Encouragement for the Weary

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Luke 21:16–19

[16] You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. [17] You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. [18] But not a hair of your head will perish. [19] By your endurance you will gain your lives.

These words seem so far from reality in comparison with our lives today, don’t they? Most of us are not being delivered over to the authorities because we believe in Jesus. We are not hated by all the people around us for what we believe. And our faith has not caused our family members to disown us.

But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t encouragement for us in these verses, and it doesn’t mean that persecution won’t happen some day.

Even though most of us are not being hated or persecuted for what we believe, we would all agree that life is hard, right? We face different kinds of struggles everyday. Emotional struggles that lead many to face depression or anxiety. Physical struggles that leave some with chronic pain. Addictions that cause life long struggles with things like drugs, alcohol, and pornography. Family struggles where fighting and back biting are present. The list could go on and one.

There are so many personal struggles that we face while also living in a world that is full of war, hate, murder, rape, kidnapping, etc…, that it is very easy to lose hope.

But this is where the words of Jesus become a balm of hope for us. They remind us that he will protect us (not a hair on your head will perish) and that we will make it through this life, and in the end, gain a glorious and forever life and eternity with him. We are not left to fend for ourselves.

But there is also the reminder that though these things are hard, they should not surprise us. Look at the following:

Luke 21:10–11, 25-26

[10] Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. [11] There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

[25] “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, [26] people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Wars, natural disasters, famines, murder, hate, etc… These things will happen as sin continues to have it deteriorating affect on the world. But then comes the good news of verse 27:

[27] And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

Yes! Our God and Savior is coming back. Despite all the hard, pain, struggle, war, hate, and terror that we have to experience, endure, and witness in this life we know that by God’s grace we will endure them, and that there will be a time that Jesus, our glorious Savior, will return in power, and will put an end to it all.

He will come in the clouds and will gather up his people and we will be with him forever. Hallelujah!

So is this life hard? Absolutely! Jesus said it would be. But take heart. We have a God who is protecting us and will help us to endure in this life. And one day he will come back for us. We will be with him and will be his people forever. All pain, sorrow, stress, depression, anxiety, hate, death, war, murder, etc… will be gone, and only joy, peace, and goodness will remain.

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