Kept from Tribulation

Revelation 3.10 - Kept from TrialsRevelation 3:10   (KJV)   10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Patience is virtue; there are great rewards for those who go through life with great patience. The Lord Himself favors the patient. To be kept from the greatest trials and temptations that are about to come to the world is one of the greatest blessings God’s people can experience. We know horrible times are coming, troubles and chaos such as the world has never yet seen or will see again. Our imaginations of the horrors that are about to come fail in comparison to reality.

God is love; God is also just. Inasmuch as He doesn’t want anyone to perish but for everyone to be saved, there are those who choose folly; they’re heard-headed and hard-hearted; they have intense hatred for God Who have intense love for them. Inasmuch as God patiently waits and delays His coming so that the world has more opportunities and time to return to His love, freedom, salvation and protection, there will certainly be a day of reckoning.

We don’t deny the sufferings God’s people and the world are experiencing, sufferings of different degrees. Our hearts break for our fellowmen and women who are undergoing the plagues of hardship even now. We all have our share. As God’s people, this is a part of our lot. We suffer; not one of us is exempt from it. Our best efforts and behavior won’t win everyone. There are those who’ve been blinded by lies and deceits. They stab us deep despite our deep love for them. They enjoy the blessings of our love, goodness, and godliness, but they’re heartless; they keep hurting us without an iota of guilt or remorse.

But we are patient; a day is coming when we’ll be redeemed from every form of suffering. Right now, we are redeemed from sin; that’s enough for us to continue our journey of love, joy, peace, and freedom.

Journey Under God

Revelation 2.19 - Journey Under God - 2Revelation 2:19   (KJV)   19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

Three things to note: 1. God’s totally aware of everything we are, everything we do, everything we undergo; 2. Our works, love, service, faith, and patience are important to God; 3. Our continual growth matters much to Him.

Knowing that God watches over us brings a very comforting assurance that whatever we’re going through, God sees and He’s always readily available to come and help us. Knowing what’s important to Him gives us a road map for our temporal journey here on earth; we’re not lost and we don’t have to be. So we walk in full confidence, willing to take on our tasks head on, loving God with all our hearts, minds, soul, and strength, loving our neighbors as ourselves, willingly and humbly serving God and others so that God’s Kingdom will continue growing deeper, stronger and bigger. We stand steadfast in our faith, proclaiming it, defending it. Although it takes time, and the fruits of our labor don’t come quickly and easily, we are willing to wait and persevere. And we’re always abounding in our labor for God knowing that none of it is in vain.

We don’t stop, and we won’t stop. God hasn’t and won’t. He never gives up on us. He’s still working in us. God has bought us where we are, but this is not all God has for us. There’s still so much more in store. So we continue, looking forward to an ever-increasing glory to glory change. God won’t fail. We won’t fail Him.

 

Of Prophecy and Blessings

Revelation 1.3 - Of Prophecy and BlessingRevelation 1:3   (KJV)   3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

There’s something special about God’s revelation of His eyes and heart. It’s good knowing the truth, whether its truth about now or about the future, there’s such a refreshing blessing and satisfaction that comes with it. With the knowledge of course comes responsibility: to believe what He says and to live out what we believe. This is very important, and urgency always escalates as time gets shorter for us to accomplish our tasks.

God in His immeasurable generosity has repeatedly revealed His will and plans to us—not all of them, but those things we need to know. But God reveals what He knows will be good for us to know. He’s always done this. From the very beginning of time until now, God hasn’t stop revealing His will to us. He walked with the very first man and woman; He spoke directly to and through His people; He spoke to us through the incarnation of His Son; He speaks through us through the glory of His creation; He speaks to us through His Word, His Holy Spirit, His church, circumstances, and many other ways.

We enjoy being blessed with divine revelations; we don’t undermine the importance of truth; we don’t diminish the honor of being entrusted vessels, bearers, and vassals of His revelations. We are faithful to it. There are reasons why God reveals them to us. There’s something God expects of us, and we pour our hearts to making sure that we wisely take advantage of this privilege of knowing His mind. There’s so much going on; there’s so much ahead. We live in serious times, and the worst is still ahead. There’s a world that needs to hear about the hope we have. God prepares us. We’re not lackadaisical; we face our responsibilities; we’re ready.

 

Good Examples

3 John 11   (KJV)   11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

God has given3 John 11 - Good Examples us examples. These examples come two ways: good and bad. As genuine believers, we follow the footsteps of the faithful. Who we follow proves who we are and whose we are. Simply, if we follow the good, it proves that we are God’s people and that He’s our God. If we follow evil, well, it proves the exact sad opposite.

We love God; we love His people. We treat God with love and respect; we do the same with His people. There’s so much to learn from each other as believers, that’s why we watch each other; we honor each other; we see Jesus in each other; and we get inspired through each other. Sure, we all have flaws, but each one is created in God’s image, and God lives in each one. We’ve all been changed; everyone in Christ is a new creation, and is slowly conforming to the image of Jesus.

