Keep Looking Up

John Koedyker

Read: Mark 8:38-9:1

There are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power. (v. 1)

It is very easy to get down—down on yourself, down on work, down on life. Problems can seem overwhelming. Life has its challenges. But the amazing thing about Jesus is that he never ceases to trust God, his Father. And thankfully, he is our Father, too. And we can go to him always for strength and courage.

Certainly, Jesus is honest with us. Hard times come. In today’s passage, Jesus speaks to his disciples about how in his own future he will soon face daunting things like rejection, suffering, and death on a cross. But Jesus doesn’t let these things get him down. Instead, he talks about the kingdom of God coming with power. It is a matter of conviction and faith with Jesus. Nothing will deter him: “Truly, I say to you.” In other words, “Don’t doubt me!” Yes, hard times were imminent, but greater things would be coming: the power of the Holy Spirit would be unleashed at Pentecost and God would use these weaklings to spread the gospel throughout the whole world. And so it continues to this day!

When I was young, my grandparents gave me a little night-light to turn on when I went to sleep at night. On it were the words, “Keep looking up.” That is what the Lord wants us to do—not look down in despair, but to look up to him in faith.

—John Koedyker

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that nothing can separate us from your love (Rom. 8:39).