40 Days with Jesus – November 18th – Luke 21:7-28
In Children’s Ministry we don’t spend much time talking about end times, but we do talk a lot about tough times, and times when things don’t go the way they should. As Jesus’ disciples were asking lots of questions, Jesus prepared them for just such times:
“Make up your mind right now not to worry about it. I’ll give you the words and wisdom that will reduce all your accusers to stammers and stutters.” Luke 21:15 (The Message)
For children, so many tough times are out of their control – one parent stops loving the other; they find out they are moving to a new place; a loved one or pet dies. And that is true for “grownups” as well. Everyone faces tough times. When I was 24, married, and expecting our first child, my dad left my mom and asked for a divorce. It was devastating to our family, and totally out of my control. That is why I love this passage. Jesus gives us such great comfort when adversity comes. He doesn’t promise physical protection but even better:
“There’s no telling who will hate you because of me. Even so, every detail of your body and soul-even the hairs of your head!-is in my care, nothing of you will be lost.” Luke 21:17 (The Message) In verse 19, our response, “Staying with it – that’s what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry; you’ll be saved.”
Joni Eareckson Tada is a quadriplegic because of an accident and knows what it means to stay with it to the end. She says, “God uses suffering to purge sin from our lives, strengthen our commitment to him, force us to depend on grace, bind us together with other believers, produce discernment, foster sensitivity, discipline our minds, spend our time wisely, stretch our hope, cause us to know Christ better, make us long for truth, lead us to repentance of sin, teach us to give thanks in times of sorrow, increase faith, and strengthen character. It is a beautiful image!”
And after the tough times?
“Then – then! – they’ll see the Son of Man welcomed in grand style – a glorious welcome! When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high. Help is on the way!” Luke 21:27-28 (The Message)
So no matter our tough times, when we feel life spinning out of control – our comfort is in the One who knows all things, and is totally in control.
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