Do not be anxious. That’s what the apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6. I have to remind myself of that because it’s exactly what happens to me when I read Mark 13. Maybe you become anxious too? Here’s how it goes. We begin to analyze and worry, trying to discern if we are in the end times. As we consider current events and the natural disasters happening everywhere, the conclusion has to be yes, we are living in the end times. Given that answer, our creative energy is poured into possibilities and theories that tie everything together. In some odd way, it helps make sense of the world. Other people support the idea too. In fact, they will encourage us and ask for more which causes us to go digging into the prophetic scripture so that we can justify our conclusions.
What is my conclusion? Yes, we are in the end times. I do not know if we are closer to the beginning or closer to the end, but I’d have to be crazy not to see evil rising up all around me. And, yes, it makes me anxious. Truth is, this anxiety is very revealing. It paints a pretty good picture of what is really in my heart. You see, this anxiety is produced when I consider that the life that I know, with its familiarity and relative comfort, is going to be disrupted. If that is true, then clearly, I am not looking forward to a life with God. If that is true, Jesus warns, there is no possible way you will make it through the tribulation.
How then, are we going to make it through? How are we going to survive additional trials that are headed our way? Its easy when we reflect on the central focus of all these stories. They are not about God’s condemnation. They are about his love and faithfulness. If we are to be reminded of this, we must do as Colossians 3:2 suggests and “set our mind on things above, not on earthly things.” When we do that, all the events, all the possible horrors and evils fade away, forever lost in the hope created by the pure, precious love of Jesus Christ.