7 “When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, don’t be alarmed! These things must happen, but they don’t mean that the end has come. 8 Nation will fight against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes and famines in various places. These are only the beginning pains of the end.
Wars, earthquakes, famines – What are we to make of such things? Jesus says, “Don’t be alarmed.” Many people look at the terrible things that happen in our world – and they lose their faith. They find it hard to rediscover their faith. Everything seems to come back to this – ‘Terrible things are happening. I don’t know what to make of it all.’ How can Jesus say to us, “Don’t be alarmed”? He looks beyond what’s happening now. He looks on to “the end.” We see the mess that our world’s in. He sees God’s eternal Kingdom. He’s calling us to lift up our eyes. He’s calling us to see things with his eyes. We’re not to close our eyes to what’s happening on earth. When we look at our troubled world, we must learn to see that this is not all that there is. There is something better. Jesus invites us to look beyond “the end” of our world. He invites us to catch a glimpse of our new beginning in God’s everlasting Kingdom. When will “the end” come? We don’t know. We can only trust the Lord, believing that, beyond our “end”, there will be his new beginning. This is what gives us hope. This is more than human optimism – hoping for the best. It’s trust in Jesus, our Saviour. It’s believing that He will lead us on into His eternal salvation.