ODJ: faith at the finish

July 23, 2014 

READ: Luke 21:8-28 

I will give you the right words and . . . wisdom (v.15).

She burned down her house and lives off the land in Africa. Her name is Jja Ja Nakibuuka. Leprosy has claimed her fingers and toes. She owns nothing, so children sometimes offer her food and small presents. When she greets the children and their mothers, Jja Ja Nakibuuka always says the same thing: “God is good, and He is coming back.”
The Bible encourages us to anticipate the moment when Jesus will return to earth (1 Peter 1:13), and it also warns us about the time preceding His return. In those days, some Christians will stand trial before government officials. Some will face hatred, betrayal, prison and even death (Luke 21:12-17). The upheaval in our lives will be intense.

Despite this turmoil, God will support those who believe in Him. Jesus said, “I will give you the right words and . . . wisdom” at the right moments (v.15). We’ll be able to rely completely on Him, and He will never fail us (1 Peter 4:19). We won’t fret or fear, for we know Jesus will rescue those who remain faithful to the end (Luke 21:28).

By remaining faithful to God and standing firm, we will experience His salvation (v.19). Despite persecution, Christians will thrive spiritually and help others to do so as well. God’s saving power will still be active in the world, and He will enable us to carry out “the good things He planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10).

Do you ever feel concerned about future world events? If so, remember that “when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much . . . honour on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world” (1 Peter 1:7).

—Jennifer Benson Schuldt

365-day plan› Luke 9:28-45

Look up Matthew 24:36 to see why it’s useless to try to predict Jesus’ return date. Read 1 Corinthians 15:52 to see what will happen to believers when Jesus returns. 
What’s your attitude towards Jesus’ second coming? If you knew the day and time of His return, how would you live differently?