The Last Days: Part Six—What To Do During Difficult Times.

Our elections did not go as some have prayed, but God’s will was done. Do not worry or be fearful because difficult times is the sign that the end is near. 2Timothy 3:1 states, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.” Please do not dwell on the troubling things you cannot control; you will only become depressed. Instead, dwell on God’s faithfulness to sustain you and provide for you when you fear Him (read Psalm 34 and 103.) Stay in the race, keeping your focus on Jesus, do what God’s will is for your life, and remain firm in your faith.  

I have been writing a series of posts on what we should do during the difficult times in these last days. I pray that everyone who reads this post will seek God’s help to endure to the end. It will be worth it. I just finished reading Revelations, and I am so excited to live in expectation of eternity in heaven. To help us, God has given us gifts and talents to serve others as faithful stewards of His grace. 1Peter 4:10 states, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Instead of worrying about what will become of our country, use your gifts to help make someone’s life better.

In Part One, I explained why the New Testament writers thought the end was close. In Part Two, I describe how the Apostle Peter thought we are to suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ and how to complete our life’s race in victory. Part Three clarifies why you are to stay alert and sober-minded for the purpose of prayer until Christ’s return. I explain in Part Four why love identifies a real Child of God and how love covers many sins. Part Five explains how showing hospitality is keeping the Bible’s prophecies by doing what God instructs. This post will explore the gifts God gives and how to be a faithful steward of God’s grace.

What are God’s gifts?

Romans 12:6-8 states, “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts (encourages), in his exhortation; the one who contributes (gives), in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Prophesy is to make inspired declarations of what is coming or speak as a mediator between God and humankind or in God’s stead.

If you have the prophesy gift, you feel compelled to warn people of what they should do to prepare for judgment or of sin’s consequences. 1Corinthians 14:1 states, “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.”

Service is a helpful activity or aid.

If you have the gift of serving, you willingly help meet a need in the community or church. The Bible says a lot about serving.  Matthew 20:28 states, “Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Romans 15:27 states, “For they were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings.” 2Corinthians 9:12 states, “For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.Ephesians 6:7 states, “Rendering service with goodwill as to the Lord and not to man,”

Teaching is to impart knowledge or skill by giving instruction.

Someone with the gift of teaching loves to tell others about Bible truths and how to apply it to their lives. James 3:1 states, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” Luke 20:21 states, “So they asked him, ‘Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God.’” Hebrews 5:12 states, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food.

Exhorting is to urge, advise, or caution earnestly; admonish urgently.

A person who has the gift of exhortation is ready to advise those making a poor decision and encourage others to do God’s will. Hebrews 3:13 states, “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

Contributing is not just giving of your money, but also of your time, knowledge, and assistance.

Matthew 19:21 states, “Jesus said to him, ‘If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’” Luke 6:3 states, “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.2Corinthians 9:7 states, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Leading is guiding and showing the way, especially the way God’s word says to go.

You are to lead with zeal. Zeal is enthusiastic and diligent. Luke 6:39 states, “He also told them a parable: ‘Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?’” Make sure you lead with a zeal to please God and obey His will, so you don’t lead people into a pit. Luke 22:26 states, “But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest and the leader as one who serves.” Are you willing to lead by example? Hebrews 13:7 states, “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.Hebrews 13:17 states, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” As a leader you will have to give an account for how you lead so lead with compassion and be an example for people to follow.

Mercy is being compassionate or showing kindness toward an offender, an enemy, or other people in one’s power.

The merciful person has compassion for people and is quick to forgive. Matthew 5:7 states, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.Hebrews 4:16 states, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.James 2:13 states, “For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” Though mercy is a gift, we all should show mercy and not judge.

What are spiritual gifts?

1Corinthians 12:7-11 states, “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8) For to one is given through the Spirit

–the utterance of wisdom, and to another

–the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another

faith by the same Spirit, to another

gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another

–the working of miracles, to another

prophecy, to another

–the ability to distinguish between spirits, to others

various kinds of tongues, to another

–the interpretation of tongues.

All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.” There are many good books that describe these spiritual gifts, and I encourage you to learn about them. I have heard some preachers say that the spiritual gifts are not for today, but that is like saying, salvation is not for today.

What does it mean to be a faithful steward of God’s grace?

