Standing strong
Believers must take their eyes off what they can see now and focus them on the future that awaits them with Jesus. (Flickr )

Do you know what the future holds? What's next in God's plan for you?

Knowing the answers to these questions is critical for standing strong and unshaken in uncertain, turbulent times. Proverbs 29:18 tells us that without a vision the people will perish. That was never truer than it is today!

Without a vision for the future in these uncertain end times—without a clear picture of who Jesus will be when He returns, what He will be doing, and what we will be doing with Him—we will perish. That is, we will be deceived, fall away, our hearts will fail from fear, we will be unable to face persecution, and we will be ineffective as lights through which God can release His end-times purposes.

Future Focus

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As I write each chapter of this book, I continue to be challenged to apply each and every word.

With so many horrors surrounding us—terror attacks occurring all over the world, threats of terrorists infiltrating our country with the refugees, our borders not being secure to protect us, the imminent signs of the harlot Babylon religion appearing everywhere, the inevitable persecution that is coming upon the church—it's easy to be fearful, negative, depressed and even shut down. It seems this increasingly dreadful news is in our face everywhere we turn. I have not felt love, joy, peace—the fruits of the spirit, all week. When I asked God why not, He showed me that lately I have been focusing only upon how things will get worse and the challenges that await us prior to Jesus' return, but I have failed to focus on what I have to look forward to after Jesus returns! I believe this focus is another key anchor that will keep us standing strong as lights for the Lord, exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit, until He returns.

We must take our eyes off of what we can see now and focus them on the future that awaits us with Jesus. We need to view the uncertainty, the unrighteousness and the immorality around us as temporary, with our hope and our eyes set on what lies ahead! This will give us hope, certainty and joy in the midst of an increasingly dark world. Often, the Scriptures tell us to set our hope on His return:

"Therefore guard your minds, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 1:13).

"Beloved, now are we children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure" (1 John 3:2-3).

"As we await the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).

In my opinion, there is currently not enough emphasis in the church on teaching the specifics about Jesus' return, such as what He will be like, what we will be doing, how this world will look and how all of our social systems will be functioning—government, politics, agriculture, environment, economics, education, law enforcement, media, arts and technology.

Too many within the church and in the world are still focusing on a Christmas version of Jesus—the sweet baby Jesus lying in the manger, or the meek and mild shepherd with a lamb wrapped around the back of his neck. This is not the Jesus who is coming back soon, nor the one we need to know in order to stand strong, firm and unshaken in these uncertain, turbulent times.

Furthermore, as I explained previously, it's impossible to experience intimacy with someone when you only know one aspect of them or when you are not willing to enter into knowing all sides of that person. If you only know one aspect of Jesus—as the baby, as love or as the meek and mild shepherd—you won't experience the deep intimacy with Him that you'll need to stand strong. The more you know about what Jesus will be like when He comes back—what He intends to do, what His heart and plans are for you—the more you will experience intimacy with Him now.

Excerpted from Jeanne Nigro's book, Unshaken (Destiny Image, 2016).

Jeanne Nigro is a frequent speaker at conferences, churches and retreats. Her teachings are relevant, practical and life-transforming whether she is bringing Old Testament truths to life, healing strongholds of the heart, or preparing believers for the end times. She is passionate about leading her audiences to experience greater intimacy with God, mobilizing them out of fear, passivity and apathy in these uncertain times and into action and purpose.

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