Today was another cold and snowy day. It is also Debbie’s birthday! She made it through another year of life and another year of encouraging and helping me in my recovery. We eat the same diet, so I’m not sure how she stays in such good shape and my shape is….more challenging.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “If you are to be a prisoner, then you will be a prisoner. If you are to be killed with the sword, then you will be killed with the sword. This means that God’s holy people must have patience and faith.” Revelation 3:10 NCV
The events of Revelation bring tribulation for the unjust and trying times for those who reject the worship of the Anti-Christ and remain faithful to the Lord. The details of all that takes place is not recorded in scripture, I am confident that in these days there will be times of divine intervention and protection. We see the Lord’s message through the words and miracles of the two witnesses. As a result, there becomes an awareness of the divine connection to many of the events that are taking place.
What we do know is that those who are faithful and loyal to Christ will be persecuted, placed in prison and killed. In the face of all these events it calls for unprecedented “patience and faith.”
Patience is required knowing that what is taking place will be short lived in comparison to the scope of time and events that take place. Faith is required because there will be consistent pressure to deny Christ and to pledge loyalty and worship to the Anti-Christ and his system of government.
This theme of patience is seen in other scriptures,
“Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.” (James 5:7 NCV)
“He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” (Romans 2:6-8 ESV)
In Revelation after the third angel sounds his trumpet we read, “…There will be no rest, day or night, for those who worship the beast and his idol or who get the mark of his name.” This means God’s holy people must be patient. They must obey God’s commands and keep their faith in Jesus.” (Revelation 14:11,12 NCV)
Patience, faith and obedience are once again called for on behalf of God’s people. These are consistent themes that we see throughout scripture and they are intensified in the last days.
Patience is important because when we become impatient two things happen. First we lose our focus. Doubts began to arise and compromise can set in. That is why “faith” and patience go hand in hand. The second thing that happens when we lose patience is we take matters into our hands. Have you ever become tired of “waiting for someone else” to act? When you do, you decide to “take care of it yourself.” That can be a response to how they respond as much as when. We can do the same thing if we are not careful with the Lord.
King Saul became impatient, and it lead to his sin of offering sacrifices that were the responsibility of the priests. In scripture we are consistently call to “wait with patience.”
“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.“ (Psalm 27:14 NIV) “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.“ (Psalm 40:1 NIV) “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!” (Psalm 37:7 ESV)
Waiting patiently, reminds us that we are not in control. We find ourselves in a place of submission to some one else. We need to have confidence that there is not better place to be, than in submission to the Lord who cares for us and is working on our behalf. We see during the “bowl” judgments the Lord arises to defend His people whose suffered and lost their lives for being faithful to Him.
“The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood. Then I heard the angel of the waters saying: “Holy One, you are the One who is and who was. You are right to decide to punish these evil people. They have poured out the blood of your holy people and your prophets. So now you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.” (Revelation 16:4-6 NCV)
Patience and faith. These two aspects of our life as Christ followers are part of our daily walk of obedience. When we find ourselves faithful in the “little” testings of life, we can be confident that we will be ready for whatever the Lord allows to come our way.