Revelation 7:9-17

            There is a day coming when followers of Jesus will be “before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.”  It will be a glorious time of unending peace, harmony, and rest.

            But first, before this permanent Sabbath, there will be trouble, hardship, trial, and even martyrdom.  There must be suffering before glory.  Sometimes the difficult circumstances of life seem to have no end.  Yet, they will eventually pass, and we must continually keep this in mind.  There is a day coming when God’s pastoral presence will forever guard and keep our lives, if we endure to the end.

            Perseverance, endurance, and pushing through hard situations are necessary to realizing the finish line.  We cannot just sit here on earth in some sort of holding pattern waiting for the end.  Just as an athlete must go into strict training in order to run the race well, finish strong, and cross the line, so we as Christians are to be in training utilizing an array of spiritual practices that will fortify our souls to keep going and finish the race.  The book of Revelation was a vision of the Apostle John given to believers in hardship needing to persevere.  Giving them a glimpse of the glorious ending was one way of helping them in the present to live for Jesus Christ.

            Patient God, you tediously work until your plans and purposes are accomplished.  As you are slowly bringing your kingdom to the world, strengthen me so that I do not give up.  Help me to persevere, living and loving like Jesus, to his glory.  Amen.

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