Today’s readings.. (1 Kings 11), (Jeremiah 37), (Mark 11)
    It is relatively easy to tell each other to “have faith in God” when there is no pressure on us and life is relatively peaceful; it can be much harder when the ‘storm clouds’ of trouble are looming all around us.  Today we read of this happening to Jeremiah and to Jesus – and both knew what an awesome climax was coming.
    We read of Jeremiah suffering his first imprisonment (ch. 37) and telling the king and his officials, “Do not deceive yourselves.” [v.9]  We read of Jesus triumphantly entering Jerusalem. No doubt there was a keen sense of anticipation among at least some of his followers and the larger crowd: they had shouted, “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David.” [11 v.10]  But the following day Jesus cursed the fig tree (representative of Israel) when he found nothing but leaves on it.[v.13,14] and then entered the temple and “overturned the tables of the moneychangers” [v.15]  “Saying to them, ‘Is it not written ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of robbers.’ “[v.17]
    The next morning they passed the fig tree and Peter said, “ ‘Rabbi look!  The fig tree that you cursed has withered.’ And Jesus answered them, ‘Have faith in God …’ “ [v.21,22]  How is that an answer? When we say we have faith in God, we surely mean that we believe he is in control, we put our trust in him, we might not see the detail of the way ahead, but we have faith that God sees and knows all, and plans the way ahead for those who truly love him and live by Christ-like principles, so that, as Jesus told them (v.25) “whenever you stand praying forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
    In all the panic among the disciples following the arrest of Jesus, nearly all had “little faith”, only John was to stand by the cross to strength the mother of Jesus (John 19 v.27). May we have real faith and trust in God as our world starts to fall apart as it most surely will – and help each other to keep strong and have real “faith in God.” Those who have already experienced some degree of this will be the stronger as a result and, as Mark 13 v.13 tells us, “the one who endures to the end will be saved.”