The Bible motivates faithfulness in trials by reminding us about our identity and our future.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)
In Revelation, John writes:
Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life (Rev. 2:10).
James and John take the focus off the immediate, short-term, and painful circumstances. They provide an emphasis on our spiritual foundation and our future home.
I need this right now. You too?
One of my strategies for survival during this hard season is to schedule a call with a friend about every other week. I was brought to tears on one of those calls when a pastor rehearsed the gospel for me and said, “it won’t be long, brother.”
He helped me recall what was underneath my life and where my life is headed.
It helped me – at least for a day.
I’d like to do the same thing for you. I want to remind you both who you are and where your life is headed.
Perhaps you just need to read through the bullet points below. Or maybe it would be helpful to pray slowly through them, allowing them to saturate your soul. You could also watch the video (or watch below) when I shared this with College Park Church.
Christian, can I remind you:
• That Jesus died for you?
• That at your worst, Jesus is at His best?
• That sealed over your heart is this eternal truth: God is for you and not against you?
• That as far as the East is from the West – so far your sins have been separated from you. Jesus came into the world to save sinners – big ones like you and me. He rescues us not just from condemnation in Hell, but also from uncertainty as to where our future lies!
• That at the end of the day, all your sins, everything you’ve ever done and everything you will ever do is covered by the shed blood of Jesus. And that over you is the wonderful eternal promise that Jesus knows who are His, and no one can take him out of his hand – not even you!
• That Jesus loves you and set His seal upon you. He bought you and purchased you as His child – and neither your weakness, fear or doubt can separate you from the love of Christ. The enemy can’t touch you because Jesus has got you.
• That it won’t be long till we’re home. It won’t be long till we see Him face to face. And on that day, there’ll be no debate, no questions. All the issues of who was right and who was wrong will be settled; what was true and what wasn’t. No more fake news or conspiracies. There’ll be no more doubts or wondering. It will all be known. Jesus will silence the world and say, “Let me tell you what’s really going on – I’m King of everything.”
• That there’s coming a day when our faith will be sight – when we will see Him in all His glory.
What do we do in the meantime? We remind one another of these truths.
It won’t be long, brother or sister, until we are home.
Until that day, rehearsing both who we are and where we’re headed help us remain steadfast and faithful.
Mark Vroegop is the Lead Pastor of College Park Church in Indianapolis. He’s the author of Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament, the ECPA 2020 Christian Book of the Year and Weep with Me: How Lament Opens a Door for Racial Reconciliation.