Needing help today? I have a message for you.
My friend in Northern Kenya texted me this morning to say he and his wife had been attacked by armed bandits a few days ago. All around the world these attacks are daily occurrences. If not physical there are spiritual, emotional and mental attacks all the time. How do we get through this?
The Apostle Peter used Psalm 2 in a prayer when the Church was under the threat of punishment. He was saying to God “these threats were used on your Anointed One, Jesus, so now we face the same threats.” (Acts 4) Psalm 2 is an important message to all who face pressure to give up which we will see in our verses today.
The church in Thyatira is reprimanded for tolerating teaching that has crept into the church which was akin to the attack from Jezebel, wife of King Ahab, upon God’s people generations previously. It involved compromise based around sexual and food idolatry but worse than that this ‘Jezebel’ was teaching that it was acceptable to God, that it was prophetic. However, Jesus who sees it all knows where it comes from and reveals how Satan is behind this plot. Our attention is now drawn to those who are not following Jezebel.
“Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, ‘I will not impose any other burden on you, except to hold on to what you have until I come.’ To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’—just as I have received authority from my Father.” (Revelation 2 v 24-27)
Sunday 22nd January 2017 I stood with a married couple with 2 small children for a photograph. This was their farewell from the church as they were being sent as church planters to an area where there was absolutely no Christian witness. It was for me a most poignant moment for I knew the struggle that they would face. I was in the region of the world where the Church is continually persecuted. Christians carried injuries to their bodies because they were Christ followers. I was told of how their houses got burnt down, their children set upon and their entire family despised as worthless. I asked the question, “What happens when it all gets too much?” The answer that came shocked me.
There is a message from some of the persecuted church that teaches everyone in the Christian world today.
You may enter your day struggling to get through it. You face internal pressures from external circumstances that are causing you to wonder if you will ever be free. Physical problems, loneliness, financial instability, loss of work and broken relationships are making you feel like you are swimming against the tide. Let the persecuted Christians help you today. They have found something that is priceless. If we do what they do then we will be saved in our circumstance.
Resist the temptation to compromise, to walk from the cross and not towards to, do not choose the easy option. Persevere. Hold on. Stay.
Jesus says He will give His authority to the one who is victorious and follows His will to the end. This is a promise for you today. You can win. You can overcome. You can beat that which is against you. You can stay.
Jesus uses Psalm 2:9, seen as a prophecy for the Messianic authority. Everyone knew the Psalm. They imagined God laughing in the face of the enemy of our life because no matter what is happening He is still in control of our lives with a greater authority than what is coming against us, for He is the King of all Kings.
You may think you are on the edge today and that actually you are really close to giving up. But within you is the presence of Christ and you have the authority to resist. You can be victorious.
Ignore the threats and what people have said they will do or won’t do. Ignore and walk on. Walking away from conflict is at times stronger than staying for it. You can be victorious.
Don’t give up!