What’s with the weather? Violent winter storms in recent years earned the name “Snowmageddon.” Last summer a heat wave nicknamed “Lucifer” struck southern Europe while forest fires burned out of control in Canada. The worst famine since World War II is gripping parts of Africa. Where will the next major earthquake or tsunami take place? Will severe storms hit our community this winter?
These conditions are nothing new. Jesus warned his followers of dangerous times ahead, of war, famine and persecution. But he also offered reassurance, saying that “not a hair of your head will perish.” (verse 18) He added “By your endurance you will gain your souls.” (verse 19)
We can feel overwhelmed by all this bad news or we can choose to be strong in faith in the midst of adversity. Jesus called such times an opportunity to testify. How can you testify to God’s steadfast love and faithfulness in your life this week? How has loss or suffering in your life served to strengthen your faith?
Powerful God, grant me strength, patience and hope, even in fearful times Amen. — JRG