The recent slaughter of women and children by pro-Syrian government forces has captured world attention. Even the suggestion that Greece will leave the European Union, default on its loans, and produce an economic freefall has everyone anxiously eyeing the stock market. Worried atomic energy monitors are taking a hard look at Iran. And here at home, Americans are fretfully looking for a leader.
During one particularly hard time in Israel, Isaiah rebuked them: “Do not anxiously look around” (41:10). Jesus said the days before the Rapture would be anxious ones—just like now. And people are certainly looking around anxiously. “When all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near” (Luke 21:28). Unlike the earth dwellers who are anxiously looking around, we should be expectantly looking up.
Somewhat paradoxically, even though Jesus said no one knows the day or hour of His return, He told us to be looking for it. “For you know quite well that the day of the Lord's return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night...[but] you must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come in the clouds when least expected” (Matt. 24:30, 43). The world is a mess! We can either look around anxiously or look up expectantly.