Choose Not To Worry
Father, thank You that You will carry us through every circumstance and You will carry us through to the end.
Read Luke 21:5–28
 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said,  “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”  “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”  He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.  When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”  Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.  “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name.  And so you will bear testimony to me.  But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.  For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.  You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.  Everyone will hate you because of me.  But not a hair of your head will perish.  Stand firm, and you will win life.  “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.  Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city.  For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written.  How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people.  They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.  “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.  People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.  At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow does Jesus encourage the disciples?
Jesus paints here a scenario of global warfare, natural disasters and religious persecution which will accompany the destruction of the Temple. Not only will this wonderful building be wrecked, but the cosmos itself will be shaken before the Son of Man comes in great power (27). As we read Jesus’ prophecy regarding the last days, it is clear that he anticipates hard times ahead for his followers. And one sentence leaps out—that we are to make up our minds not to worry beforehand how we will defend ourselves (14). In a section rich in apocalyptic symbolism, Jesus recognizes our innate capacity to worry. But we can train ourselves not to, for he will give us the words and wisdom we need. One remarkable example of this can be seen in the chorus of a well-known hymn. Written at a time of profound and devastating personal loss, Horatio Spafford begins each refrain with “It is well with my soul.” He had trained his mind to trust that, even in his dark days, God would see him through.
Go outside and look at the heavens. Consider him who is beyond them.
Lord, though the heavens and earth are shaken, I am secure in Your love that will never be shaken.
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