Faith; January 18, 2019

Rev 21:6-7 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.”

This is the passage to remember when everything seems crazy and nothing seems to go right. Christ in His glory on the throne explicitly told John to write this down, (verse 5) because it is vital information to help us get through all the junk on this world. Throughout Revelation we see the phrase, “he who overcomes.” To me, that brings to mind what Paul wrote to the Romans: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37) Paul gives quite a list of negative things that would threaten to overcome us, but he says clearly that in Christ we are the ones who overcome, and more. Jesus’ statement to John here brings to mind what He said to the disciples while He was walking the earth with them, that He indicated to me was to be our Verse for the Year: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) Here He uses the term, inherit, but the effect is the same. We literally can’t imagine all that means. (Ephesians 3:20) The point for us here and now is not to sweat the small stuff, but rest in the assurance that in the final analysis it’s going to turn out better than we have words to describe. That can be really difficult sometimes, but the key is to do as the old hymn says: trust and obey. Faith is a choice. The devil does all he can to hide the results of that choice from us but we need to make it anyway. Trusting obedience is the road to the victory referenced here. (1 John 5:4)

This is a lesson I’m still learning. I am still prone to accept the anxiety the devil tries to heap on me, but I’ve learned by experience that all such anxiety is counterproductive, benefiting no one and robbing me of peace and joy. It’s been several years now since the Lord told me to rest, relax, and rejoice. I’m still learning, as I said, but I can certainly testify that that’s the way to go. Japanese has an expression, “The seed of a headache.” Every day brings plenty of those! I’m not to plant them, much less water and tend them, but I see many around me who do exactly that, torn up by things that haven’t happened yet and may never happen. As a pastor I am responsible for my flock as well as for myself. I need to speak the truth in love, teaching people to trust our totally trustworthy Lord, so that all the lies of the devil may be defeated.

Father, thank You for this reminder. You know the several people who came to mind as I wrote that. I do ask Your grace and mercy for each of them, that they may learn to lift their eyes to You and rejoice. Help us be faithful to do what You have prepared for us to do, (Ephesians 2:10) but indeed be anxious for nothing, (Philippians 4:6) for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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