In Luke 21, Jesus taught His disciples how to keep their sanity in the midst of cultural and societal upheaval. Would you like to keep yours? Me too! Here’s how…
Expect a temporary fallen world to be inherently unstable— in verses 10-12, Jesus describes the end times as being characterized by the rise and fall of governments and nations; the increase of natural disasters; and an increased hostility towards those who believe the gospel. This doesn’t sound like good news, but hold on…
Anticipate God using your testimony of hope—in verse 13, Jesus says, “And it shall turn to you for a testimony.” Literally, Jesus says, “Bad times are going to be good for gospel ministry!” Why? Because when temporal things that people hope in (like an election) don’t go their way, they need a stronger hope—which you and I already have.
Settle Your Heart—Next Jesus says, “Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer.” I love this! Settle your heart. It’s a command. Don’t worry. Don’t be characterized by anxiety. Don’t let fear lead you. Choose a restful heart! This requires intentional decision-making, but it’s possible. This is a decision to let Jesus hold your heart, and not the media.
Specifically, Jesus is saying, “Don’t worry about what to say… when the time comes, He will give you “a mouth and wisdom!” Wow! What a promise!
Why not stop and pray right now—“Lord Jesus, settle my heart, give me a mouth and wise words today!”
Expect Relational Rejection and Possible Persecution—In verse 16-17, Jesus says we will be “betrayed” by family members, hated, and persecuted. If a polarized election will destroy friendships, I guess we can expect our love for Jesus to be a problem for some as well. This may not be happening within our borders, but it sure is in many other portions of the world. Hold on, it gets better!
Know that You are Safe—in verse 18, Jesus said, “But there shall not an hair of your head perish.” From His perspective, you are indestructible! The one who rose again from death, and who promises to raise you, tells you that no matter what happens in time and space—it can’t harm you. I guess we can truly live with “no fear!” We can leap into courageous, outrageous, risky faith-filled living!
And now for my favorite part!
Patiently Possess Your Soul—Finally, Jesus says in verse 19 “In your patience possess ye your souls.” Patience refers to cheerful and hopeful endurance—like a kid in his car seat on the long drive to Disney World! Possess means to acquire, or to own. And your soul here is your “psuche” or your psyche—your inner world of mind, will, emotions, thoughts, attitudes, and values. This is your true identity, your inner man.
He is literally saying, “You can retain your sanity when everyone seems to be losing theirs!” You can settle your hearts and buckle in for a cheerful hopeful journey through chaos. You can know that the chaos can’t touch you, and your journey will ultimately and eternally end with exceeding joy.
Jesus told us it would be like this; and long ago He told us how to respond. Settle your heart. Possess your “psyche” in hopeful, cheerful endurance. All the while, help others find their new identity in Jesus—help others anchor their souls to Jesus.
Sanity is a wonderful thing. Emotional, relational, spiritual stability is a gift from Jesus to me and you. Christians should be the most sane and cheerful people on planet Earth.
As Christians, may we find our voice for HOPE. May we be known for our GOSPEL, not our political positions. May we find our voice for JESUS in an ocean of voices characterized by rage, anger, confusion, and temporal opinions.
We live in tumultuous times, but we belong to a great Savior! Hold onto Him today, and let all of the “insanity” become an opportunity for GOSPEL TESTIMONY!
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:” (2 Corinthians 4:3)