“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” And so with these words, Charles Dickens begins his classic historical novel, A Tale of Two Cites. The story is set against the conditions that led to the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror in 1859, when almost 17,000 people were killed by official execution.
We have had our own “Reign of Terror,” however, with the events of the last four months. Some might even say this has been “the worst of times.” It reminds me of the tumultuous events Jesus predicted when He forecast the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. He said of that time, “And because lawlessness will abound the love of many will grow cold.” (Matt 24:12) Instead of drawing people to God, troubled times often only reveal how much people hate His rule. Believers must be different, however. We must not allow the lawlessness and fear that surrounds us to quench our love for Him. Prayer, worship, Bible study, fellowship, and our witness to a hopelessly lost world must only intensify. These are the “best of times.” The fire of adversity is nothing compared to the fire of the Holy Spirit! A cold heart can never survive in His presence.