By Mike Taylor
Do you have joy in your
life? Do you have a joy unspeakable and full of glory? I look around me
and see church members who are depressed about the situation in our
world here at home and abroad. We in the church are concerned about our
country and the path our leaders have taken us, and know judgment could
be just over the horizon. But I’m reminded of the good Boy Scouts and
their motto, "Be prepared." Disaster, either natural or man-made, can
occur at any moment. A good Boy Scout--or, more importantly, an awake
Christian—prepares for the unexpected, the natural disaster, or yes,
even a terrorist attack. But should we be anxious, looking over our
shoulders for impending disaster and wringing our hands in worrisome
fretting over the end of all things? Should we be obsessed with thoughts
of the end of the world? I think not.
I have held onto the promises of Psalm 91 since I was a boy. Whenever
danger has been about, I have always read and claimed the promises in
this inspiring passage written by King David so long ago. And in this
psalm asking the protection of Almighty God, there’s a catch, per se:
The verse states that we have to stay right up close to God to be
assured of His protection against the everyday challenges that come our
way. We can’t try to serve our Lord haphazardly. If we are diligently
serving Him and being ever watchful, then we’re promised we have nothing
to fear. God is in charge and is watching over each person who is
diligently trying to serve Him in faith and who is watching for the
blessed hope--the soon return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I get excited about the signs of the times that are all around us. As
one of the “children of the day” who is “not blinded by being in
darkness,” I know that the Rapture could be close--even right at the
door. So I fear not, and neither should you. We should be longing for
the blessed promises that God made for His children.
I just love the words the Holy Spirit prompted the apostle Paul to
record in the eighth chapter of his book to the Romans:
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the
children of God And if children, then heirs; and joint-heirs with
Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified
together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not
worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us”
Yes, we have aches, pains, financial problems and loved ones who die
sooner than we expect. Sometimes, the cares of this life weigh us down.
But we are given a glorious promise as we read on in this passage:
“For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the
manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to
vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same
in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the
bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain
together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have
the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves,
waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are
saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth,
why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we
with patience wait for it” (Romans 8:19-25).
Notice how Paul lays the foundation by turning our attention to our
hope. He reminds us that God purposefully made life subject to futility.
Futility is a frustrating quality that wears away at one’s confidence.
It can produce a sense of hopelessness that leads to us to think that
nothing will work out. Sometimes our pilgrimage seems so long and
arduous that we take our eyes from our Savior. Hopelessness builds.
However, Paul reminds us that God does everything in love and wisdom,
and for our good. He uses the futility we perceive, and allows it to
point us to Him as the source of our strength. This builds our faith in
spite of our circumstances.
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what
we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh
intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that
searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he
maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we
know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to
them who are called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow,
he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that
he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:26).
We have been called. We have been chosen to be conformed to the image of
our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord, through the will of the
Father. Again, “All things work together for good to them that love God,
to them who are called according His purpose.” Repeat that when troubles
come your way and it will increase your faith.
Now let’s contemplate just for a moment the implication of a verse we
quoted. “We are heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ” (verse 17).
What a glorious promise!!! What He is and what is His will be ours as
well. We will be like Him in Spirit and in relationships to family
fortunes. Whatever belongs to the Son, we will be given a portion of
that inheritance. That is mind-boggling! We will be kings and priests
who will rule over portions of this universe and who will do whatever
pleases the Father. We will have unlimited access to His throne room and
audience with our Him and our Savior Jesus Christ. We will be in the
same family, as adopted sons and daughters of the Ruler of the entire
universe, We will live forever, even as they live. Now that should get
To end the eighth chapter of Romans, Paul gives us another promise that
cannot be broken:
“Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he
called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also
glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who
can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up
for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that
justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea
rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who
also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of
Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or
nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are
killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that
loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels,
nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate
us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans
Nothing can come between us and our eternal home. Nothing in this life,
and nothing in this mixed-up world that we see self destructing can take
away that promise. All He asks for is our love, our unwavering faith in
Him, our obedience, and our willingness to put Him first, ahead of
everything else. He gave us a way….the only way.
Now turn to John 14:
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have
told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a
place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that
where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way
ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest;
and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John
Even as we speak, Jesus, our Savior and soon-coming King, is preparing a
place for us. Where? In His Father’s house. When? Right now. His
Father’s house is somewhere out there in the place some call heaven.
It’s where the Father and Son are right now. What will that mean, and
how will it be accomplished? I have believed in the Rapture all my life
and still do. The timing is what gets people all in an uproar. But from
Scripture, we know that He is close, very close—even right at the door.
When it comes right down to it, brethren, the timing doesn’t
matter--even though I believe in a Pretrib Rapture. What matters is just
that we get there. And how do we get there? Jesus gives the answer in
John 6:28-29: “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might
work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the
work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
We get there by believing in faith and following the commands of the one
God sent to die for our sins.
1 Peter chapter 1 states:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according
to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance
incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in
heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto
salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.v6 Wherein ye greatly
rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness
through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much
more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire,
might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of
Jesus Christ. Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see
him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of
glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your
souls” (1 Peter 3-9).
That is our destiny; that is our goal. That is why we were born. That is
why we struggle with daily living, and that is why, as Christians, we
will win—to the glory of the Father.
In these times of uncertainty, we should be in glorious expectation,
waiting for the blessed hope, that hope that is in Jesus Christ our
Lord. We must be prepared, be good stewards of the talents He has given
us, use His Word to reach others, and do the will of the Father by
striving to become the image of His Son. We must put on the “whole armor
of God,” as Ephesians 6:13-17 admonishes us to do:
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to
withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand
therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the
breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of
the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye
shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the
helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of
Do you know this Jesus? Are you expecting His soon return? Have you made
that the most important part of your life? Have you asked Him to come
into your heart and cleanse you from all unrighteousness? He said “I am
the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the Father, but by
Me” (John 14:6). Do you believe Him? Is the Holy Spirit calling you
right now? Pray these simple words with heartfelt conviction” “Lord, I
ask you to come into my heart. Cleanse me from my sins. I believe that
you lived and died on a cruel cross for my sins. I believe you rose from
the dead on the third day after you were buried, and that you live and
sit now at the right hand of God the Father. Soon you will come back,
and I want to go with you onto glory. In Jesus’ name, I confess my wish
to be saved. Amen.”
May God bless you and keep you. Remember, Paul said in Philippians 4:13,
“ I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.“ Let us go
on with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”