“In your patience possess your souls.”

Luke 21:19

It doesn’t happen by accident or overnight; it requires diligent devotion.

“Possess your souls.”

What did Jesus mean by such unusual words?  Even when we realize the Greek word used here for “possess” is “ktaomai” and means “acquire, obtain, provide, purchase, etc.,” the meaning is still unclear.  But, when we put it in the context in which it was given (vv.8-19), it takes on a whole new meaning.

Our Manna is part of Luke’s version of Jesus’ words in Mt. 24:4-13 and Mk. 13:5-13.  It’s clear He was talking of end-time events.  And, in reality, every generation has felt like His words specifically applied to them and their situation.

But, has there ever been a generation when there have been more false prophets saying “I am Christ” or “I am the One you’ve been looking for” (v.8)?  Or, has there ever been a generation when there have been more “wars and rumors of wars. . .nation rising against nation. . . earthquakes in various places. . .famines and pestilences. . .and a greater, intentional persecution of Christ’s followers” (vv.9-12)?

Not likely—at least in the sense of our knowing about them because of worldwide communications.

In reality, most likely ours is the generation Jesus was talking about.  Now, as never before, we’re closer to the prophesied one-world government, one-world currency and arrival of the false prophet and Anti-Christ described in Daniel, Ezekiel and the Revelation.

Yet, we still should not become anxious, fretful or faithless in the midst of it all.

Instead, we should realize all of this “is giving us ample opportunities for a Gospel witness” (Lk. 21:13).  That’s why we should “settle it in our hearts as to what we believe and not have to say ‘Let me get back to you on that one’ when confronted with matters of faith” (v.14).

And, the only way we can do this—especially when “the heat’s on” (vv.16-17)—is by remembering what the Lord has said (v.18; Mt. 10:30)—and “patiently possessing our souls.”  Or, another way to put it is “not letting your thoughts and emotions run wild through doubt, fear, anxiety, etc.”

The story is told of a pastor enroute to a meeting via a commercial airliner.  Along the way the plane encountered a towering thunderhead and soon those aboard were being tossed to and fro by the turbulence as lightning cracked all around them outside.  Some folks were praying; others were crying.  But, the pastor noticed a little girl across the aisle, who was coloring and singing throughout the storm.

As they disembarked, he bent over and said to the little girl, “I just want you to know how much you blessed me by your calmness during the storm.  How were you able to do that?”  With a smile, she looked up and said “Oh, it was easy.  My daddy’s the pilot!”  Glory!!  Therefore, go forth today, Pilgrim, “possessing your soul in patience,” confident that your Abba-Father is also in control of things and will guide you through the day (Prov. 3:5-6).

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated August 17, 2010

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