“When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, don’t be alarmed; these things must take place, but the end is not yet.” ~ Jesus | Mark 13:7
Recently I read this verse in Mark 13 in my morning devotions, and was struck with the simple comfort of this verse. In this day and age, especially, I think, for us young adults striving to serve the Lord, we look on the the future with doubt and fear. To us it feels like the world is on the edge of a knife, teetering on the brink of utter destruction -and in times like these, we need verses like these.
I have made several observations on why we should not spend our days in fear:
- Jesus said “don’t be alarmed”. If Martyrs can sing while burning at the stake, then surely God will give us sufficient grace to face the difficulties that come our way. If we trust in God, we will be able to face those difficulties with far less fear and far more joy than we can ever imagine now.
- We adapt to deal with the persecution of our time. Many of us wouldn’t say we are “directly persecuted”, and indeed, we could draw all sorts of comparisons to prove that we are not. But the point isn’t what level of persecution we face, but the fact that we DO face persecution. As levels of persecution rise, God will help us adapt and face those.
- We do not live in the darkest era of the earth, at least not yet: This is something I’ve tried to be objective about, and a point that Rush Limbaugh made recently too, though he articulated it better than I can. All of us automatically interpret the world through our own experiences in our own lives, and it’s easy to feel like the world is crashing down when things get rough for us in comparison to what they where. This isn’t a phenomena that is new to those of us alive today. Every generation has had it’s own experiences that made them feel the same way. This isn’t to say that evil isn’t increasing in this world…I think you could make a strong argument that it is. BUT, I think we as Christians tend to focus on the massive darkness instead of recognizing the power of the light that still burns here on earth. We are like the discouraged prophet, Elijah, who thought he was the only one left and was surprised to discover that 7000 still bowed the knee to Jehovah God.
But Jesus didn’t say all these things in Mark 13 v.7. He simple says: “Don’t be alarmed.” In fact, he says this despite going on to describe all the terrible things that would/will take place before the end. But still he says, “Don’t be alarmed.”
That should be sufficient in itself.