Then Jesus said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.”
Luke 21:10–19, ESV
We are called to endure in our faith and in the Word. Jesus calls us to preparation often. In this account, Jesus tells the disciples that they will see much war and persecution. In this, however, we are reminded to stand firm in our faith and give everything over to God. The disciples write in Acts and the Epistles of how they witnessed the faith whenever they were brought before a tribunal or judge. Paul witnessed while imprisoned not only those that held judgment but to his guards and fellow prisoners. There is no promise of comfort in the Christian faith, but the promise of life and life eternal stands firm. This promise stands even as lives are taken with Jesus’ words, “Not a hair on your head shall perish.” This was not that those sentenced to death wouldn’t be executed, but they would not lose eternal life. All of us who belong to Christ will be restored. Christ prayed it to the Father when He prayed that none of us who are His would be lost. When we are claimed by our Lord Jesus Christ, He doesn’t let go. He doesn’t turn aside. Sadly, many will put their faith in the things of this world, and their security will be in the acceptance of those who would persecute Christ and His followers. Traps are continually laid within our world to lead people astray. Acceptance and approval become synonymous terms and cause many to stumble and turn to the wide path that leads to destruction. So many flee like animals running from the lion’s roar into the hyenas’ teeth as they laugh and mock our Lord. We are called to endure so that we may live and know the fullness of life offered by Christ and Christ alone.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.