Revelation is a message to first century Christians facing dire persecution. Things are bad and are going to get worse before they get better. Nowhere does God tell those who are his that they will avoid suffering. Rather, they are warned that suffering is unavoidable, and may even lead to death.
But in Luke, Jesus tells the crowds, Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. (12:4) And in Revelation: I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades (1:18).
In other words, death isn’t final. Sure, the enemy is a thief who comes only to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10), but even if things go that wrong, there’s still hope. Christ reminds us that he and not Satan holds the keys to death and hell. And if Jesus was dead, but is now alive forever and ever, then may we find assurance that even in death, death doesn’t get the final word. Death is the worst the devil can do to us, but not even death can separate us from our Savior.
Though being a Christian may not put your life at risk (count your blessings), your faith is still under attack, sometimes in such subtle ways that you may not even recognize it.
Will you be faithful this week?
TODAY’S MEDITATIONThank God for those who suffer for their faith. Pray for them to stay strong. Ask God’s help to remain faithful no matter what the enemy throws at you.