Week of September 4
What if Things Only Get Worse?
by Max Lucado
Christ tells us that they will. He predicts spiritual bailouts, ecological turmoil, and worldwide persecution. Yet in the midst of it all, he contends bravery is still an option. (Matthew 24:4-14)
Things are going to get bad, really bad, before they get better. And when conditions worsen, "See to it that you are not alarmed" (Matt. 24:6 NIV). Jesus chose a stout term for alarmed that he used on no other occasion. It means "to wail, to cry aloud," as if Jesus counseled the disciples, "Don't freak out when bad stuff happens."
"See to it…" Bosses and teachers are known to use that phrase. "See to it that you fill out the reports." Or "Your essay is due tomorrow. See to it that you finish your work." The words call for additional attention, special focus, extra resolve. Isn't this what Christ is asking of us? In this dangerous day, on this Faberge'-fragile globe, with financial collapse on the news and terrorists on the loose, we have every reason to retreat into bunkers of dread and woe.
But Christ says to us, "See to it that you are not alarmed." (NIV)
"Keep your head and don't panic" (MSG).
"See that you are not troubled" (NKJV).
And remember: "All these [challenging times] are the beginning of birth pains" (Matt. 24:8 NIV), and birth pangs aren't all bad. (Easy for me to say.) Birth pains signal the onset of the final push. The pediatrician assures the mom-to-be, "It's going to hurt for a time, but it's going to get better." Jesus assures us of the same. Global conflicts indicate our date on the maternity calendar. We are in the final hours, just a few pushes from delivery, a few brief ticks of eternity's clock from the great crowning of creation. A whole new world is coming!
© (Thomas Nelson, 2009),