Weekly news + how our enemies have already been defeated, specially when the opposite seems true
IT’S NEWS TO ME
Click here for an insightful assessment by Pastor Jack Hibbs of the reality of the persecution Bible-preaching churches will soon face.
SETTING OUR MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE
Victory through Suffering
Today we’ll continue last week’s encouragement from Psalm 2 regarding fear. Jesus told His followers not to fear the world because He had overcome it. When angels came to deliver a message, their first words were usually “Fear not.” Their awesome presence would send any mortal human to his or her knees. We should be encouraged by the fact that both Jesus and the angels are with us and for us, not our enemies. All the real power is on our side.
Christ the Victor
Yes, the power of Satan resides in our enemies, but Christ defeated him and all his minions when God raised Him from the dead and seated Him at God’s right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. In this act of supreme power, the Father put everything in subjection under the feet of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Then, in yet another act of supreme grace, God gave His Son, as head over everything, to us as members of His Church. With Him as our head, believers have become His body—a body that physically and spiritually fulfills Christ’s mission here on earth (Eph. 1:20-22).
Christ Rules over Them
Let this lofty transaction sink in. Jesus has not only defeated all our enemies, but He now rules over them. One day this will be evident to everyone on earth, but currently, it is all taking place behind the scenes. Even though His supreme position and power are hidden, both are very real. If that’s not enough, He has united us (believers) to Himself in such a way that when we operate as a body, we become the visible expression of His fullness and completeness on earth. Yet, there is a sense in which we complete Christ’s afflictions. Consider Paul’s words to the church at Colossae:
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh, I do my share on behalf of His body (which is the Church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ’s afflictions (Col. 1:24).
I believe Jesus is telling us that difficult days are upon us. We will be persecuted, but when we learn to live as part of the Body of Christ, depending on one another, we will grow into our union with Christ and share in His sovereign rule over His enemies. But before we can share in His victory, we must share in His suffering. Just as Jesus (in His humanity) had to learn obedience through suffering (Heb. 5:8), so must we. If we love Him, we will obey Him (John 14:15), and obedience will be essential if we are to survive and thrive in the coming days. We know that in the Millennial Kingdom we will rule and reign with Him. I believe that with 2020 we have entered the time of our final preparation for that glorious day when we return to earth as Christ’s bride to share His throne for a thousand years.
Victory in Jesus
My point is that though difficult times are upon us, our enemies have been defeated; their conqueror resides within us, and His angels surround us (2 Kings 6:17). Every bit of affliction that touches us is God’s refining process in action as He brings to completion the sufferings of Christ so He (Christ) can present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and blameless (Eph. 5:27).
Doesn’t this give you hope? Doesn’t it give you unshakable confidence to face whatever the world throws at you? Surely, we can say, along with the psalmist,
I will love You, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies (Psalm 18:1-3).
Check out my YouTube channel.
Inclusion of photographs and/or images in no way implies the endorsement of this blog or its information by the photographer or designer.