The Word of God. It is a treasure without equal; the foundation of knowledge and wisdom ~ a lamp to our feet and light to our path. It is living and active, speaking truth of our beginning, our purpose, our bent, our need, our hope and our future. It is the revelation of life and death, of sin and salvation. Throughout history it has been ignored, misquoted, misrepresented, mocked and burned by those who despise its message. Yet in equal stride, it is also embraced, revered, proclaimed and perpetuated by the people of God who persevere by the power of God. Are you among them? It matters, because our days upon this earth are limited and eternity awaits our final breath. The place of that eternity will be decided by our acceptance or rejection of Jesus Christ while we are yet residents of this earth.
Our world is a turbulent and dangerous one. Evil has long been on the march for power and conquest, seeking to dominate the lives of people God created for true freedom. The source of evil resides in the adversary of God and, though he is destined for ultimate defeat, people of truth and liberty have always found it necessary to confront the darkness of their days with the light of the Gospel. And so must we. But it requires discernment and courage for evil is a master of deception and purveyor of fear.
Evil speaks peace, but seeks destruction. Because the devil cannot undo the finished work of Christ, he spreads chaos and brutality to intimidate courage and resolve. Not surprisingly, his tactics have been effective in manipulating the lost to serve as pawns in his game plan. We see it in everything from violent protests to international terror. People are shouted down from speaking truth, slapped with hate labels, discredited with false accusations and threatened with financial ruin. Around the world it gets even worse as the innocent are imprisoned, driven from their homes, beheaded and even crucified because they will not compromise their faith.
Such unconscionable acts evoke justifiably outraged and grief and, if we’re honest, we can’t comprehend God’s patience in exacting justice. It is certainly not because He is powerless or uncaring. Calvary proved otherwise. No, in the midst of earthly suffering, there is something greater going on ~ a victory in the works that is blurred by our tears and obscured by the present injustice of it all.
Despite the perceived gain of evil, God cannot be defeated, and neither can His people. The world misinterprets that because the Almighty does not force anyone to worship Him or embrace the truth He has given. Rather, He holds out that truth in the love and mercy of Jesus, inviting whoever will to come into a relationship with Him; a relationship that can never be broken. Once received, nothing and no one can destroy it. Not protesters, deceivers, thieves or terrorists. No one.
The 8th Chapter of Romans is as relevant to our times as it was the day Paul put these words to paper. Take in the encouragement and victory of verses 31-39: “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore, is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. What shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written; ‘For your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities nor power, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Paul, who endured much suffering, was absolutely right. God is for us. No matter how things may appear, no matter how loud and threatening the enemy, Jesus has already won the victory. His power is limitless, His character is changeless and all authority in heaven and on earth belongs to Him. At the appointed hour, every promise He has made He will fulfill. That is why our brothers and sisters in the darkest places of this world continue trusting His mighty Name in the face of despair. They know what we must never lose sight of ~ death has been swallowed up by life through Jesus Christ. The tomb is empty.
Perhaps you need that reminder today. If what you see and what you experience seems to counter what you long for, hold fast to the Victor. All the pain and tears common to this fallen world are momentary. Eternity has been opened to the love and peace of God because our sinless Savior faced the fury of hell and prevailed. He embraced the cross and stepped out of the tomb victorious. Do you know Him? Your life depends on it.