Devotion – August 24, 2015 – Tough Times Ahead

mark9_30-31Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.”
—Mark 9:30-31

Jesus taught many people many things.  He certainly could attract a crowd, but sometimes He would go off with His closest disciples and teach them separately.  Sometimes He did this because He was preparing them for their roles as apostles, sometimes He was preparing them for what was about to happen.  In this case, it’s more the latter.  Jesus has been traveling with these 12 men for nearly 3 years.  They know He is the Messiah and they are following Him.  But they were about go through something none of them expected…something that would totally shake the foundations of their faith.  Jesus, their friend, their teacher, their Lord, would be killed.

Jesus is warning His disciples so the coming events don’t destroy them.  With difficult times ahead, it helps to know it’s coming and especially that it’s going to be alright.  Jesus doesn’t just tell His disciples that He’s going to be killed, but that He will also be raised.  His death won’t be the end.  Yes, it will be difficult, but they have hope.

We, too, face difficult times ahead.  Jesus, in John 16:33 said,

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

We will have trouble in this world.  I believe that more and more in America, we will face persecution for our faith.  We also all face death.  We have been warned, but once again Jesus doesn’t stop with the warning of the bad times, but continues with the reassurance of the hope we have in Him.  Take heart! He has overcome with world.  We know the the suffering of this world is only temporary.  Jesus will carry us through it and we know, in the end, we will have the victory because He has already been victorious when He was betrayed into the hands of men and was killed…He was also raised.

So, be warned.  Tough times lay ahead.  But take heart!  Jesus has already overcome the world.

Dear Jesus,

It’s hard to face trials and persecution.  Hold us strong in our faith.  Remind us of the hope we have in You.  Thank You for overcoming the world for us and help us to always keep our eyes on the victory we have in You that we may walk boldly and persevere.

Amen

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