Scripture: “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.” (Luke 21:34)

Observation: Jesus is giving his famous “Olivet Discourse.”  It is well known because Jesus not only predicts (“prophesies” is a better word) the fall of Jerusalem – which occurred in 70AD, but he also gives the disciples and us a glimpse of what the end of days will be like!  He talks about ‘nation rising against nation’ (v. 10) and ‘persecution’ (v. 12).  Clearly these are events that occurred prior to the fall of Jerusalem, but will also occur in the last days as well. In fact, as with much of the Old Testament, prophesies can have a “near” and “far” fulfillment.  In other words, Jesus knows that what he says will happen in the lifetime of some of his listeners, but will also happen when He returns!

Application: In fact, we are in the “last days” now.  Truly Christians are being persecuted for their faith, and nations are rising against nations.  But what does Jesus speak to us in the midst of that turmoil? “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down.”  It is easy for us to allow our hearts to be weighed down by the events that unfold around us and which the media is all too happy to report in the news!  But in the face of those anxieties we are to turn nowhere but to the Lord himself for our comfort and our hope.

Prayer Lord Jesus, help us face today’s troubles being aware that you know about them, since you foretold them long ago.  Cause us to look toward your return with hope! Amen.