Saturday, December 29

Endure!

Scripture: Revelation 10-14

Revelation 12:17 So the dragon was furious with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep the commands of God and hold firmly to the testimony about Jesus.

Revelation 13:10 If anyone is to be taken captive, into captivity he goes.  If anyone is to be killed with a sword, with a sword he will be killed.  This calls for endurance and faithfulness from the saints.

Revelation 14:12 This calls for endurance from the saints, who keep God’s commands and their faith in Jesus.

Observation

These chapters describe the spiritual war that precedes the final judgment of God.  There are several different visions, but all of them seem to be describing the same thing: the spiritual war between God (and his people) and the devil (and his forces).  Winning this spiritual war requires of us endurance and faithfulness.  We must hold firmly to the testimony of Jesus, and keep our faith in Jesus. 

Application

I see this battle lived out in so many ways, and sadly, I often see people abandon their faith.  When life gets difficult, rather than enduring and remaining faithful to Jesus, too many people bail on Jesus.  I also see people who are not overwhelmed by hardship, but by busyness, distractions and other things.  They don’t abandon Jesus because of difficulty and discouragement, but because of other interests.  Their desire for Jesus fades and they fall away.  

In Revelation, God is warning us that it won’t be easy, and that we need to endure and be faithful and hold firmly to Jesus.  Jesus warned of the same thing in Matthew 24 where He described the difficulties of the last days, and said, “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”  (Matthew 24:13)

I’m reminded of Hebrews 12:1-2.  “Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith.  For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Run with endurance.  Don’t give up!  Keep your eyes on Jesus.  He endured the cross by remembering the joy that lay before Him.  In all your hardships, remember that God promises the best is yet to come—if we endure.  There is joy that lays before us—don’t lose sight of that!

Prayer: Lord, help us to endure, to hold firmly to Jesus, to keep our faith and never waver or wander, whether because of hardship or distraction.  Help us keep our eyes on Jesus and the joy set before us.