A little boy was asked by his geography teacher about the shape of the world. He responded, "My daddy says it is in awful shape." In 2 Timothy 3:1, Paul stated, "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come." "Perilous" means "difficult, painful, hard times, times of stress."
Six Guidlines for Hard Times
The Bible gives us guidelines in times like these. Here are a few:
- REMEMBER THAT GOD IS WITH US. God has declared in Isaiah 41:10, "Fear not, for I am with you." A television announcer was interviewing a six-year-old girl and queried, "Do you know where God is?" The youngster's omniscient answer was prompt: "Do you know where He isn't?" Psalm 94:14, "The Lord will not abandon His people."
- MAKE PRAYER AND GOD'S WORD A REGULAR ACTIVITY. In Luke 18:1, we learn that if we do not pray, we will "lose heart." Hebrews 4:12 says the Word of God is "powerful." "Powerful" means "energizing." D. L. Moody testified, "I know the Bible is inspired because it inspires me."
- VALUE FRIENDS. At least 26 times in the New Testament, we find the expression "one another." A London newspaper offered a substantial cash prize to the one who gave the best answer to the question, "Which is the shortest way to London?" The answer that won the prize was, "The shortest way to London is 'good company'."
- DECIDE TO MAINTAIN A POSITIVE ATTITUDE. Studies suggest that only about 25 percent of the tendency toward optimism is carried in the genes, the rest is developed by the individual. Paul exhorted, "Whatever lthings are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of a good report...meditate on these things," Philippians 4:8.
- LIVE ONE DAY AT A TIME. Three times in Matthew 6:24 – 34, Christ, when addressing our material needs, stated, "Therefore, do not worry." Then, He promised that if we will seek first His kingdom, "all these things will be added to you," so, "do not worry about tomorrow."
- HAVE FAITH IN GOD. The Jews used the phrase "I AM," "Yahweh," as their way of identifying God throughout the Scriptures. "Yahweh" appears more than six thousand times in the Old Testament. It is the expression of the One who lives eternally, from everlasting to everlasting, without beginning or end. The One alone who does not change. Remember, "We may face situations beyond our reserves, but never beyond God's resources!"
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey, Florida