Posted by Nathan Warner on

“Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

The return of Jesus Christ is certain and unavoidable.  This moment in human history is going to happen, regardless of the desires, will, and power of man to say otherwise.  Of all things to long for and look forward to as Believers, this is chief.

Jesus’ return ought to be the focus and desire of our hearts at all times, but we should especially meditate on it as we look ahead to the start of a new year with all its distractions, hopes, dreams, and possibilities clamoring for our attention and affection.  The world has become very hectic and “loud” in these last days.  Where life used to offer us lingering pauses for prayer and meditation in God's Word, now every moment is filled with the entire world’s doings, opinions, angst, and focus.  Our calendars are filled with things to do (work, parties, etc.) and the “doings” we do when we’re not doing anything (texting, web-surfing, gaming, etc.).  Every quiet moment is filled with something “important” on this human plane.

Yet, regardless of record-breaking historic events and the culture’s unending and inane broadcast of futility, Jesus’ return remains the single greatest event that will land on the human calendar.  Do we look at our calendar that way?  Do we see each day as THE day that He may return?  In our human frailty, do we grow weary from waiting for Him?  Do we dissipate our hope in the corrosive waves of worldly voices, drowning our joy beneath the interest and cares of this physical life?  Each of us does to some degree—it is human to waver in our dedication to what we cannot observe now with our fleshly senses.  However, we are also spiritual beings, and God’s Spirit in us is testifying to the truth of what we cannot now observe.  Quiet yourself and listen to Him!  He is testifying to you. 

Each day, by the Holy Spirit’s power, may we freshen ourselves upon this hope—a hope founded in recorded words spoken by God Himself, Who cannot lie, for He said, “The Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds” (Matt. 16:27).  “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly’” (Rev. 22:20a). 

For 2,000 years the Church has longed faithfully for Jesus’ return.  Today, with our impatient souls soaking in the culture’s discontent, anxiety, and instant gratification, we need to remember a time when people waited “for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near” (Js. 5:7-8).

What does it mean to wait for Jesus?  We are to abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming” (1 Jn. 2:28a).  Jesus explained, that “He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5).  You are not apart from Him, for “you know Him because He abides with you” (Jn. 14:17a).

When we abide in “the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:19) our longing deepens and He abides in us, growing “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23a).  Abiding in the Spirit of Jesus offers healing and nourishing fruit to the world, which is constantly decaying from the spiritual disease of sin that will overcome it in its final day.

But like a terminally ill reveler who will not accept his approaching death, the nations “rage” (Rev 11:18), and “the peoples plot in vain” (Ps. 2:1b) to avoid the end of their “fun.”  So, as we see “these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Lk. 21:28).

May we earnestly seek to behold the face of Jesus, and pray daily for His return to save us from the coming wrath, provide justice and peace to the earth, and restore nature to its original incorruptible state.  Even so, Amen.


Tags: abide, affection, angst, attention, christ, death, decay, dissipation, distractions, dying, end times, eternity, focus, fruit, fruit of spirit, healing, hectic, hope, jesus, jesús, king, last days, lord, loud, new year, patience, rage, rapture, restoration, resurrection, return, ruler, salvation, savior, second coming, wait, worldly


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