Watch to See What He Will Do
O LORD, You have searched me and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O LORD… Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. — Psalm 139:1-4, Psalm 139:23-24
I, the Creator of the universe, am with you and for you. What more could you need? When you feel some lack, it is because you are not connecting with Me at a deep level. I offer abundant Life; your part is to trust Me, refusing to worry about anything.
It is not so much adverse events that make you anxious as it is your thoughts about those events. Your mind engages in efforts to take control of a situation, to bring about the result you desire. Your thoughts close in on the problem like ravenous wolves. Determined to make things go your way, you forget that I am in charge of your life. The only remedy is to switch your focus from the problem to My Presence. Stop all your striving, and watch to see what I will do. I am the Lord!
What then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all — how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? — Romans 8:31-32
Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me. — Psalm 63:7-8
I am leading you, step by step, through your life. Hold My hand in trusting dependence, letting Me guide you through this day. Your future looks uncertain and feels flimsy — even precarious. That is how it should be.
Secret things belong to the Lord, and future things are secret things. When you try to figure out the future, you are grasping at things that are Mine.
This, like all forms of worry, is an act of rebellion: doubting My promises to care for you.
Whenever you find yourself worrying about the future, repent and return to Me. I will show you the next step forward, and the one after that, and the one after that. Relax and enjoy the journey in My Presence, trusting Me to open up the way before you as you go.
MARK 13:24-37 – WATCHING FOR CHRIST’S RETURN
To be found ready, at whatever moment our Lord shall call for us, should be the one object of our ambition. With this view, we should seek to be found in Christ, not having our own righteousness, but that which is of God through faith in Christ. Not content with a general hope of acceptance through Christ, we should wash our every sin, yea our every duty also, in the fountain of his blood, which must cleanse us from the “iniquity even of our holiest actions.” We should seek also to “be renewed in the spirit of our minds,” and to be transformed into “the image of our God in righteousness and true holiness.” No attainments should ever satisfy us: if we were as holy as Paul himself, we should, like him, “forget the things that are behind, and reach forward towards that which is before.” With a view to progressive holiness, we should carefully “abide in Christ,” “living by faith on him,” and receiving daily out of his fullness grace for grace: assured, that without him we can do nothing, but through him shall be enabled to do all things. In a word, we should seek to be ever ready to meet our God; yea, to be “looking for, and hasting unto the coming of that day,” when we shall be summoned to his tribunal, and receive our eternal end.
Thus, expect the second coming of your Lord. Put not from you, as you are too apt to do, the thoughts of death and judgment, but cherish them in your minds, and labour to get them impressed upon your hearts. Reflect upon their uncertainty, as to the precise period of their arrival, their nearness, their awfulness; and keep yourselves, as it were, in the daily and hourly expectation of them.
Prepare to meet him. Two things are indispensable for all who would behold his face in peace, namely, “repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.” These must be experienced by you — neither the one nor the other can be dispensed with. Get a deep repentance therefore, and a lively faith: and rest not in any state short of that which the Scriptures require, and the primitive Christians actually attained.
Guard against any measure of drowsiness which may interrupt or render doubtful your preparation for him. It will be a fearful thing if the Master of the house “should find you sleeping.” Yet who amongst us is not apt at times to be “weary in well-doing?” “The Wise Virgins, as well as the Foolish, slumbered and slept:” yea, even the Apostles slept, when our Lord had bidden them watch. We should therefore “exhort one another daily, and so much the more as we see the day approaching:” and, instead of giving way to sloth, should use all possible means, to “strengthen the things which remain that are ready to die.”
THE INCREDIBLE HOPE OF CHRIST’S RETURN: DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Jesus is coming again. This incredible hope should prompt us to be people dedicated to making our world a better place—to the service of Jesus.
“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words” (ESV).
The great controversy surrounding this passage—and the arguments for or against the “rapture”—has led many people to lose sight of what this passage is all about. It’s about Jesus coming again as victor—to fully inaugurate his reign. And the theme of the overall book—how Christians should live for Jesus—suggests that Paul speaks of this matter to both inform and inspire the Thessalonian Christians. He actually makes this point clear in 1 Thessalonians 4:18: “Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
Paul’s point is not to create controversy or arguments—or to make it so that we can know precisely what will happen, in what order, upon Jesus’ return. Paul’s point is encouragement. And this encouragement is rooted in what is often overlooked in this passage—the resurrection of the dead.
First Thessalonians 4:13–15 shows that explaining the resurrection of the dead is Paul’s aim. Jesus’ return will bring about the resurrection of the dead. Thus, we do not need to worry for Christians who have died. This is Paul’s encouragement: Christ is victor over all of this world and all of this life, including death.
Furthermore, 1 Thessalonians 4:16–18 shows the power of Jesus over evil. When Jesus arrives to earth as King, in all his glory, believers will be forcibly united with Jesus—evil forces will not be able to stop this action.
Jesus’ victory cannot be stopped. It should inspire us to take actions on Jesus’ behalf. It should make us believe that we can do all things through Jesus (Philippians 4:12–15). It should make us love more fully and truly—for love is what mends God’s plans together. Upon the clouds as victor Jesus will come.
In what ways does Jesus’ return inspire you and comfort you? What actions is God asking you to take today—on his behalf?