In all of this ~ in the uncertainty, in the gathering storm clouds, in the darkness ~ Jesus is our hope! Our promises in Him are the Light we live by, the anchor for our souls. We cannot forget the words of Matthew 5:10 ~ Blessed are those who are persecuted… rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.
The twenty-one young men who lived out their last days refusing to deny their faith in Christ? Their eyes closed to this earth, but they opened to see the Savior and I know that they heard the Father say ~ Well done, my good and faithful servants. Enter in to the joy of your Lord. To the world’s eyes, it may look like they were defeated on that beach ~ but, in reality, they won their battle there ~ they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Revelation 12:11) Those men of the cross will be given the crown of life (Rev. 2:10)… and The Lamb will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (Rev. 7:17)
There, in His presence, they will wait for the day when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord. They will wait for the day when sin, death, and satan are destroyed and evil is no more. They will wait for the day when all things are made new, the curse broken, and darkness is a thing of the past. For there, in that unshakable kingdom whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:10), there is no night. Our weeping will forever pass, and this Morning will bring only joy.
As we, too, wait for that day ~ may we live by faith and not by sight… our actions speaking our trust in His Word and in His promises. May we make up our minds now to follow Him, finding that He is ever-worthy of our trust. May we learn to pray for the body of Christ and those who come against it… may our hearts be softened so that we mourn with those who mourn, willing to step into what is uncomfortable so that we can love like He does. No, it isn’t easy ~ but it is our calling and He is our help, our comfort through every step we take to follow Him.
May we have a deep, unshakeable confidence in Him ~ the One who already has our victory firmly in hand, the One who has already overcome the world and makes us more than conquerors with Him. Let’s believe Him. May we live in expectancy of His return, working for His glory and looking for His unshakeable Kingdom, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. (Romans 13:11-12) May we understand that we do not have to endure and stand through our own power, but through the power of the Holy Spirit. May we live in freedom, unashamed and unafraid to share the gospel of Jesus Christ ~ no matter the cost. May we live boldly in His love, starting now. May we be people of the cross.
For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.
But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! S o we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:6-18
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs ~ heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ from Romans