With all the noise in the world, do you hear the voice of God? Your calendar tells you what to do, but do you remember who you are? Being comes before doing. This is a call to put first things first. Return to the Lord with this daily pattern of prayer and devotion. Set aside this time as a sanctuary. Find a space free of distraction and follow this pattern.
Make the sign of the cross and say,
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:3) O Lord, my poverty is the place where you meet me with grace. My spirit finds all I need in you. Amen.
Word: Luke 21:10-12
Then he 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.
“Could it get any worse?” We’ve all said this when trouble gets stacked on top of trouble. “Really, God? What else could happen?” Well, get ready. Today, Jesus gives us a list of trouble. In Luke 21:10-12 he says, get ready for: War. Earthquakes. Famines. Pestilence. Terrors. Persecution. Hatred.
Jesus gives us a list of the worst things that could possibly happen. He stacks them up: Trouble in nature. Trouble in nations. Trouble in society. And then in the middle of this list, he says, “This will be your opportunity to bear witness.” (Lk. 21:13) What?!
Jesus called hostility opportunity. It doesn’t seem to fit, but remember the cross. The agony of the crucifixion was the worst thing that could happen. And yet we know that it was opportunity: For forgiveness, mercy, and life eternal. Identify the trouble around you. Just look at the headlines. Now, rather than being worried or fearful, look to the Man on the cross. Consider the fact that he endured the entire list of trouble right there.
Prayer for Rest
· For physical, mental, and emotional health.
· For times of joy, delight, and leisure.
· For a Sabbath day free from work, tasks, and stress.
· For a holy time of worship.
Lord, trouble is all around. You are my only refuge from the storm. Guard and defend me. Be my retreat. And when it is time to march, embolden me for holy opportunities to glorify your name. Amen.