Prophecy watching can hard. For years I have pondered this topic and tried to figure out why prophecy watching can, at times be a difficult process.
On the one hand, it is completely exhilarating: the knowledge that we are just on the brink of seeing Jesus Christ Himself, up close and personal - can become a mind blowing exercise. Not to mention the massive reunions - all of us - seeing our deceased brothers and sisters in Christ, grandparents, siblings, best-friends, and all of the biblical characters we have so long read about.
This is not even considering the abundant joy, the peace that we will experience, and the delight in exploring the wonders of Heaven and getting comfortable in the special place that Jesus has prepared for each of us - that place He described in John 14:1-3 and promised to take us. Our eternal home, "New Jerusalem", which is described in the last two chapters of the book of Revelation.
But that's the hard part as well, and I know this from talking to so many "prophecy watchers" over the years.
Fatigue can set in. Why? Because we know that we are JUST on the brink of the glory and the wonder described above - and yet it is still, at the moment unattainable.
Somehow that makes the difficulties of this world seem worse. We know how things should be and we know that our real world lies just beyond this world. We know that this world is just a temporary stop on a much longer journey. In short, we are looking beyond this world. As stated, we know that we are in this world, but we are not of this world.
As the hardships mount - and almost everyone I know right now is experiencing multiple hardships for various reasons - the more frustrating it is that we are still having to endure this world. Sure, we want to do the Lord's work until the very final moments, and sure, we want to witness to as many people as we can possibly reach. That goes without saying.
After its all said and done, all we really want is to be with Jesus - to be in His glorious presence and to have the opportunity to thank Him - in person - for what He did on the cross.
The longer it takes, the more painful it is. The wait actually becomes more difficult the longer it goes, especially when the anticipation remains high at all times.
Perhaps that is why we receive the "Crown of Righteousness":
"There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge shall give me at that day: and not only to me, but unto all them also that love his appearing." (2 Timothy 4:8).
In other words, those who are looking for His appearing are specifically identified as being worthy of one of the five crowns mentioned in the Bible. There will be many rewards given at the Bema "judgment" (2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Corinthians 3:9-15), but this is one that is specifically declared.
As the apostle Paul set the framework for this discussion, he briefly mentioned the longing and "groaning" we experience while we wait:
"Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling...For while we are in this tent, we groan and we are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so what is mortal may be swallowed up by life." (2 Corinthians 5:1-4)
Now comes the good part:
"Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." (2 Corinthians 5:5)
We groan while in this body. We all have physical ailments, money concerns, cancer, taxes, work problems, traffic, too much to do and too little time, and on and on this list goes. Such is life on earth in the year 2011.
But as the apostle Paul stated we have been given a guarantee. And what exactly is that guarantee?
"Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God; trust also in me.
In my Father's house there are many rooms;
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I am going there to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back and take you to be with me
that you also may be where I am."
And this passage is also worth remembering:
"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven
...with the trumpet call of God,
and the dead will rise first.
After that, we who are still alive and are left
will be caught up together with them in the clouds
to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with
the Lord forever.
Therefore encourage each other with these words."
(1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
Amen and Maranatha.
It won't be long now.
We are simply too far into this generation and the signs are abundant.
Its a guarantee.