A steward is someone who controls something for another person. In this case, we are stewards of God’s grace as we serve others with the gifts He gives us. Someone faithful is strict or thorough in their performance and is dependable. 1Corinthians 4:2 states, “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” So a faithful steward is a person who thoroughly serves others with grace, as they would serve God. When you serve with grace, you serve willingly and freely. Colossians 3:23-24 states, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

We cannot control what happens in our country or what people do. We can only control ourselves and what we do. Will you use your gifts to serve others as a faithful steward of God’s grace, knowing He will reward you for the good you do. Let us focus on loving others better and making our part of the world a better, happier place.


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All verses are from the English Standard Bible unless otherwise indicated. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share my website link with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected. No part of the blog or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having the right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

Part 1: How to Achieve Genuine Goodness?

Why do people riot, cause trouble, and even kill people? What is good about destroying businesses and stealing their merchandise? So, what has happened to goodness? This post and the next will explore what goodness is and how to achieve it.  I have to admit, I only had a vague idea of what it meant to be good. I was challenged by what I found in my research. I hope you will be challenged too.

What does goodness mean? Which definition do you think describes goodness?

  • Obey instructions.
  • Be moral or virtuous by choosing the right actions and thinking and having a “good” character.
  • Be kind; generous; unselfish.
  • Have excellent quality, like good workmanship.

What does the Bible say about goodness?

Obey God’s instructions:

Deuteronomy 12:28Be careful to obey all these words … that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever when you do what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God.  Also, read Jeremiah 42:6.

Turn away from evil: good is the opposite of evil:

To do evil is to cause harm or trouble. God, instead, wants us to pursue peace with all men (see Romans 12:18 and Hebrews 12:14).  He also expects us to love one another, so when we do not love but are unkind, impatient, or destructive, we do evil (see 1Corinthians 13). 

1Peter 3:11let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.

Romans 12:21Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.

1Thesalonians 5:15See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. And, Proverbs 17:13If anyone returns evil for good, evil will not depart from his house.

Proverbs 11:27Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor, but evil comes to him who searches for it. And, Proverbs 12:2A good man obtains favor from the LORD, but a man of evil devices he condemns.

Isaiah 1:17learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.

Be humble and generous and ready to share with those in need:

1Timothy 6:17As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18) They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19) thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

Titus 3:14And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.

Hebrews 13:16Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Rely on God’s goodness, not your own.

Most of us are born, grow-up, and die as selfish, self-centered sinners; wanting our needs met instead of loving and caring for other people. So, how can we achieve the standard of God’s goodness? Only through the power of the Holy Spirit as you humbly renew your mind with the truth of God’s Word. If you are uncertain that you have the power of the Holy Spirit in your life, then pray and ask God to forgive your sins and ask the Holy Spirit of Jesus to come into your heart. Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit to do good.  Act 10:38 states, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”

How should good deeds benefit others?

The good deeds we do are from faith in Jesus and are like the good fruit on a tree or vine (see Matthew 7:15-20). In John 15:5, Jesus states, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

Ephesians 2:10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

James 2:15-18If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17) So also, faith, if it does not have (good) works, is dead being by itself. 18)  But someone will say, you have faith, and I have (good) works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith out of my works.

1John 3:17-18But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18) Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

Galatians 6:10So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith

Luke 6:33And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.

Hebrews 10:24And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.

Matthew 5:16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

You can love your enemies and do good to those who hate you through the power of the Holy Spirit in you. And, God is kind to the ungrateful and the evil, and so can we through His goodness. 

Luke 6:35But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.

Luke 6:27— “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

We receive God’s goodness when we fear Him and take refuge when trouble comes:

Psalm 31:19Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!

King Solomon said at the end of his life in Ecclesiastes 3:12I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live.

Conclusion

I asked at the beginning of this post, what definition described goodness. The answer is all the above. When I began this post, I did not know much about goodness.  I learned it is good to obey God and do what is right, to share, and help others in need. One word of caution, your perception of good works can be a source of legalism and judgmentalism. To learn more, read my post called How To Overcome Legalism And Judgmentalism.  Doing good also raises another controversy.  Some people believe that being a good person and doing good works gets you to heaven.  The Bible says we are saved by grace and believing in the Son of God.  I write in my post called What Is Required?, we also need to do the will of our Father in heaven, which is to obey God’s instructions to do good works because of our faith. Those who riot and destroy are following their evil nature.  We all need the power of the Holy Spirit through believing in Jesus Christ to be genuinely good.

Do you obey God’s instructions in the Bible?

Do you sacrificially help others in need and share what you have with them?

Do you avoid evil and do good to others, even if they hate you?

All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom. Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.