John Barnett Discover the Book Daily Devotional
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Discover the Book - May 28, 2008

  • 2008 May 28

Troublesome Times Are Here


And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” Revelation 1:17-18, emphasis added


While on Patmos, John felt Christ’s comforting touch, which is exactly what Jesus offers to each of us. At the end of His ministry, He promised to be with us always, even to the very end of days. Since we may be living in those actual days right now, we need to feel His calming presence—His comforting touch that removes all fear.


There are fearful times coming to this planet, but if you compare our American news with that of the national papers of the industrialized nations of the world, you can easily see that our news lacks foresight and discernment. Why is that? News reporters in other nations look at the entire world while we Americans usually focus on ourselves. Unless the news is of a catastrophic nature, like the 2004 Tsunami, our major American news sources do not generally report on global events other than the usual happenings in the Middle East. But sticking one’s head in the sand when it comes to discerning the signs of the times globally will not hold back God’s ultimate plan for mankind. All the events He has foretold in His Word will happen exactly as predicted, and precisely on schedule.


Every time something that was predicted in Luke 21 happens, Jesus said it should cause us to lift up our heads. Actually, the Greek words mean “to turn your body; to cause your whole body to focus upward.” Jesus said that we are headed toward such trying days that people will “expire” due to fear of things to come: “… Men’s hearts [will be] failing them from fear … of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:26, emphasis added).


I love the color of the Greek language! In verse 26, the Greek word apopsucho means that their “breath or soul pops out” or “expires” because of complete fear. Isn’t that a graphic word? It is not that some fearful disaster happens, and then people react by becoming afraid. No, they see it coming toward them and just die at the very thought of what is going to happen. Jesus is not referring to just the elderly, or a person who already has a bad heart. He is talking about healthy people who see the Tribulation events coming—and it literally scares them to death!


The overwhelming tribulations on the horizon will cause a “panic attack” in many healthy humans who will then expire in fear. Events like the scientific arena’s flurry of concern over the solar explosion on October 28, 2003 (reported only in overseas papers) are but a small taste of things to come.


For seven days, scientists all over the world were glued to their seats watching the space weather. Then, that Tuesday, they sat up in their chairs, rubbed their eyes, and started to sweat because of anticipation of what might happen. They watched the sun bulge, the buildup of the energy, and then saw the sun explode a cloud of superheated gas equivalent to a million hydrogen bombs! It all exploded at once in one small area, then went out from the surface of the sun, and headed across the solar system away from the earth.


That explosion was the greatest solar event ever measured. It was so big that scientists didn’t have descriptions that could explain its magnitude. And they didn’t even get to see the fullness of the explosion because, as the sun turned, it just floated off in the opposite direction—almost as if the Lord did not want it to be seen!


God is in control. What a wonderful comfort to know that our Creator is in charge of the entire universe! Not even a tiny sparrow falls to the ground apart from the Father’s will (Matthew 10:29b). If it were possible for any person or thing to possess even a tiny modicum of power greater than God’s, then He would cease to be our sovereign King of Kings and Lord of Lords! So rejoice in the fact that all authority has been given to Jesus in heaven and on earth, and in Him we live and move and have our being (Matthew 28:20; Acts 17:28)!


We need never fear because God is in absolute control—not only of the past and present, but also of the future!


My Prayer for You This Week: Father in heaven, this is Your message: we are to have a Word-filled life in fearful times. We are not to fear terrorists, bioterrorism, economic terrorism, cancer, stalkers, somebody in the dark around our house, the future, a new job, or whatever it is. I pray that we would see that Your prescription for not fearing is meditation—a Word-filled life. For when we meditate, we know that You are with us always to the end. So help us to have a Word-filled life even in fearful times. Help us to truly understand and grab hold of that reality! In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


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