We’re in the thick of the “holiday season.” The commercials and holiday specials on TV attempt to dictate what life should be like this time of year. We often see families smiling and laughing. But how often do our lives really look and feel anything like those overly produced moments we see in movies and on TV? Is our holiday experience filled with laughter and delight, or is it mostly filled with stress and anxiety? The chaos of this life and the whirlwind of increasingly busy schedules can leave us with a sense of longing rather than fulfillment.
The pain and hardship of this life, whether in this time of year or anytime, should come as no surprise. We are living in the End Times, the last days before the end of the world comes. But so what? What difference does that make? God makes it clear that we shouldn’t be surprised when life isn’t the Hollywood ideal. In fact, because of sin in this world, God says that this life is going to be troublesome. He even warns us that wickedness will increase in the last days.
However, we live in the End Times like a child watches the calendar for Christmas. We wait with that same sort of eager excitement because we, too, are waiting for a gift. We’re not waiting for toys and games wrapped in shiny paper. There is something much better coming. As the apostle Paul wrote in the Bible: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
God promised a Savior right at the scene of the world’s first sin. He followed through on that promise by sending Jesus to pay the price for everyone’s sins by dying on the cross. God’s forgiveness is ours now; trusting in Jesus we are God’s children! And as his children we stand waiting for the rest of that gift: rescue from this world of hardship to be brought to an eternal life where only good exists.
Jesus’ work for us, his death and his resurrection, assure us of his love. While there may be dark times in this life, none of those change God’s love. He is with us now to help us get through the rough times. Because of Jesus and the gift of salvation that he won for us, finally God will take us to be with him forever in heaven. These End Times will give way to an eternity of true joy!