God loves his people. And for reasons I don’t fully understand he has allowed evil to enter into and to dominate the world he created for us.
War, abuse, plagues, earthquakes, hurricanes, starvation, betrayal, hatred, vengeance, drugs, violence, and loss of loved ones, and more.
God knew his people would face hard times in many forms. In Luke 21 Jesus is preparing his immediate listeners, and us, with encouragement and instructions for facing the hard times of life.
- “See to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not go after them.” (Luke 21:8) Some people will take advantage of the situation and try to convince you they are speaking for God. Be very careful who you listen to during hard times.
- “It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony” (Luke 21:13) God’s people have the light of the world in their hearts. And even a tiny light shines bright in the darkness. Share your light where God has placed you and in whatever way works best for you.
- “By your endurance you will gain your lives.” (Luke 21:19) Persevere, don’t give up. You have the only eternal hope. Remind yourself often that God is with you and it will get better.
- “straighten up and lift up your heads” (Luke 21:28) In good times it can be easy to stand tall. In hard times God’s people still have good reason to stand tall with confidence. As best you are able, by faith, take your stand boldly in the face of the darkness.
- “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life” (Luke 21:34) One way God’s people can prepare for life’s difficulties is to not allow our hearts to get discouraged or depressed or worried. Hard times are coming, be sure your heart is ready. Seek daily joy in Him.
- “keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength“ (Luke 21:36) Another way God’s people can prepare is to stay alert to what is going on around you. And stay in touch with God by developing a life of prayer, constantly talking and sharing and consulting with our Father.
Be ready, hard times are coming
Daily, in good times and bad, rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks. Then grounded on that foundation of focus and dependence upon Jesus, when the hard times hit, take your stand with courage and boldness, being very careful who you listen to. Persevere through the darkness - others need to see your steadfast confidence. Finally, look for an opportunity to share the reason for your hope; many are desperate for a glimpse of light; be the light.