“Whoever has ears, let them hear. ‘If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed.’ This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people.” Revelation 13:9-10
John tells everyone if you have ears they need to hear this. This is saying that what he is about to say is very important and needs more than just hearing the words but applying them. He says that if you are to go into captivity or be killed, it will happen. Then he says you must be patient and endure it all.
One thing that is very difficult for most people to accept is when a person who is a believer is either put in prison or killed. In the USA, the first thing they want to do is go to the government officials and get the law changed to protect the person. Or they want to file a lawsuit against someone else.
Yet, God’s Word says that if it must happen, then it must happen. God has a purpose behind someone being put in prison or being killed.
Think about Paul when he was traveling. He knew he had to go to Jerusalem. He also knew that they would capture him there. Many did not want him to go. Yet, Paul knew that through this he would be able to get to Rome and preach the gospel message there. That trip to Rome would be paid at the expense of the Roman government. While in prison he was able to continue to preach the gospel to a new group of people.
You have to trust God and wait patiently for Him to bring you through whatever situation you may be in. As the world continues to turn away from God, things will get harder for believers. There will come a time when all believers will be captured or killed. God knows which will happen to you or if something else.
Patiently wait for God and remain faithful to Him. Do not let the threats and hardships of this world detour you from following Jesus. Stay true to Him and you will win in the end with Him.
I pray today that you will trust God’s plan for your life; that you will not try to fight against what God has for you; that God will fill you with His patience; that you will remain faithful to God; and that you will hear what God is telling you.
“Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:3
Every believer has times of challenges. Many of those challenges cannot be linked to a single person, but are just the challenges of life. Some of these challenges are vehicle break-downs, bills due, sickness and injuries. These are difficulties that cannot be blamed on a single person.
The other types of challenges that believers will face is opposition of non-believers. These can come in a very wide variety of ways. Although not common in America, it can come in direct violence to a person. A non-believer physically harms a believer for what they believe in.
The more common way is in words and side actions. It is very common to hear someone make derogatory remarks about someone who believes in Jesus. Watch television or movies and see how often Christians are made fun of and cut down for what they believe.
Another way that can happen but is hard to directly see or prove is overlooking a promotion at a work place. There are non-believing bosses who take actions against a believer because of his belief.
This can also happen in other areas where the believer is over-looked for something or dismissed because of his beliefs. In public meetings, there have been times where a believer is totally dismissed just because of their belief.
Regardless of how the attacks come it can hurt a person. You will feel the pain. At times these attacks will be one right after the other, wearing you down. The author of Hebrews states that you must think about Jesus and what He went through.
Jesus was accused of following the devil, breaking the Sabbath, and even blasphemy. None of these things were true. In the end, He had to suffer the pain of being crucified for something He did not do. Yet, through it all Jesus remained faithful to God and trusted in Him.
Keep Jesus in mind while you are going through attacks. If He can hang in there through what He went through and did not give up. Do not grow weary or lose heart. God can and will give you the strength to keep going if you keep your eyes and faith on Him.
I pray today that God will strengthen you in all challenges you face; that you will not grow weary of following Jesus; that you will not lose heart in the promises God has made; and that you will be a witness for Jesus in everything.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Paul just finished giving a small list of examples of people falling into temptation from the Bible. He points out that they were shown as examples to everyone as to what not to do. Now he talks about temptation directly.
When people go through temptation, they often feel that they are the only ones going through it or that it is unique to them. Yet, every temptation a person can go through is common to all men. The main difference is that people are more open to certain temptations than to others.
God does allow a person to be tempted. It is part of the freedom of choice He has given each person. Temptations will come your way, if not at the moment, just wait a little and they will show up again.
With knowing that you will be tempted, God also provides a way out of that temptation. There is a way to get away and resist it. The challenge is to see that way out and accept it.
You have a choice as to whether to follow that temptation, or flee from it. You do not HAVE TO sin, it is a choice.
When you are flipping through the channels on TV, you have the choice to skip pass a bad show or movie. When things go wrong in your life, you have the choice as to whether you get angry and sin or accept the challenge. When you are offered to do something sinful you do have the choice of whether to say no and walk away or to accept it. The list of temptations are endless, but God will provide a way out every time. Take the way out.
Ask God to show you the way out. Get and keep your eyes focused on Jesus and the temptation will disappear. Do not give in to the temptation.
I pray today that you will not allow yourself to be overcome by temptation; that you will keep your eyes on Jesus; that God will show you the way out; that you will take the way out of temptation; and that God will use you to strengthen and encourage others to flee temptation.