Your opportunity to bear witness ...
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. 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.
Since Jesus Christ first uttered these words there have been wars, earthquakes, famines and pestilences. Since then countless numbers of His followers have been persecuted for their faith. And yet the end of the age that many thought he was speaking of has not yet come. Could it be that many of us have misunderstood this notion of the last days? Could it be that the last days for Jesus' listeners were different than our last days? Perhaps it comes in waves?
Regardless of how or when it comes the message is clear that God will not forsake his people in dark days. He will give them wisdom that cannot be withstood by the rationalizations of the godless. He will carry these through death and, like Daniel's friends, he will be with them in the fire. Hardship and trials are opportunities for the people of God to shine brightly and to bear witness to the love of God in our lives. It is a time to gloriously endure and gain our lives.
It is enough that you are with me today Lord Jesus Christ. I celebrate your presence.