Faith in God

When you see these things happening, lift up your head!(Encouragement based on Luke 21)

Jesus had been asked by his disciples what would be the signs and conditions that would exist prior to his coming. In what is described as the “Mount Olivet Prophecy” (see also Matthew 24 and Mark 13), Jesus responds with events that would have had particular relevance to those in Jesus’ time who would experience the terrible events of Jerusalem’s destruction in AD70.

But his prophecy and descriptions also extend to our time. Today! So how are you feeling today? Afraid? Uncertain? Troubled? Are you concerned for your employment? Will your savings run out soon? Will you contract this virus and perhaps die? How long will the current crisis last? There are so many questions that all of us have. What is extraordinary about THIS event, is that there is not one person on earth who will not be affected in some way. The same uncertainty that exists in developed world countries for people who have lost their employment, is being felt by those in developing countries who rely on each day’s employment to provide for their family’s needs each day.

woman wearing red sweatshirt looking at top between trees near grass during daytime

How do we think they might feel? In varying ways and to various degrees we are ALL experiencing this time of trouble. Jesus gives us reassurance. In times such as this, he will come again! Twice in this chapter (vv 28 and 31) he says when you see these things happening—“stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” and “know that the kingdom of God is near”!

Jesus IS coming. Soon. And like the effects of this virus, “that day … will come on ALL those who live on the face of the whole earth” (v 35). So how do we prepare? These are his instructions:

• ‘Stand up and lift up your heads’;

• ‘Be alert”, or on watch; and

• We are to pray (see verse 36).

If we do these things, Jesus says, we “may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (v 36). “Standing up” suggests a commitment to action. As disciples of Jesus, we’ve got work to do! Events such as those we are seeing, are a call to action. We are God’s watchmen on the walls (Ezekiel 33). Be alert and on watch. It is time to stand up and take action! There’s work to be done! We must warn our neighbours, family and friends.

Jesus is coming. Human rule is coming to an end. It is almost time for him to takeover at His Father’s command. Lifting up our heads suggests that we are looking to God our Father, for His help and comfort. In previous times of trouble He has told His people more than once, “be strong and very courageous, I will never leave you nor forsake you”. ‘Lifting up our heads’ involves us seeing God’s “big picture” and seeing beyond our own needs and realising that others, many of whom do not believe in God or His Son, need reassurance. So don’t forget the needs of others.

Despite very necessary ‘stay at home’ and similar health advice, we should provide help and encouragement wherever we can. After all, the example of Jesus and his message that he is coming again is EVERYTHING our sad world needs. Finally, PRAY! Pray with the commitment and persistence of the woman in Jesus’ parable (Luke 18 v 1). Don’t give up! Keep at it! Remind God regularly of His promises and plead for their fulfilment when He intervenes and sends His Son to establish His Kingdom. If we do that, then when the Son of Man comes, he WILL find such faith on the earth! (v 8)

Ken Chalmers

Do you want to be saved? You have to believe in Jesus and his message of salvation.

Click to complete our free preparing for baptism lessons on the gospel here and we will personally keep in touch with you as you grow in faith.