Luke 21:12-19, 34 “But before all these things, they will lay hands on you and persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues…for my name’s sake. It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. But you will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated by all on account of My name. Yet not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives…Be on guard, that your hearts may not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day come on you suddenly like a trap;…”
It’s not up to us to defend ourselves. God will vindicate us. In our times of deepest trouble He will answer for us if we are willing to walk in obedience with His Spirit. In V 14 it states that we should not make up our own minds “beforehand”; as with anything, this too is a choice. We choose to defend ourselves or we allow God to not only to defend us, but vindicate us as well.
We serve a mighty and awesome God, who is faithful and just. In V 18 it states “yet not a hair of your head will perish”. If we are truly repentant and living our lives according to Gods ways, then we are already vindicated. This vindication comes in the gift of Heaven. We struggle on this earth, we suffer. We want to be vindicated, especially when we feel that we are being persecuted and we are innocent. But God tells us to stand firm in Him and trust that in that day if we are being obedient that He will give us the words to speak that our enemies cannot refute. He tells us to beware that our hearts are not to be weighted down with the cares of this world.
Sometimes that seems like it is easier said than done doesn’t it? But if we can fully rely on God, if we can fully trust in Him and His promises to us than we will be ok. I know that it is hard to stand when the world is trying to knock you down, but remember this is not our home. We have stored up for us treasures in Heaven that we cannot even begin to comprehend. Jesus wasn’t welcomed open armed most of the time, but He kept on with His Father’s business. He suffered for our sakes, even though He Himself was innocent. We are not innocent; we are sinners that are saved by grace. We are called to follow Him and walk as He walked. Jesus tells us several times in the scriptures that we WILL be persecuted for His names sake. The Christian life is not for the weak, it takes the strength to stand up when the world is pushing you down. It takes nerve to be the only one swimming against the current. It takes power to keep up your strength in turbulent times. But I warn you, make sure that your POWER is coming from God and not yourself! If we rely on our own power than we will 100% of the time FAIL. Live for God and love the world despite how they treat you. This is the recipe for success.
V 19 states “By your endurance you will gain your lives.” Endurance means long suffering. Think of the long suffering our Father in Heaven goes through, His very creation rebelling against Him; especially those who say that they will follow His ways and the teachings of His Son; but then do not. Often times we have a hard time standing firm in the word and testimony of God in times of trouble, especially of that trouble seem to last longer than we want. If we can look past the temporal and into the eternal and remember that all things are passing away, but the word of our Lord abides forever and that He will speak for us in our times of trouble; then we need not fear. Casting all our burdens upon Him, and taking up His yoke, for it is easy and His load is light.
(This was written 3/28/01)
As always, God Bless you till we meet again…