The heat is ON!

Wildfire near Yosemite National Park, United States, in 2013. (Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Brothers and sisters, in case you haven’t noticed, it’s HOT!

I mean, it’s REALLY HOT out there.

I’m writing this to you from my apartment in Jerusalem, which is traditionally one of the cooler spots in Israel over the summer months, and it’s HOT here. Israel is getting hit by a crushing heatwave this week, and it’s making it difficult to move, work, play outside, or even sleep at night. But then again, who am I to complain, when the whole world seems to be in the middle of a terrible heat wave, complete with massive forest fires, evaporating bodies of water, and…melting runways at airports in England.

If you’re reading this then you’re no doubt very aware of the heat and all the misery it’s causing you and your neighbors. You might have even lost your home or your school or your place of work to a fire, or you might have even lost someone you loved because of the heat, as reports have come in from all over the world of deaths from heat stroke, dehydration, exhaustion and other related causes.

It’s a difficult situation, to be sure, and it comes on top of all kinds of other stress that everyone is under because of the problems in the economy, civil unrest, wars and rumors of wars, political instability, cultural decay and just general upheaval and tumult that increasingly dominates the global scene.

Something I hear more and more from the people who live in my building, my co-workers and from random people I encounter online is the phrase “it feels like the end of the world.”

Well, that’s because it IS the end of the world.

That’s the bad news, now here’s some good news.

Jesus spoke about these times we’re in and His disciples recorded His words. In Luke 21:25-26 it is recorded that He said “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

How is it good news that “men’s hearts (will be) failing from fear” in this season of history?

It’s good news because it means that some of those men (and women) whose hearts are failing them because they’re afraid of everything they see going on around them will FINALLY be willing to admit that they can’t solve their own problems and they need the solution that God is offering them. 

A few years ago I wrote a blog about how Israelis had become very proud of the water desalinization plants they’d built which had allowed this country, for a time, to stop worrying about where our freshwater supplies would come from. But then the drought became so severe that even at maximum output, those plants couldn’t produce enough fresh water, so we still needed God to send the rain on our country.

That’s a great metaphor for the condition of the entire human race in the summer of 2022. With our science and technology, we’ve done some amazing things, but we still need God to save us. That hasn’t changed, and it’s never going to.

We who believe in God and the Gospel of His Son Jesus Christ need to be sharing that Gospel with everyone we can every chance we get. The first time you do this, it’ll be awkward and difficult and maybe not successful, but the more you do it, the smoother it’ll become and the more success you’ll have. The news is your ally in this, because the news these days is filled with images and reports that tell anyone who has eyes to see and ears to hear that there’s no hope in governments, political factions, cultural movements, etc.

Despite that, our friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members will see you and me living in peace and hope and they’ll want to know how we can be hopeful at a time like this. That gives us an opportunity to tell them about the hope we have in the God we serve.

One way to do this is to simply ask people if they’re worried about what’s going on. If they say yes, ask them to elaborate. After they’ve done that, agree with them that it looks grim, but then tell them why you’re not afraid.

It’s that easy.

Brothers and sisters, I’ve said it before but it can’t be said often enough. The days are evil and time is short. Soon you and I and every other human being who ever lived will be standing before the Throne of Christ giving an account for everything we did, and everything we failed to do, in this mortal life He gave us. Think about that, pray into it, and you’ll find yourself having the courage and strength to do what God has called you to do.

That’s what I’ve got for you this week brothers and sisters. I hope it blessed someone.