We live in an intricately interwoven and interconnected civilization. Yet we are sailing in uncharted seas. Like the early explorers who traveled the globe, we have ample reason to believe that we will not literally sail over the edge; but within our human-created infrastructure there are new edges, borders and tipping points. Where is it all leading, and how can we find comfort and peace in a world that rides the knife edge of collapse?
Jesus chided the religious leaders of His day for not recognising the biblical signs of the momentous times they were living in. What would Jesus say to the spiritual leaders of our generation? What would He say to us? Do we understand the signs of the times?
The Pharisees and Sadducees were testing Jesus, asking Him to show them a sign or miracle from heaven. In reply, Jesus contrasted their knowledge of the weather with their understanding of prophecy:
“When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times”Matthew 16:2-3
But what about now? Can we discern the biblical signs of our times?
Take a look around you. What do you see? Avarice, violence, economic turmoil, political unrest, and spiritual confusion. The apostle Paul prophesied to the young preacher Timothy, “In the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Tim. 3:1–5, NKJV).1 That sounds like a description of our day, doesn’t it? Have we become so accustomed to the chaos of our time that we cannot see the signs of the times?
“Progress has given us unprecedented affluence, education, technology, and entertainment. We have comforts and conveniences other eras could only dream about. Yet somehow, we are not flourishing under the gifts of modernity as one would expect.”
We have little control over most of the events around us, but we can choose how to live. We We need to experience renewing of our mindsets, personally and corporately. We can choose how to lead our lives in these troubled times. The chronicler records these words from God to King Solomon: “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14). How should we then live? Humble ourselves, pray, seek the Lord, and turn from our wicked ways.
Hear the word of the Lord through the psalmist Asaph: “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me” (Ps. 50:15). Discern the signs of the times. Now is the time for extraordinary asking. Now is the time to call upon the Lord.