November 30, 2012

Wading in faithfulness for renewed strength

By Liliana Ballge, financial aid assistant director
SCRIPTURE: Luke 21:25-36 (NRSV)

With so much turmoil in our world, sometimes we may question: “God where are you or why is this happening?” Hurricanes, earthquakes, wild fires and many other natural disasters — in addition to wars and acts of violence — can at times cause us to run weary and feel overwhelmed in our walk with God.

However, in times of distress and uncertainty, Jesus instructs us to “stand up and raise our heads.” Both literally and figuratively, I believe that Jesus also faced times of distress and uncertainty during his life and ministry to the point that at the Garden of Gethsemane he models the prayer of “not my will, but your will be done” and concludes his life by fulfilling the mission he was sent here to do.

He goes on to say that the life that we are currently living is only temporal; however, that we can stand on his word for truth as his “words will not pass away.” I urge you to know his word, study it and live it, for in a world that is constantly changing, you will find confidence, strength, wisdom and guidance through the Holy Scriptures.

Finally, he closes with a command to “be alert at all times, praying that you may have strength.” Prayer is simply communion with God. In this Advent season, recommit yourself to renewing your walk with God by standing up, raising your head towards him, spending time knowing his word and praying at all times that you may receive strength.

SCRIPTURE: Luke 21:25-36 (NRSV)
‘There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud” with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’
Then he told them a parable: ‘Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
‘Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.’



Comments (6)

  1. great post!

    Crystal Duke November 30, 2012 |
  2. This was a perfect reflection for my family today. My 94 year old beloved Mother in Law is having a pacemaker put in and we are very worried she might not be with us for long. Your reflection just reminded me to take my Bible to the hospital with me; to pray for strength; and to “stand up and raise my head high” for my self, my husband and all our family at this difficult time. Thanks for being the Holy Spirit (Comforter) to me today! Love in Jesus, JoAnne

    JoAnne Betz Esq. November 30, 2012 |
  3. Your devotional is a timely reminder in this Advent season.; thanks Liliana.

    Wilma Shank November 30, 2012 |
  4. A great reminder. We are not alone, and we don’t have to face things alone. It’s never easy to ‘stand up and raise your head’. And we’re not gonna ‘escape’ anything in this life. There’s always a reason why we’re being challenged. Why DO bad things happen to ‘good’ people? And the opposite as well? Don’t know. It is what it is. But what this basically is saying is HE has our backs!

    Debbie Lackowitz November 30, 2012 |
  5. Thanks, Liliana, for helping me to hear this clear call to stand firm with my head up, communing with God. A great Advent insight.

    Janice November 30, 2012 |
  6. I was intrigued by the title “Wading…” It conjured up a memory of standing in the surf, watching the powerful waves break out further, feeling the sand beneath my feet. Whether or not it was a ‘typo’, I was blessed by the image of being surrounded and even caressed by faithfulness. thank you.

    Mary Mendenhall December 1, 2012 |