Reading: Luke 21: 10-19
Today’s passage really lays out what is ahead one day and makes it clear that God will be present through it all. The reading opens with a view of a grim future that evokes connections to Revelation. We do not know when, but we do know that the world will be in rough shape with all the earthquakes, famine, violence, and so forth.
Then Jesus steps back and makes it personal. Jesus speaks of a time of persecution and trial for the believers. Believers will be persecuted and arrested and put on trial. Why? So we can witness to our faith. It is interesting that we will not be rescued from the trial by our carefully thought-out arguments. Jesus even says not to prepare any. He says, “Trust”. Do not worry – “I will give you words and wisdom”. Do not rely on your own skills and knowledge and rhetoric, but only rely on your faith. Just like the Holy Spirit filled Peter and John when they were on trial before the Sanhedrin, so too will the Holy Spirit fill each who trusts fully in Jesus.
This message of trusting in God holds true for all believers in all times. We need to remember this because we know that in this life we will face times of trial. There will be difficulties. There simply will be. Jesus encourages us in how we approach and walk through these times. The first thing we must do is trust in God and not in ourselves. Once we acknowledge our absolute need for God, then we fully open ourselves up to God’s presence to work in our lives. In this way we will bear witness to our faith in a world that doubts and questions. By trusting fully in God we demonstrate that God is absolutely in control. By living out a peace that passes understanding we bear witness to God.
God is faithful and God is loving. When we trust fully in God, we experience these things. There will be pain and hurt in this life, but when we hold fast to our faith in God, we retain a hope greater than anything in life can defeat. May we trust fully in God, knowing our eternity rests securely in God’s loving hands.