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, stand up and lift your heads, because your redemption is near” (Luke 21:25-28).
Do you think the world has seen turmoil? Let me point out a few things that are coming at the End:
· Astronomical signs will splash across the sky.
· Anguish, distress of mind, and anxiety will wash over the people groups of the world due to perplexity, doubt, and being at a total loss with how to address the turbulence between the nations.
· People will pass out from fear because of what’s happening and what they think will happen. Why? Because the “powers of the heavens” will be shaken. The powers of heaven is a biblical term for controlling powers (beings) in the spiritual dimension.
So what is the “wind” that will cause signs in space, distress on earth, and quaking in the spiritual realm?
The Son of Man’s return. Yeah, we’re talking about Jesus.
The fact that He uses the title, “Son of Man,” means He’s referring to His role as God’s Judge who will right all wrongs and prepare the physical and spiritual worlds for His reign when He switches His role from Judge to King.
How do we handle this awesome, mind-blowing transition? Jesus reveals two reactions. Reaction #1? Fear (v. 26). Reaction #2? Faith (v. 28).
That’s it. Plain and simple.
As we get closer to Jesus’ return (if it happens in our lifetimes), especially when we see the clear signs of it (see Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21), the waves of global turmoil will turn into hyper-swells. There will only be those two reactions: waves of fear or waves of faith.
But there is hope and practical lessons in all of this.
First, you can’t say we weren’t warned (Matthew 24:25 in context, 1 Thessalonians 5:4).
Second, Jesus says those who hang in there will be saved (Matthew 24:13, 22).
Third, He is with us always via His Spirit in us (John 14:17).
Fourth, our heavenly Father uses such things to perfect us (James 1:2-4).
And finally, difficult times are good for drawing close to the Lord (Psalm 107:23-32, a must-read).
A word of caution? Don’t freak out if times get really crazy, even to the level of what the two past generations saw. Many were convinced Hitler was the Antichrist. We know now that he wasn’t, although he was certainly working under a demonic, Antichrist-type influence.
But if those tumultuous times (circumstances) line up with Bible prophecy (God’s Written Word) and it’s confirmed by the Spirit in us (God’s Living Word), then we’ll know the difficult times will mark Jesus drawing close to us, …because your redemption is near (Luke 21:28).
Regardless of whether it’s the End or not, when the “waves” roar and threaten to “swamp your boat,” don’t choose reaction #1, fear. No good will come of that. Choose reaction #2. Stand up (in trust) and lift your heads (with trust), because your redemption is near.
If you’re a Jesus-follower, bobbing in an ocean of trouble right now, look up! Your Redeemer, your Rescuer, your Friend, and Ever-Present Help in Times of Trouble is with you! He is mighty to save, The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).
If you’re not a committed follower of Jesus, now is the moment to settle things with Him. Call out to Jesus. Surrender yourself to Him and His care. Confess your shortcomings and outright rebellion against God. Commit yourself to follow Jesus. Ask Him to fill you with His Spirit and then fellow believers who are hungry to learn God’s Word to help you start working on your relationship with the Lord.
Then when the waves of life come, small and great, or the End Time tsunami appears on the horizon, rather than look down in waves of fear, you’ll look up in waves of faith.
Pastor Jay Christianson
The Truth Barista, Frothy Thoughts
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