How Christians Can Navigate the Coming Prophetic Storm
How should Christians react when the world seems to be falling apart? God’s Word shows us how to stay anchored through the coming prophetic storms.
A massive storm is coming that will shake the whole world.
It doesn’t take a news expert to see that the world is in a terrible state. Many geopolitical commentators are saying the world is at a critical tipping point. They see radical changes occurring, namely the faltering of the United States as the world’s sole global power, resulting in our world fracturing into a multipolar world.
The United States is still both a military and an economic superpower. But we are seeing some severe cracks surfacing in the world order. Since World War II, the U.S. has served as a global leader, helping to maintain relative peace and prosperity for the last 75 years.
The BRICS union (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) is one example, and it accounts for nearly half the world’s population and a quarter of the world’s gross domestic product. These nations are seeking to expand their anti-American alliance to include Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Argentina, Egypt, Thailand, Indonesia, Nigeria, Senegal, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey. One of their aims is to unseat the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
The Ukraine war has also triggered a food crisis that has already hit the Horn of Africa. Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia struggle to survive amid scarce water resources and are currently facing their sixth failed rainy season. In addition, around the world, including in my home country of New Zealand, we see strange weather patterns disrupting our ability to produce food.
The world is in a monetary crisis, with multiple events hitting simultaneously. Some nations suffer from high unemployment, high inflation, unsustainable debt levels, corruption, poor management and currency devaluations that seem to be leading them toward default. These include Argentina, Ukraine, Tunisia, Ghana, Egypt, Kenya, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Pakistan, Belarus, Ecuador and Nigeria. These nations seem to be going down the same path as Sri Lanka, which defaulted on its debt last year.
But some of the most troubling news is the sudden deterioration within the United States. The world can see that the political and social cohesion of the nation is falling apart, and many are asking, “Are we witnessing the fall of the United States?”
We believe these events show that we are heading into the last days prophesied in the Bible. But how are Christians to deal with these unsettling events?
The boat in the storm
Mark 4:35-41 tells about a time when Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and after a tiring day, Jesus fell asleep. While they were on the sea, a “great windstorm” hit. Matthew’s account says the boat was covered with the waves (Matthew 8:24). This storm made the disciples fear for their lives, with Luke’s account saying they “were in jeopardy” (Luke 8:23).
Jesus was in the stern of the boat where waves would have hammered Him, yet He was fast asleep.
Jesus was calm because He knew God was with Him no matter what happened around Him. The disciples, on the other hand, were afraid.
Fear often overrides our ability to think and reason. It is an enemy of faith. When the disciples woke Jesus, He rebuked them for their lack of faith. With the Son of God in the boat, they should have known that the Father would protect them. Jesus had faith in this—and He expected them to have the same faith.
To learn more, read “Enemy of Faith: Fear.”
The storms must come
When calamity hits, what is the natural reaction to it?
- Where was God in all this?
- Why would God want all this to happen?
- How could a loving God allow this to happen?
Some may remember the massive undersea earthquake that occurred off the coast of Indonesia on Dec. 26, 2004. The earthquake measured over 9 on the Richter scale and was the third-largest earthquake ever recorded, lasting 10 minutes. The earthquake caused the seabed to shift, resulting in devastating waves spreading across the Indian Ocean. The waves that reached the shore were as high as 30 meters and killed over 200,000 people in 14 nations.
Shockingly, in the days after the tsunami, the then archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, wrote an article in the Sunday Telegraph titled “Of Course This Makes Us Doubt God’s Existence.” In it he stated, “How can you believe in a God who permits suffering on this scale?”
But this is the opposite message Christ gave to His followers when He said, in essence, “When you see these things happen, do not be troubled” (see Matthew 24:6).
Have things gotten better? Ten years later, another archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said he sometimes doubts whether God exists, saying Christians cannot explain why suffering exists in the world.
It’s no wonder our nations are so spiritually lost when they are led by religious leaders like this.
Why are these storms occurring?
So, why do the storms of life happen? In His Olivet Discourse, Jesus said, “All these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6).
He tells us not to be afraid, not to fear, because all these things “must” come to pass. These things are the effect of a cause—a humanity that has rejected God and embraced sin.
When God created Adam and Eve, He placed them in the Garden of Eden without death and suffering. But due to their disobedience, to their rejecting God and following Satan, they were thrust out of the garden, and now death and suffering reign over humanity. To this day, humankind rejects God. (To learn more, read “Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.”)
We are seeing spiritual rot in our day. Sometimes news stories show Bible prophecy being fulfilled. In March of this year a Wall Sreet Journal–NORC poll showed a dramatic decline in American values over the last 25 years.
Despite the terrible events that Jesus and the prophets prophesied would occur in the end times, Jesus tells us not to be afraid.The value of patriotism dropped from 70 percent to 38 percent.
- The importance people place on religion dropped from 62 percent to 39 percent.
- The importance of having children dropped from 59 percent to 30 percent.
- The value of community involvement dropped from 47 percent to 27 percent.
The only metric that increased was money, which increased in importance from 31 percent to 43 percent.
An Axios article summarized the results: “The poll quantifies a generational and political divide that shows a rot at the very soul of our nation.”
But the situation is actually far worse because the pollsters neglected to factor in the nation’s sins. As our sins increase, the curses will increase, causing more problems in our nations. Yet despite the terrible events that Jesus and the prophets prophesied would occur in the end times, Jesus tells us not to be afraid.
But how exactly can we not be afraid?
“See that you are not troubled”
In Matthew 24:6, Jesus said, “See that you are not troubled.” Luke’s account puts it, “Do not be terrified” (Luke 21:9). The end-time events are terrifying, but we are told to be at peace despite these storms.
This is quite a statement from Jesus Christ! Despite the terrible events that we see and that are coming, we are told not to fear or be troubled. We have been forewarned and should instead prepare ourselves for them.
A Christian’s hope must not be in this world, but in the world to come—looking for the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom on this earth.When the disciples were in the storm, they asked Jesus, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38). Sometimes, amid a trial, we, too, can get in that frame of mind, feeling that God has forgotten us. But He hasn’t. His Word assures us continually that He deeply cares for His followers.
So, as Christians, where should our minds be as we approach the growing storms of the end time? The apostle Paul tells us we should be “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
A Christian’s hope must not be in this world, but in the world to come—looking for the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom on this earth. That Kingdom will calm the storms and rebuild our broken world.
This hope should serve as an anchor. Just as an anchor keeps a boat from moving in a storm, so hope can serve as our spiritual anchor to keep us from drifting when powerful storms of life approach.
Jesus could sleep through the storm because He was at peace and knew God’s plan and future for Him. We can also approach our world with the same peace because we know that God is faithful and will quiet the raging storms on the horizon (Psalm 89:8-9).