Does prophecy ever discourage you?

In the wilderness, Satan uses the 91st Psalm (Psalm 91:11-12 KJV
[11] For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. [12] They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.)
to tempt or test Christ.

In Matthew 24, Christ paints a bleak picture for the future of humanity. Paul echos this idea in 2 Timothy 3. As I ponder these passages of scripture, I sometimes feel discouraged in my walk with God and desire to share the Gospel. I find this especially true when I watch Michael Ramsden and others discuss today’s “victim culture” in light of 2 Timothy 3.

Does this, or has it ever, happen with anyone else? If so, how have you dealt with it?

Thanks and God bless you all.

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@chrisduke1976 When you say prophecy, what exactly do you mean? The temptation of Jesus in the wilderness by the accuser (the ‘satan’) was not prophecy - it was twisting Scripture.

At this current time in history we live in an already but not yet state of existence. God’s promises to make a new heaven and new earth where there will be no more evil, cries, sorrow or pain has already begun in Christ, yet Christ has not yet returned to inaugurate His Kingdom. Jesus told us that we will suffer in this world - but that He has conquered the world and one day all of the brokenness will come to an end. Our role is to be agents of God’s Kingdom in a broken world.

So no, prophecy does not discourage me. Ultimate Jesus wins - the meek, the pure in heart, the peacemakers - they win the day in the end - not the bullies or tyrants. We suffer for a short time - but in the end we have peace and an inheritance with Christ in His Kingdom.

Romans 8:18 - I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

It is also important to remember that we are the salt of the earth. If we Christians live out justice and righteousness and mercy, that can make our whole society - the whole world - a better place. So it is not hopeless. The world does not have to spiral out of control. We are God’s agents to make it a more compassionate place. But even if the world does get a little crazy, God’s Kingdom is still moving forward.

Sean,

I suppose I should’ve been more specific and not necessarily used the word prophecy. I meant Christ’s warnings in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24) and Paul’s warning to Timothy about “the last days” (2 Timothy 3).

The discouragement I sometimes feel, is always a passing thing. I remind myself that even though the enemy may triumph for a season, God always has the final victory. I’m sorry that I left the impression I’m totally discouraged about the future.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

God bless you,

Chris

What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?

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Hey, '76!

(great year, BTW. I remember the national bicentennial celebrations well)

As I consider God’s plan and what we see in the world now and what we are told the future holds, I don’t lose heart. Not just because of what Sean mentions - that God has already conquered and we are waiting for the glory of His victory to be fully revealed in the world and in us. But, because I consider that the system that He intended and created encompasses those bad things and that those bad things are, in fact, the very tools He uses to fashion believers into the image of Jesus, which is what He has predestined (our conformance to Christ’s image).

I developed an interest several years ago in gamification, which is integrating game systems into businesses and business processes to more fully engage people and to incent and reward certain behaviors (in fact, RZIM uses gamification throughout many of its sites and resources to engage participants {badges, medals, scores, levels, etc…}). As I considered what I learned, my thoughts kept turning to why God created the way He did - why is the world system the way we observe it? I also think of investment banking. A good investment banker always starts from the exit and works backward. The deal structure is built to accommodate the desired future exit. I believe God also started with the end goal - humankind 2.0 - in mind and built the system to support and end there. The story of Joseph and his declaration when he could have gotten revenge on his brothers of, “You meant it for evil but God meant it for good”, has led me to meditate for hours on how evil can become good in God’s hands.

Maybe scattershot, '76. But these thoughts and others lead me to the consideration that God has the end in mind from before the beginning, He knows how to build a system to support the goal and exit and that the world system is, sometimes inscrutably, “…working for the good of those who are loving God - for the called ones, in accordance with His purpose”. God has purposed the foolishness of preaching to lead to the conviction and quickening of souls by the Spirit, which is what we’re about brother. Any person you participate in bringing to the Lord will be eternally grateful to you, as we will all be eternally grateful to Jesus and all the Godhead for their plan for us. God has let us know about what is to come, so we won’t be surprised when we experience it and also to warn those outside of the faith about it. And, as we aren’t surprised by it, we can work for the kingdom through it knowing that what we’re doing is important and that time is limited. Instead of being discouraging, '76, I pray it will be both insight and a goad to us both to be about our Father’s business.

Sent with a prayer of encouragement, brother!

Kevin

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@chrisduke1976 No worries - I think we all struggle with discouragement when we see how broken the world is… We want the world to be a better place for the sake of the young people who are growing up - and we ourselves have that internal desire to live in a world that is rightly ordered - the desire for Eden and the paradise of God. And I think sometimes we even weep - just as Jesus wept at Lazarus’ tomb - because of the terribleness of evil in the world - we weep and we pray and the Lord restores our hope and moves through us to be salt in the world.