Luke 21:5-19 (NRSV)
Suffering for Jesus' sake
When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, "As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down."
They asked him, "Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?" And he said, "Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, 'I am he!' and, 'The time is near!' Do not go after them.
"When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately." Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.
"But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls.
Today I am reminded of the saying, "Only what you do for Christ will last!"
The scripture reminds us that we can worry about all sorts of things such as beautifully adorned houses, special gifts, wars, weather, hunger, disease, false prophesies, betrayals and/or humiliations of every sort!
We can fret and fear with great anxiety about all of the bad things that may or may not happen and we can try to plan, guess, and prepare for trials to come.
But, ultimately, God is the only knower of all things. And as human beings, the only thing that we can know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that it is JESUS who holds all of our tomorrows and keeps us safe in his love.The words, "not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls...," ought to be a word of great encouragement for each of us!
No matter what tomorrow may bring, God promises to love us and keep us safe. God promises that nothing can separate us from his love. God promises that His children will ultimately emerge from the trials and tribulations of life, unscathed!
We know that this is true, because our sin is already forgiven and our eternal life secure. JESUS already defeated our greatest enemies--sin, death, and the grave. Jesus already assured all of our tomorrows, when he opened heavens doors to all believers!
We can rest in the blessed assurance that the time is always near for our God to hold us safe in His hand. Be at peace, Jesus has overcome the world!
If you have questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, “Come to Jesus” @ http://bit.ly/JVhaLta