Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. “You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Mark 13:5-13)
When a woman becomes pregnant, there are some effects on the body that sometimes aren’t comfortable. Some experience nausea, the body changes in shape to accommodate the baby which sometimes isn’t comfortable, then the baby moves or kicks letting the mother know they will be making their appearance in the near future. When that day arrives, the uncomfortable feelings increase as the mother goes into labor. Some labors are harder than others, where the mother experiences more labor pains. The end result is a beautiful baby. Through the mother’s perseverance, the baby they hold in their arms is ready to be loved and to love.
As we read the words of Jesus of the signs of the end times, it’s almost like reading the newspaper. We are feeling the labor pains of wars, earthquakes and famines. Many Christians around the world are being prosecuted for their faith. The betrayal of family members has been experienced by man. These are all very painful experiences, and sometimes we don’t know what to do. Jesus says to hold on. We are to keep standing firm on God’s promises and following Jesus. God has a plan that will turn out beautiful. If we keep our eyes on Jesus and not on the world, we will be able to stand firm and persevere. It will all be worth it…God promises.
Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank you for the promises that you will never leave us or forsake us. The painful challenges we experience in life will not overtake us as we hold on to you. We ask for your grace and mercy as we live out your love today.
Faith tip: Pray for those who do not have a relationship with Jesus. We know there is no other way to God. God loves them so much…let’s be a reflection of that love.