A Thought for You
"Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints (Revelation 13:10)".
This encouragement comes directly after the apostle John shares that some believers will be imprisoned and some will perish by the sword for their faith. With all the disturbing news around us, I have no desire to add to one's discouragement. However, history shows national calamities that severely affect Christians are nothing new. While this passage clearly speaks of an age to come, the thought of a morbid, wretched Roman prison or being executed by a centurions blade had to be as terrifying, to a 1st century Christian, as the possibility of infectious disease is today.
Yet, John implored his readers to exercise endurance and faith. These two words both compliment and build upon each other. In order to exercise endurance, from a Biblical position, one must place their faith in the Lord. Likewise, in order to have faith, as Christ would have us, it requires perseverance. What is the point of living through the hardships and tragedies of life if something, I would say Someone, greater than I does not exist?
On the other hand faith does not guarantee instant gratification in this life. While Jesus Christ does bring "abundant life", our faith is often tested (James 1: 2-4) and it is essential we understand how important patience is. Learning to fulfill His purpose, in our lives, when turmoil rages around us is a life lesson common to all. The wonderful promise is Jesus can identify with us and can carry us through.
One of my favorite passages of Scripture declares,
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4: 14-16 NLT
Let us join in prayer BOLDLY for our communities, our leaders, our fellow citizens, and the world at large that the result of this pandemic would be a revival of the knowledge of God leading people to Jesus Christ. Pray that God would heal bodies and deliver souls from the power of sin. Finally, let us shine as beacons of hope to a world consumed with panic and fear.
Jesus Christ stands ready to provide His peace in our lives. Please consider His promise to bring peace to you (John 14:27) in this time of turmoil !