When it comes to eschatology, or the study of the End Times, we often study it by reciting the signs: the verses and hadiths that inform us of what will happen towards the end. However, what we should really contemplate is the *function* of eschatology in the life of a believer.
The vast majority of the Prophet's prophecies regard terrible events, tragedies and trends that will become normal in a time when faith becomes, "like grabbing onto a hot coal." Through these prophecies, it is as if Allah is telling us: 'Do not be sad, We know all that is happening. We have destined it, so let it increase your trust in Us.' As a result, when a Muslim sees meaningless murder, widespread zina, imams who call to misguidance, and people leaving the deen in droves, they know that these exact things have been talked about by the Prophet peace be upon him. The challenge is still there, but in our hearts, we know that Allah is in complete control. All this is part of a plan.
The second major function it serves, is to give hope. Nobody can deny the decrease of iman, the loss of ferver, the absence of awe in connection to the symbols of Islam. So we naturally ask: is this how it ends? After all that history, is this it? It's hard to hold onto something that's about to die off. But Islamic eschatology tells us that the end is not only bright, it's so bright it competes with the first generation. The Prophet peace be upon him said, "Mu umma is like the rain, one doesn't know what is better, it's beginning or its end."
Allah will not leave the umma of His beloved to end with a sad and miserable death. Rather, right before the end, Allah will give a definitive and glorious victory to Islam. Then it will be over. It will end on---not a just a good note---a great one.
When we think about this, it motivates us to get back on our feet and live by the belief, love and law that the Imam Mahdi and the Prophet Isa alayhi salam will revive. They will not bring anything new. That being the case, we might as well start striving for it from now. If that blessed time doesn't come in our lifetime, no worries, we aren't millenarianists whose lives revolve around waiting for some event. Whatever we do benefits us anyway. And at the bare minimum, we set the tone for our kids' to grow up and live the same way.
May Allah constantly keep our hearts revived, and keep the Prophet's dua on our tongue: "We seek refuge from the test of life and death, and from the temptation of the Anti-Christ." Ameen.