We don’t neglect, or turn our back on, or assault each other. An attack on a believer is an attack on God. We don’t trash them with our words or withdraw help from them. We’re all a part of God’s family; we’re all part of one team. There are times when we don’t see each other eye to eye, but that doesn’t mean that we’re enemies. It’s okay to have differences; those differences may even help us complete each other’s lack. So yes, we value each other; and we look at the good in and about each other. Because of that, we get to learn greatly and live more fruitfully.

Grateful Sheep

Psalm 79:13   (KJV)    13 So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.

The LORD is our Shepherd. He is our great Shepherd, a good Shepherd. He takes good care of us—providingPsalm 79.13 - Grateful Sheep - 2 us with everything we need. We are His blessed sheep. We have a restful life because we have a Shepherd Who lets us lie down in green meadows—Who leads us beside peaceful waters. We have a good life because He is a good Shepherd. He knows exactly what kind of help we need. And He’s always more than ready to lend us a hand.

Changes are everywhere; there are a lot of uncertainties all around. The turn of events can get scary sometimes, but our Shepherd is always present; He never runs away and leaves us when situations become bad or dangerous. He’s always protecting us. He never changes; He won’t stop loving us: He won’t stop caring for us. Our Great Shepherd knows how vulnerable we are; “Lions,” “bears,” and “wolves” abound. But our Shepherd never fails us.

That’s why we won’t ever run out of reasons and desire to praise Him. He gathers His sheep altogether; every sheep is important. If one sheep gets lost, He runs after it. He’s good to us, to our children, to our children’s children. His goodness is forever. They too will have more than sufficient reasons to be grateful to our God. They will have their own unique problems. They will face their own challenges. But they see how good You are to us. And we gladly tell others about You. And like us, they too will enjoy the unfailing goodness of our great Shepherd. As for us now, through all and in all, we will keep praising the Name of our Great Shepherd.

Overcomers

1 John 5.4 - Overcomers1 John 5:4   (KJV)   For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

True children of God overcomes—defeats the world—its trials, its temptations—everything it has: the cravings of our body, the cravings of our eyes, and our pride. This doesn’t mean that we never sin again; we still do, but we don’t live or continue in it; we don’t make a practice of sinning. We believe in God; we believe in His power; we believe in His presence in us. He’s so much bigger than anything the world throws at us. We are determined to live in righteousness—that’s a pursuit of everyone who’s truly His child and who truly loves Him. And we can because He easily can.

God is very realistic. True, He wants us to be like Him—to be perfect and holy because He is perfect and holy. He has given us everything we need so we can; He also knows us, He knows our mindset; He knows what we’re made of; He knows there’s not one single one of us—no matter how holy, no matter how godly—who will live a consistently obedient life. One way or the other, as sad and heartbreaking as it is for us who sincerely desire to live our utmost for His highest, there will be times when we will fail and fall. We don’t like it; God doesn’t like it too, but it’s a fact that ought to keep us humble and continuously grateful for His mercy and grace.

To be clear; we do not use this as an excuse to sin. In fact, this is perhaps one of the most telling factors if we truly are God’s child or not. When we fall, are we heartbroken, or do we excuse and justify ourselves? I’m not suggesting that we live in condemnation and guilt every time we disobey our precious loving Father, but I believe that as His true children who love Him, it hurts us to hurt our Father; it grieves us to grieve His Holy Spirit. That’s why it thrills us knowing that we are victorious. And we, His true children, are characterized as that—we overcome anything that can keep us away from our Father.

Go in Peace

John 20:21   (KJV)   21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

One of man’s greatest pursuits is peace, and peace is one of the greatest gifts from our precious Lord Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Sadly, it’s something the world does not have. It’s available, bJohn 20.21 - Go in Peaceut many haven’t yet availed of it. It’s so close, and yet so far. Wherever we look, we see hostilities, arguments, fights, and wars. Wherever we go, there are huge potentials for trouble, even harm. We no longer feel safe even just strolling down our neighborhood streets. But we don’t live in a bubble; we don’t have to; our peace comes from our Savior’s decree. His Words matter; He spoke all of creation into existence.

Our peace is untouchable, but we aren’t hid away from the world. We are sent out to a very troubled world. God’s people are targets of spite, persecution, and even death. We are agents of peace. People can experience and enjoy peace with God and the peace of God—the inner peace that God alone gives. It’s what keeps us calm and unafraid in the midst of most horrifying storms. It’s paramount that everyone hears and learns about this. Not everyone will welcome us and our message, but there are hearts that sincerely search and cry out for this; each one who shares in this experience is a sufficient reason for us to face all necessary risks and dangers.

Even the most troubling experience for our Lord’s disciples turned into one that’s gloriously life-changing. Jesus Who was horribly tortured, crucified, murdered, and buried, rose on the third day and showed Himself alive to His followers. It was a fast-paced transition from sadness, to fear, to peace; it was a sudden change from unbelief, to doubt, to faith. But it was a phenomenon that made our Lord’s declaration of peace more easily received. It had more than sufficient evidences to be found real. With a worldwide mission, and personal struggles, peace is a real help. We’ll have occasions of sadness; we’ll have surprises; we’ll have powerful forces attacking us, but in and through all this, we continue our journey with peace, joy, and love.