Phil Fischer with Jesus Lives – a devotion on “Sanctified Sorrow”
Lately, I’ve been keenly aware of what lies ahead for everyone on planet earth. I see America imploding due to sin, hate, and violence.
The devil is trying his best to rip God out of our nation. Christians are being persecuted around the world. We need to be on our knees praying for the lost and taking advantage of every opportunity to share the Good News.
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with diverse lusts. Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 3:1-7 (KJV)
Every believer has the blessed hope of eternal life with Christ. The rapture will occur before the 7-year tribulation, so believers will thankfully escape the horrors to come. However, my heart aches for the lost. Although we are living in exciting biblical times, I am keenly aware of God’s prophetic warnings regarding what must happen before His second coming (Matthew 24).
“Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another, and there was given to him a great sword.” Revelation 6:4 (NKJV)
“So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.” Revelation 6:8 (NKJV)
Some days, I am weighed down with sorrow. It is a sanctified or sincere godly sorrow. Grief fills my heart for family members who have rejected Christ and live in sin, willfully seeking out ungodly pleasures. My heart breaks for every person chasing idols of money, sex, drugs, even social media. Anything that takes our attention from abiding in Christ is an idol. God must always come first.
Those who are not saved haven’t a clue as to what is around the corner. Just as in the days of Noah, there will be a sudden change and a fight to survive. Millions of people will disappear (rapture) and those left behind will have to endure violence, hunger, earthquakes, and cosmic disturbances.
“People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.” Luke 17:27 (NIV)
“I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.” Revelation 6:12-13 (NKJV)
“And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!’” Revelation 8:13 (NKJV)
What we are presently living through is nothing when compared to the seven-year tribulation. It is this knowledge that causes me to sorrow and prompts my prayers for the lost. God tells us to be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves. However, knowing what is to come is like a two-edged sword. On one side, the sharp blade alerts me to dangers within the present time. It cautions me to remain virtuous and alert, like the virgins with oil in their lamps waiting for their bridegroom. On the other side of the sword, there is blood to be had from the rebellions and defiant people left behind. Knowing that the tribulation they must endure could all be avoided simply by surrendering their hearts to Christ makes my spirit groan. It prompts me to look for more and more ways to share the Gospel.
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16 (NIV)
“For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; The more knowledge, the more grief.” Ecclesiastes 1:18
Pray for open doors and a willing heart to share with family members, co-workers, neighbors, and even the stranger in the grocery checkout line. Ask God to soften the hearts of non-believers so that they repent and turn to Jesus. May revival spread across America and a harvest of souls be given for the glory of God Almighty. Make the most of every opportunity.