. . . who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire . . . may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy . . . (1 Peter 1:5-8)Had a rough 2012 . . . well hang on because 2013 does not promise to get any better, especially for those of faith in Jesus Christ! This is expected. This is told to us in the Gospels. Things will wax worse and worse! It will not better. If you beleive it will, I have some land to sell you in the swamps of Florida!
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God . . . having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone. (2 Timothy 3;1-9)The challenge is what will do in reaction to the situations around us? Will we run and hide? Will we accept it? Will we simply condemn the sin and the sinners? Will we confront sin in a loving way and set our minds on pleasing God and winning souls?
Going through the fire . . . what will we do in the new year?