Press On During Hard Times

Posted by Site Admin On 9:44 PM

by Samuel D. Geroy
   How jealous and awesome is our God. What a wonder that He impresses these in our hearts better when we pass through difficult times.  It seems we understand better and faster this way.  He is indeed a very wise God.

   Prophet Nahum lived during difficult times in 663-612 BC.  These times taught him that the LORD is slow to anger, plenteous in mercy (Nahum 1:3); is good and a stronghold in the day of trouble (1:7);  He sends the beautiful feet of him who brings good news (1:15, Romans 10:14-15).  The time of trouble is one of the best times to witness about the Lord, though because of witnessing many will be slain for the Work of God (Revelation 6:9-11).
   So we can continue our service during these perilous times (2 Timothy 3:1-5).  Like Timothy, who went with Paul during his second and third missionary journeys.  To him, Paul wrote his last letter of 2 Timothy where he gave a message fit for young people: "Let no man despise thy youth..." (1 Timothy 4:12).  Then for all of us he left the words: To fight the good fight of faith, finish the race and keep the face (2 Timothy 4:8) and endure as a good soldier of Christ (2 Timothy 2:11-13).  Then to be godly and contented with what we have (1 Timothy 6:6); fight the good fight of faith (6:12); give God all the honor and glory (6:15-16); know whom you believe and trust Him completely (2 Timothy 1:12); and endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus (2 Timothy 2:3).

   A great way to triumph during hard times is to sing songs of the Lord.  This is seen in the life and message of prophet Zephaniah who served during the reign of King Josiah in 646-609 BC.  He compared the distress during his time to the coming Great Day of the Lord.  He described it as the day of wrath, of trouble and distress;  day of devastation and desolation; the day of clouds and thick darkness; and day of trouble and alarm (Zephaniah 1:14-18).  After calling Israel to repentance (2:1-3:7) he prophesied that there will be a remnant of Israel (3:12-13); a day of restoration (3:17) and final regathering (3:18-20).  On that day, God Himself will rejoice over Israel with singing (3:17.)  The LORD Himself will sing for joy over the redemption of His people.
   This song in the night was also sang by Paul and Silas in the Philippian jail after they were beaten and put into stocks (acts 16).  While they were singing in the middle of the night, God sent a great earthquake that opened the prison doors and unlocked their chains.  The prison guard was shocked and fearing that the prisoners escaped, wanted to kill himself.  Then Paul said the famous verse that God used to win many souls to Christ through the ages, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thy house." (Acts 16:31)
   That singing by Paul and Silas looked forward to the singing of the redeemed who will be martyred for the Lord Jesus Christ in Revelation 5:13.
   All these thoughts guide Christians how to face the difficult future.  Habakkuk gave a hymn to guide us in this difficult future times.  "I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in God my Savior." Habakkuk 3:18
   Paul in his letter to the Philippians gives more light concerning this: "Being confident that what...the Lord begun...He will finish (it) until the day of Jesus Christ (1:6), because to "live is Christ and to die is gain" (1:21).  Live like a nobody as Jesus did (2:5) and we can do all things through the power and grace of the Lord Jesus (4:4).
   The terrible but fascinating future is beginning now through what is happening in Israel (Zechariah 14:14), the unpredictable and difficult weather conditions and the fanaticism (wickedness) of extremists (Romans 1:29-31, 2 Timothy 3:3, 2 John 7).
   As believers, we go on working in order to complete the end-time assignment (Matthew 28:20), and to finish what we started until the end.