As we near the end of the Christian year, approaching Advent, today's devotion for today is based on Matthew 24: 21-23, "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe it.
We should all remember that wars, earthquakes, extreme weather events, and COVID are all distractions, inviting us to take our eyes off Jesus and get caught up in (conspiracy) theories rather than focusing on the good news. Namely, Jesus died and rose again for us, God is in control, and we can trust in the Holy Spirit to enable and encourage us.
Even if we feel paralyzed by all that is happening in the world at the moment, Jesus calls us out of that paralysis: to life, to see the Christ and to live in peace. In John 16:33, Jesus says, 'I told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world, you will have trouble, but be brave! I have defeated the world'.
Would you rather live in fear and uncertainty, with confusion and hopelessness, or is it wiser and gentler to look at Christ, allow his peace, grace, and forgiveness to accompany your doubts, and hand them over to him? Jesus provides courage and hope in troubling times. Trust in him.
Please pray with me; we thank you, Lord Jesus, that you have conquered the world. Help us rest in that knowledge, relax into your arms, and be reassured by your loving embrace. Amen.