And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near. Luke 21:25-28 (bold mine)
Jesus spoke these words in response to a question from His disciples about the signs of the end times. And one of the signs Jesus foretold was “on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity”. The word “perplexity” means there are no answers. What is happening in the world right now is an exact fulfillment of Jesus’ words. The entire world is under incredible financial and emotional distress and there are no answers.
Experts are saying it will be at least one year to eighteen months before there will be a vaccine for the COVID19 flu. This means if we can economically survive what is happening right now, we will probably have to do it again in the next flu season.
I’ve already written about what the prophets are saying concerning the coronavirus and we as believers have a different perspective and much hope.
But imagine for a minute that you didn’t know the Lord and you had no idea what Bible prophecy was. This is a terrifying situation for a lot of people. Mental health experts are predicting that many people will be psychologically damaged by the long term stress of this event. But consider the following promise the Lord makes to those of us who will trust Him:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (bold mine)
In this verse, the apostle Paul begins by telling us not to be anxious about anything. Did you know that is possible? Many people act as though anxiety is a condition they have no power over. No, anxiety isn’t a condition - it is a choice. When we choose not to pray and trust God with our lives, we have chosen to be anxious. The formula is very simple, you are either going to pray or you are going to worry.
Paul then tells us that in everything we are to pray, with a spirit of thanksgiving. This means two things. First, we are to pray and be thankful to the Lord for all of the things He has already done for us. But it also means we should pray with an attitude of gratefulness that we have a loving Daddy who hears our prayers and always takes care of us. We are His grateful children! We have the perfect Father who owns everything, controls everything, is more powerful than any force that could ever come against us and He is madly in love with us!
Then Paul issues an incredible promise to those who will pray about every significant issue of their lives and trust in the Lord - God will guard their hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. The word for “guard” in the Greek language is the word “phroureo”. It means to “guard against a military invasion”. Therefore, God’s promise to those who will pray and trust in Him in the issues of every day life and now especially in this time of crisis is His supernatural peace that literally shields our minds and emotions against stress, worry and demonic spirits of fear.
In the Scripture text from Luke chapter 21 that I started with, here is what Jesus said after He spoke about distress of nations with perplexity: “…men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth…”. The word for “fear” in that text is the Greek word “phobos” where we get our word “phobia”. It means fear, but it also means terror.
And Jesus told us that this end times fear would be so intense that means hearts would be failing them because of it. I personally have never seen fear as widespread and intense as what is happening in the world right now. It is creating stress upon individuals, couples, families, the elderly and infirmed, businesses, communities, the medical community, churches and nations that is unprecedented in my lifetime.
And without a doubt I believe this is a fulfillment of the words of Jesus and more proof that we are living in the end times. Jesus followed His statements about the nations being in distress with no solutions by telling us that when we saw these things begin to happen, we were to look up and lift up our heads because our redemption is drawing near. This is my word to all of you. Focusing on what is happening in the world right now and the bad news on television all day is discouraging.
In these times more than ever we must focus on the promises of God and His power over every force that could come against us. We must pray daily to our loving Heavenly Father about everything that is causing us worry, stress or fear. And His promise to us is to protect us in a supernatural womb of peace if we will. Even though the world is gripped by fear - those of us who know the Lord should lift our heads in joy and expectation as we realize that this event is actually announcing the soon return of Jesus!
By the way, if you haven’t seen the free clip our team posted of my talk on overcoming fear you can watch it here: