Jesus answered, ‘Watch out, and do not let anyone deceive you. Many men, claiming to speak for me, will come and say, “I am the Messiah!” and they will deceive many people. You are going to hear the noise of battles close by and the news of battles far away; but do not be troubled. Such things must happen, but they do not mean that the end has come. Countries will fight each other, kingdoms will attack one another. There will be famines and earthquakes everywhere.’ (verses 4-7)
Read Matthew 24: 1-14
We’ve all seen children frightened by nightmares running to their mother in the middle of the night. They curl up in their mother’s lap where they feel secure, listening to words of comfort until their fear is replaced with courage to go back to bed with hopes of better dreams.
People say, ‘ The end is near! Just look at how accurately Jesus’ words are reflected in our nightly news.’ We know of false Messiahs, and we’ ve watched the wars happening around the world on our TV. Reports of disasters and increasing violence can make us paranoid about even stepping outside.
In the midst of this, God cradles you in his arms and speaks softly to you, ‘Do not be troubled. Such things must happen, but they do not mean that the end has come.’ Don’t despair, don’t shut down, don’t sit and wait for it all to end. The world needs people with hope. The God who cradles you also holds the future. He knows what will happen and he is in control.
My Father, when my hope seems to disappear, please comfort my fears and give me faith to keep going. Amen.
by Jorg Ernst, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
Visit the Daily Devotion archives page.