A Final Perspective
by Nancy Kelley Alvarez
“Don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world”
(I Peter 4:12-13, NLT).
Who doesn’t like surprises? But only good ones, right? Not accidents, loss, or a pandemic. In this shocking time, I asked God how to cope with unexpected challenges like boredom, loneliness, and isolation.
Give me back my former freedom and purpose.
I related to 2 Chronicles 20:12, “O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this might army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do but we are looking to you for help” (NLT). The Lord reminded me of 1 Peter 4: 12-13, “Don’t be surprised …”
Some biblical experts say we’re in the last hour. In Matthew 16:2-3 we read, “You know the saying, ‘Red sky at night means fair weather tomorrow; red sky in the morning means foul weather all day.’ You know how to interpret the weather signs in the sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the signs of the times!”
Author Amir Tsarfati states, “We should not be afraid; we should be encouraged. Everything is playing out exactly as God said it would.”[i] As God orchestrates current events, we can embrace the future and write to strengthen faith. As God orchestrates current events, we can embrace the future and write to strengthen faith.
I can’t predict worldwide crises. But I can prepare, offer perspective, and pray. I also have the opportunity to instill faith through my printed, online, and spoken words. Instead of bemoaning unwelcome surprises, I can rejoice to serve as a writer during this time in history, anticipating his return. I’m thankful he gave me the determination to mentor those in distress online and to write encouraging articles.
Our challenges stimulate us to pray and write with the end in mind. When we do, we are strengthened to face both personal and world-encompassing predicaments as equipped spiritual soldiers, ready for godly warfare and strengthened to fight his battles.
Lord, show me how each day is a new opportunity to focus on how you can use my words to help myself and others be better-equipped holy warriors. Help me live with purpose, rejoicing in how you use us as part of bringing about your plan for us.
Nancy Kelley Alvarez is a missionary in the Philippines and loves to share stories of risk-taking faith through the love of Jesus Christ. She is passionate about helping oppressed women thrive in today’s world and has written numerous devotionals and two novels: The Butterfly Impact and The Opportunity both sold on Amazon.com She can be found on Facebook and www.nancykelleyalvarez.blogspot.com
[i] Tsarfati, Amir. The Day Approaching. (Oregon: Harvest House, 2020), 126.