Luke 21:5-19

In our lesson for today, Jesus reminds us that all earthly things that we put our trust in will one day be destroyed. Because the kingdom of God is not something we can touch or see. It is the Spirit of God working in human hearts to bring about holiness and justice, righteousness and peace until the day that Jesus comes again. And before the Spirit of God can come alive in your heart, you have to die to yourself.

Hudson Taylor was a British missionary to China and founder of one of the most effective missionary organizations in the world. On the matter of fear and worry for the future, he once said, “Let us give up our work, our plans, ourselves, our lives, our loved ones, our influence, our all, right into God’s hand; and then, when we have given all over to Him, there will be nothing left for us to be troubled about.” (9)

We are deceived if we place our trust in earthly kingdoms and temples built by human hands. So these things have to be destroyed in order for the kingdom of God to come. Jesus told his disciples that the majestic Temple would be torn down. Their fellow Jews, their loved ones, all those people that they trusted would turn against them and persecute them for their faith in him. Every earthly kingdom, every tangible thing in which they put their trust had to be torn away in order for them to know that the kingdom of God is the only sure foundation for their life—for it is eternal and it will never fail.

When we are surrounded by hard times and persecution, when all that’s tangible in our lives is falling apart, how can we keep from giving in to fear and running down dead ends?

Jesus says to see your suffering as an opportunity to witness to God’s truth. How would it change your life if you looked at every setback, failure, loss or heartbreak as an opportunity to witness to God’s goodness and faithfulness? More importantly, how would it change the lives of everyone around you if you turned your suffering into an opportunity to witness for God’s glory?

God bless you and yours,

Pastor Randy

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