January 13 (Matthew 24:12-13)
Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (NLT)
Think it is hard to maintain your faith? Read again in Matthew 27 how Jesus was mocked on the last day of His life on earth. Anyone who tells you that keeping your faith in God is easy is lying. Now think about the daily paths of your life. As you live your time at work, at the grocery store, at home…how often is your faith under attack? Whether from problems that seem daunting, an environment that is not particularly supportive of faith, or outright hostility to anything having to do with God, it is a day by day struggle for any Christian to keep the faith.
And you know what? Jesus knew that. He told His disciples directly that times would come when sin would be “rampant everywhere.” Take one look at the news headlines or any social media feed. Sound about right? He also said that the love of many would grow cold. He nailed that one, too. We are living in incredibly divisive, hate-filled times. And then He offered a word of encouragement to those who endure to the end.
There are days when I hope Jesus returns before dinner, but neither you nor I know when that will happen, and it may not happen in our lifetime. We have to dig in. We have to steel ourselves against the blows that come day after day after day by holding onto Jesus in spite of everything…everything…that tells us to give up. Fortunately, faith is not a matter of emotion. If it were, I would have lost it a long time ago. Faith means crying out with the man in Mark 9:24, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
Holy Spirit, breathe into me the breath of life that comes from faith. Fill my mind and my heart so that whatever comes my way, it encounters Jesus. And when I cannot see Him, when I cannot feel Him, when I doubt that He is even there, help me to cling to Him all the more. Amen.