Endure and Reign
John the disciple paints a picture of heaven with his words in the book of Revelation. Worship of the Lord never ends in heaven. We read that the four living creatures and the 24 elders fall down before the Lamb. "And they sang a new song: 'You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seal, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.’" (Revelation 5:9-10)
We, as Believers, can look forward to the time when we will reign as kings and priests alongside of the Lord. Here is what the apostle Paul told Timothy. "If we died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him..." (2 Timothy 2:11-12) Paul told the people of the church at Colassae that he was praying for them, that they would be "growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that they might have great endurance and patience and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified them to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light." (Colossians 1:10-12)
Our inheritance with the Lord is glorious; our responsibility is clear. Consequently, we will find ourselves in situations that require us to endure. The word endurance includes long suffering, tolerance, courage, perseverance, fortitude and guts. We are being trained to reign during our time here on earth. Jesus told His disciples what to expect in life. He said, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
During the past six months the Lord has been consistently drawing my attention to Jeremiah 12:5. "If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near Jordan?" I have observed how the Lord has trained and raised up individuals who are meant to reign with Him. Their life circumstances have been difficult and have required them to persevere through extreme hardship. Every trial will raise them up and train them to endure and prevail during end times.
Jeremiah came before the Lord to present a question to God that we might ask Him today. "You are always righteous, O Lord, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your injustice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?" (Jeremiah 12:1) As we see in verse five, God's answer to Jeremiah is in the form of a question. He is reminding Jeremiah that the circumstances that are difficult have a purpose. They are meant to strengthen and train a person so that they will prevail during even more difficult times. For those who endure there is a reward that includes being part of the Lord's end-time army. It means reigning with Him as we receive our glorious inheritance.
The times we live in present many challenges. We who know the Lord personally are up to the challenges! As we face them, God will use them to build us up and draw us closer to Him. The day will come when we will reign victorious with the Lord. In the meantime, let us endure, and "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful." (Hebrews 10:23)
Joan E. Mathias