And the [first] beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months… Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them…and by the signs that [the second beast] is allowed to work in the presence of the [first] beast, it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. (Revelation 13:5, 7a, 14-15)
Ungodly authority, violence and conflict, deception and false miracles, persecution, state-sanctioned murder: this is chaos.
As the book of Revelation continues to unfold the unraveling of human society in the end times, it seems like things are getting darker and darker, worse and worse, and it seems like for the people of God, everything is falling apart.
Does your life ever feel like that?
Take note, then, that even in the midst of such hardship and trial, there is a common thread running through this entire chapter: “it was allowed.”
We may never understand in this life just why God allows certain things. We may feel we would do differently, or wish there would have been an easier way. As we try to process the hard circumstances of our lives, this is a normal reaction and a natural place to start. However, it doesn’t have to be the place we finish.
Christian, know this. No matter how crazy things look down here, God is still in control, watching over your destiny from above! No matter how dark things appear from your perspective, God is still overseeing and working all things together for your good in Christ.
So, in the midst of whatever turmoil you may be facing, this is God’s word of hope to you today, sent by the Holy Spirit through the prophetic pen of John.
God still commands the chaos.