Luke 21:9-11, 25-28 - [Jesus said] "And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once." 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 pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. ... And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
There's one topic of conversation that keeps coming up with my friends. In quiet whispers, one of us will say to another, "Do you think it's the end times yet? Is the world coming to an end?"
It's no surprise. We've had years of political uproar. COVID. Isolation. Grief for people we have loved and lost. Worry about the future—our jobs, our homes, our health. Worry about the world—war in Ukraine, earthquakes and famines in many places, volcanoes, tsunami, weird weather, climate change. It's all looking more and more like the picture Jesus painted in our reading today.
And our response is fear. Why wouldn't it be? We are human. We don't want to suffer or die. We don't want the people we love to do that, either. And so we look at the state of the world with dread and fear.
What can overcome fear? Nothing but hope. And this is our hope—that our redemption is drawing near. Just as He promised, Jesus will return, will see us face to face, and will put a complete end to all the evil we have spent our lives suffering. Instead, He will open to us the new heavens and new earth He is creating—the cosmos in which "the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away" (Revelation 21:3b-4).
Jesus' promise is sure. He will not desert us—not the Savior who loves us, who died and rose again to make us His own. He will surely keep His promise and come to us; and as we wait, we hold on to that certainty. And even in the darkest days, we can comfort one another with the promise of His coming. Nothing is more sure than that—because He has said it, and He is no liar.
WE PRAY: Lord Jesus, help me when I am anxious and afraid. Give me real hope in You. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. On a scale of one to ten, where would you say your fear level is now?
2. How do you turn to Jesus when you are afraid?
3. Tell about a time when Jesus gave you comfort and courage.
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