This weekend was an interesting one with a very vocal yet failed prediction of the End of the World/Rapture. There are many commonly known signs of the End: earthquakes, famines, wars, moon turning red etc. but the one commonly missed and that I have been reminded of lately is the persecution that first must come. See Luke 21:7-36; Mark 13:4-27; Matthew 24:3-31. Some of the things that are hard to hear are that parents will turn against children and children against parents, friends etc. will turn against you. Also, when it says that it will be terrible for those pregnant or breastfeeding. So, for me to have the hope for Jesus' return, I also need to face the reality of persecutions.
Up to now, I think I have focussed too much on the persecutions that I have not been eagerly waiting for Christ's return. Jesus was stressed by what he had to do before entering His glory. but he knew that this was the reason he was here and would persevere (John 12:27). I was thinking about this in the same way as my new baby will be coming soon. The baby comes, but only after labour and delivery. This being my third time I know how truly painful it is (although God does allow us to forget some) but I also know the joy and reward of that new life, so I persevere! I think my patience in waiting for Jesus' return is because I don't know how great the reward will be and am distracted by the persecutions that will first come. I need to adjust my approach.