Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Patience of the Saints

"Here is the patience and faith of the saints" (Revelation 13:10).

"Here is the patience of the saints" (Revelation 14:12).

In reading again through Revelation, the last book of the Christian canon, I was reminded of the comfort and assurance God gives to those who follow the Lamb. Though Revelation describes many evil things, both things present and still to come, things like the wickedness of the beast and his false prophet, it also reminds us that God will ultimately triumph in the end. Good will defeat evil; Christ will overcome Satan; death will be swallowed up with life.

At several points, John points to "the patience and faith of the saints." The believer is given patience—rooted in his faith in Jesus Christ—for enduring trials. What trials are you facing? Have you been sick? Do you fear death? Just last week I got an email from a Pastor in South Carolina who has been a close family friend. The email told me how he had just received word that his 33 year old son had died suddenly leaving behind a wife and infant child. Truly, no man knows his time (Ecclesiastes 9:12). Are you frightened by the world’s wars and rumors of war? Are you worried that you might not be able to get your bills paid this month? Do you fear for the waywardness of a son or daughter? Have you lost fellowship with a Christian friend? Are there moments of bewilderment and even despair?

Christian, hear the comfort of Scripture. God’s hands are firmly on the steering wheel of the universe. God will triumph over evil in the end. Nothing can take you out of his hands (John 10:29). Look at how God takes care of birds and plants, and "Are you not of more value than they?" (Matthew 6:26).

"Here is the patience and faith of the saints."

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle
(Evangel article 1/31/07)

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