9 “Then people will hand you over to be treated badly and killed. All nations will hate you because of me. 10 At that time, many will turn away from their faith. They will hate each other. They will hand each other over to their enemies. 11 Many false prophets will appear. They will fool many people. 12 Because evil will grow, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 But the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 This good news of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world. It will be a witness to all nations. Then the end will come. 15 “The prophet Daniel spoke about ‘the hated thing that destroys.’ (Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11) Someday you will see it standing in the holy place. The reader should understand this. 16 Then those who are in Judea should escape to the mountains. 17 No one on the roof should go down into his house to take anything out. 18 No one in the field should go back to get his coat. 19 How awful it will be in those days for pregnant women! How awful for nursing mothers! 20 Pray that you will not have to escape in winter or on the Sabbath day. 21 There will be terrible suffering in those days. It will be worse than any other from the beginning of the world until now. And there will never be anything like it again. 22 If the time had not been cut short, no one would live. But because of God’s chosen people, it will be shortened. 23 “At that time someone may say to you, ‘Look! Here is the Christ!’ Or, ‘There he is!’ Do not believe it. 24 False Christs and false prophets will appear. They will do great signs and miracles. They will try to fool God’s chosen people if possible. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. 26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘He is far out in the desert,’ do not go out there. Or if anyone says, ‘He is deep inside the house,’ do not believe it. 27 Lightning that comes from the east can be seen in the west. It will be the same when the Son of Man comes. 28 The vultures will gather wherever there is a dead body. 29 “Right after the terrible suffering of those days, “‘The sun will be darkened. The moon will not shine. The stars will fall from the sky. The heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ (Isaiah 13:10; 34:4) 30 “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. All the nations on earth will be sad. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky. He will come with power and great glory. 31 He will send his angels with a loud trumpet call. They will gather his chosen people from all four directions. They will bring them from one end of the heavens to the other.
Psalm 27 says ” The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” and “Wait for The Lord. Be strong and take heart and wait for The Lord.”
In this passage from Matthew Jesus is encouraging his followers to endure. He warns us about the difficult things which will happen on the earth, but I think it is with the intention of preparing us, not making us fearful. Jesus also reassures us that we will recognise him when he comes, so that we won’t be lead astray by others claiming to be him.
Nobody likes going through difficult times. But I am encouraged and reassured by the wonderful result if we do “take heart and wait for The Lord”. I know that Jesus will strengthen me for the difficult times, and in the end I will be blessed with eternal life in heaven.
Heavenly Father, thank you that you are the stronghold of my life. Please help me to stand firm in the face of persecution – to not be deceived and to not be weak – so that I can represent you faithfully. Thank you that the time of persecution is so short compared to our life with you in heaven.
Written by Megan Cornell