John's Revelation ends the same way it began. I am the Alpha and Omega, says the Lord God (Revelation 1:8). For the Christian, oppressed under Rome's thumb, this is yet again a message of hope and an invitation to endure – but not just to endure – to endure with faith and hope.
This beast of yours, this Roman Empire... I was here before this great empire was even a thought, and I will be here long after it turns to dust... even after its dust ceases to be, I will be here.
Some of our problems that cropped up in 2009 lasted a few weeks and were resolved. Some may still be dogging us, and if we were honest we might admit that sometimes we wonder if they're going to get the best of us. The truth is: God was present and faithful before those problems came along, and God will be present and faithful long after they are gone.
Hold on. God is on your side. That's what Revelation is talking about!
When troubles seem overwhelming, tell them, God may not have started this fight, but he sure can finish it. Happy New Year.