Sunday, October 30, 2016

Dominion

There are a lot of nice things in this world, but, let's face it, there are a lot of not so nice things. There is the economy and the election and, oh, let's not forget, Halloween. What to do ... what to do? There are child molesters and rapists, thieving politicians and liars, selfish drivers and selfish friends. A current concern in our world is the rising anti-Christian bias. Presently it is limited to mockery, reviling, and an occasional loss of livelihood if you happen to be a Christian who chooses not to go along with the LGBTLMNOP stuff, but it's moving from there. In other parts of the world it is far beyond that. Christians are kidnapped, arrested, beaten, imprisoned, even killed for their faith.

It's possible to be discouraged, even fearful. But it's not new. Remember, Paul got his start persecuting Christians in a world ruled by the godless government of Rome. Peter wrote his first epistle largely on the premise of "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you." (1 Peter 4:12) He talks a lot about how to think about this problem and how to respond to it.

Peter ends that epistle with the final and ultimate means of handling the certainty of persecution for believers.
After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:10-11)
Therein is our ultimate comfort. Right there is our winning ticket. We have Christ, and we know that suffering produces good things, and we can rejoice in all of that, but in the final analysis, God wins. And He includes us in that victory. God will "Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you." Suffering, whether it's a mere insult or a loss of a job or the loss of your life, is temporary. God's victory is eternal. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

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