Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. – Revelation 3:10
The book of Revelation is filled with many awful and wonderful things. There is fire and judgment; angels with scrolls and seals and that release plagues upon the earth. Then there is a city called “The New Jerusalem” with streets of gold, a river of life and trees lining the river with healing in their leaves.
In these first chapters of the book the Lord is addressing the different churches in Asia Minor. Many believe that these churches are representative of church ages and others believe that they represent seven different conditions the church may be in at any given time. Whatever is true about those churches there is universal truth that is addressed to each of them.
The church of Philadelphia is being praised in this passage. The Lord says, “I know your deeds… You have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” They had held steadfast to the faith and now God is going to reward their patient endurance.
There are times for all of us when living in faith means patience to endure hardships and persecution. It is in those times that our faith is truly tested and we are forced to ask ourselves, “Do I really believe what I say I believe?” The answer to that question rests in your ability to patiently wait for the victory of God.
When you stand firm in your faith you are going to have friends, and even family, who will not understand your position. You may even have to stand alone . When that happens remember two things: The battle is God’s not ours; Patient endurance gets God’s attention and releases his favor.
It was because the Church of Philadelphia had kept the commands of the Lord, enduring patiently, that God promised to save them from the most severe trials.
Prayer: Lord, I am no different than others. Adverse circumstances and hard times cause me to think of doing it my way. Grant me the grace to trust you. Amen.
Principle: There are times for all of us when living in faith means patience to endure hardships and persecution.
Affirmation: When my faith is truly tested and I am forced to ask myself, “Do I really believe what I say I believe?” My answer Is Yes - I am willing to endure hardship and persecution as I patiently wait for the victory of God.
Reflection: Why is it often difficult to patiently wait upon the Lord in times of hardship and persecution? As you reflect upon the promise given to the church of Philadelphia what hope does that give you in your circumstances?
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