Lift up Your Head, Pilgrim
Awaiting the soon coming of the Lord? Hope so, because of the blessedness of that imminent hopeful event. The Apostle Paul reminds us to be “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). The hymn writer Mabel Johnston Camp reminds us in song to “Lift up your heads, Pilgrims aweary, see days approach, now crimson the sky, night shadows flee, and your Beloved, awaited with longing, at last draweth nigh: HE IS COMING AGAIN … with power and great glory, He is coming again.” A beautiful and glorious hymn indeed, all based on the words of our Lord, when he spoke of the tribulation that will come on this earth: “Lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28). “Jacob’s Trouble” is on God’s prophetic calendar, but our present world is already affected by end time, troubling situations: famine, earthquakes and PESTILENCE (diseases, viruses, and pandemics - Luke 21:10-11). During challenging times, one preacher told his people, “Keep your Christianity so fresh, as to keep your faith so close in proximity to the gospel message, and live in such a way that to you it seems as though Jesus died yesterday, he rose this morning, and is coming back today.” Scripture tells us that “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be CAUGHT UP together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:16-17). “Caught up?” Oh yes; the Latin word is rapto, from which we get the word rapture, meaning ‘to seize up, to take away, to catch up” to meet the Lord in the air. Oh yes, there’s going to be a meeting in the air, all executed by the very One with whom we will meet, very soon. We probably all can identify with the Apostle Paul, as he had his share of challenges, misjudgments, persecutions, and hardships, but in prospect of meeting the Lord, he said “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord the righteous judge shall give me at that day, and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his APPEARING” (II Timothy 4:7-8). So keep the faith amidst your struggles, live the faith when discouragement knows your heart’s address, and love the faith that speaks of the certainty of the blessed hope for which we are looking. It has been said, “If you look at the world you will be distressed. If you look within you are tempted to be depressed. But if you look to the coming of Christ, you will be at rest.” He’s coming again pilgrim aweary, remember, you are just passing through this world, so lift up your head, for your redemption draweth nigh.