Perplexity among the nations today is remarkable. The USA has to some degree lost its power and influence whilst Russia and China wish to demonstrate their power. In Luke 21 Jesus said that his return to the earth would be at a time of “distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves” (verse 25).

The threat of physically roaring seas, such as tsunamis, causes great anxiety. The earthquakes and tsunamis in the Pacific region have caused serious problems, and these continue. Warning systems are in place, but these will not stop the seas roaring – only give a few minutes warning.

We can see, however, that the words of Jesus reflect Old Testament passages and indicate even greater distresses are to come. Look at the language in Psalm 46, “we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though the waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling … the nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts … Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has wrought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth …” (verses 2,3,6,8,9).

Just as one can identify the prophecies that were fulfilled at the first coming of Jesus, so we ponder those that apply to his second coming. Jesus continued by speaking of “people fainting with fear and foreboding of what is coming on the world” (verse 26). But those who know the Bible will read the words of Jesus that follow and take them to heart, “Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (verse 28). This “redemption” of course, is for his committed followers. Make sure that includes you.

Returning to Psalm 46, take note of the positive message in the last two verses, “Be still and know that I am God I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress”. Make sure that He is your fortress. Jesus told the parable of those who knocked at the door, but it was too late – and remember Luke 13:25.