What message do I hear? Which words captivate my heart?
Jesus’ words about the Last Days and his return (found in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) must have rattled the disciples when just days later their friend and leader was crucified and buried. They must have felt that the end, or at least their end, was at hand as they remembered Jesus’ words, “Time has run out. The end is at hand. Nation will war against nation. There will be earthquakes and famines everywhere. Terrifying sights and signs will fill the heavens.”
In their fear, I’m sure those words reverberated through their minds. But did they remember these words? “When you are put on trial, don’t be anxious about what to say. The Holy Spirit will tell you what to say. He will speak through you. They won’t be able to refute you!”
I’m sure they remembered Jesus’ words, “Evil will become rampant. Men’s love for one another and for God will grow cold.” But did they remember these words? “Those who stand firm to the end will be saved. The glad message of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the entire world so that every nation will hear.”
I’m sure they remembered Jesus saying, “How terrible it will be in those days… The suffering at that time will be greater than at any time since the world began… Some will be killed by sword… Jerusalem will be trampled down!” But in their anguish, did they remember Jesus’ promise? “They will see me arriving on the clouds of heaven with overwhelming power and glory. The great trumpet will sound, and in triumph I will send out my angels to gather my people….”
When the skies grow dark and my days cold, does my vision grow cloudy and my memory dull? Do I remember… I am not alone. God will help me. God’s purposes prevail. We win!
Father, I don’t want to walk overwhelmed by fear. Help me to walk overwhelmed by your power, your glory, your goodness, your love!