In our series so far, we have looked at our King. It is His example we are to follow. We have also looked at who we are. We are citizens, children and followers of our King. In the next article, we looked at our attitude during persecutions. Fourth, we looked at the positive perks of staying faithful until death. Finally, last week, we looked at who gets the praise. God gets the glory when we endure trials, but we also will receive praise when we have faithfully reached our goal.
This week we will finish our series by taking a look at a common theme that we have touched on in every article so far. That is that we are sojourning to a permanent place. This is a different place. It isn’t somewhere we will ever see, at least on earth. It is a place that we cannot travel to on our own. This is a place we are literally dying to see.
Imagine this. It seems like a normal day. You drink your coffee as you run out the door to work. An hour into your shift, a group of people comes in carrying guns. They drag you into a court and ask you if you are a Christian. It is simple, they say, deny Christ and live or confess Christ and die. No one can really be certain of what they would do in that moment. Will you crack under the pressure and deny or boldly, bravely confess him?
When I was young, at the end of G.I. Joe cartoons, there would be these short clips about bullying or peer pressure and they would end it with the saying, “Knowing is half the battle.” There is a lot of truth in that statement. When we can store knowledge within ourselves, it can help us have a better plan of action when in situations of need. Peter calls it preparing our minds for action. (1 Peter 1:13) So, let us look at some things we should remember as preparation for that moment.
In that moment…
Let us recall what our King said to us before He left us behind to follow Him.
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:1-3)
Remember that the world we are going to is far superior and is eternal.
For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. (Hebrews 10:34)
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
In that moment…
Know that a rest or relief is coming.
For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire… (2 Thessalonians 1:6-7)
For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:10-11)
Look toward the crown of life that awaits for you. It is our staying faithful to the end bonus.
Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)
Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)
It is my prayer that you and I will be able to remember in that moment, where our King is, the superiority and eternal nature of the home He is preparing, the rest that awaits us, and the crown of life that He will place upon us. The hope of these things make life here bearable, no matter what happens to us, or our family. I hope you will continue to ponder these and many other points about persecution. Arm yourselves with the sword of the Spirit by storing God’s word in your heart, that you may be able to endure.
by Dawn Pasley
Dawn Pasley has been married to her college sweetheart, James, for more than 21 years. They attend Fraley’s Chapel church of Christ in Corinth, MS where he works as a minister. Together they have 5 children: a son and 4 daughters. She is blessed to be a homeschooling mom and enjoys her family, church family and pets. A graduate of Faulkner University, Dawn has a degree in Elementary Education.