“Do not be afraid…. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you… . Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”Revelation 2:10
Many of us would just as soon not talk about the current suffering and persecution of Christians. It’s not exactly a popular subject. But it’s also not a new subject. John wrote of it in his letter to the seven churches in Revelation. He reminded his readers that Jesus knew the tribulation being faced, tribulation of serious, crushing trouble that went beyond physical abuse.
Still today Satan attempts to crush our spirits and ruin our lives with pressures and stresses that hold us captive. Battle awaits us, and it is not pleasant. But our Warrior has gone out before us! Victory is for us, if not in this life, then in the next.
We can call out along with David (in Psalm 56:11) who faced being seized by the Philistines: “In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” God prepares us for tough times— even the worst of times. Through John, Jesus calls us to a life of faithfulness, to press on continually in Him one day at a time. And in this battle, we may give hope to those who feel like giving up.
“I know He tries me only to increase my faith, and that is all in love. Well, if He is glorified, I am content.” (J. Hudson Taylor, 1832-1905)