Wars & Disasters. Any surprise?

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!

Today is Remembrance Day! May we all take time to give thanks and remember those who have fought for our freedom.

To all of you who have endured the battle grounds on my behalf and the behalf of my loved ones so that we could be free to live and love, speak and write in our land: We are ever indebted to you. Thank-you! God bless you! …Brenda

(It never ceases to amaze me how the Holy Spirit works. I could not have planned it better, to have these readings and this devotion topic for today. It is so very fitting.)

No one likes war. No one likes disasters or devestations. Yet, they are very much part of this world! Should we be surprised? Let’s top up our coffees and dig into this topic further…

Readings for November 17: 23rd Sunday after Pentecost

Malachi 4:1-6; Psalm 98; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-13; Luke 21:5-28

When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened… Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences…  (Luke 21:9a, 10-11a)

fireWars, rumours of wars, corruption, corrupt leaders, natural disasters. There are so many activities in this world that cause us worry and concern; concern for ourselves and our future, concerns for our children and our grandchildren. We just need to turn on the radio or television, our computers or cell phone apps, and we are bombarded with dreadful activities all over the world. What pain and sorrow these devastating events bring. The earth is breaking down and nations are in conflict with their leaders and other nations. Yes, what a dreadful state of worry we could be drowning in.

However, Jesus’ words above are words that give us hope and courage, wisdom and endurance. His words clearly tell us that what we are experiencing is no surprise. In fact, these devastating things will come. You can expect them. He is not saying that we are to go and be part of the evil and destruction that is occurring, but we do not need to fear it. In fact, he himself tells us “do not be frightened.” (Luke 21:9)

On the contrary, instead of being fearful, we can confront these dreadful events with the expectation that they are simply the result of living in a dying world with sinful beings, and they will happen – whatever they are. We can be on our guard to “stand firm” (Luke 21:19a) and always be prepared to “never tire of doing what is good.” (2 Thessalonians 3:13b) In fact, it is during these times when the love of Christ should be seen so brightly in this world as it radiates in love towards others, through helping hands in the support and rebuilding of lives after a natural disaster, in intercessory prayer for our national leaders and for families of victims caught in useless, evil killings, through the simple casserole dish taken to a neighbour burdened with ill health, and in the sharing with a friend, burdened with loneliness, the fact that (s)he has a Creator and Redeemer who deeply loves him/her and desires to never leave him/her.

Although Satan, the world and our sinful, weak selves would prefer to be caught up in worry and dread about what lies ahead, we can turn away and focus ourselves on Jesus’ words to stand firm and to not be afraid. For it is our time to shine his glory and love into a lost and dying world that is desperately seeking hope and a future.

Prayer: Dear Lord, Please be with all those homes and families that are suffering the death of loved ones through natural disasters or humankind’s evilness. Help me to be your loving hands and voice. Help me to share your saving grace to those who do not know you and are lost and burdened with care. Shine through me so that others may see your light and saving grace. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!

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