“And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” (Matthew 24:1,2)
Jesus was a realist. Like the prophets of old, He would not sugarcoat hard truth, nor stick His head in the sand when judgment was bearing down on His people. His own disciples wished to optimistically glory in a new era of worship in their updated temple. To them, things were looking up, and they expected Jesus to be as excited as they were. But, He saw a greater glory on the horizon, one which would only appear after the blackest of days ended. Like it or not, the night had to fall. It would get darker before the real dawn.
No one looks forward to suffering. Sometimes, we think things are going “too good,” and we brace ourselves for some inevitable heartache that is in store. But God alone knows the times and the seasons. We shouldn’t live in a spirit of fear; but neither should we delude ourselves concerning the nature of life in this present evil world.
Judgment is coming. Those who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. Are we arming ourselves? Peter once thought to hide a sword in his robe. But later he would have a different approach: “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin” (1 Pet. 4:1).
Be grateful for every sunny day. Live happily in the good things that still surround you. But don’t be naive. Storm clouds are forming. Prepare yourself for their breaking.