Truths That Bring Hope

"Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil."
-Hebrews 2:14, emphasis added

The following are truths that you are not likely to ever hear, except from the Book that only tells the Truth-the Word of God!

Satan is stoppable and vulnerable (Revelation 20:1-3). We can overcome him by: the way of goodness-a fruit of the Spirit (Romans 12:21); the Word of God (1 John 2:14); the walk of faith (1 John 5:4); and the blood of Jesus and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11).

Suffering is valuable (Revelation 20:4-6). Suffering for Jesus partners us with the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:17-24), and suffering for Jesus is God's plan: "For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake" (Philippians 1:29). Suffering for Jesus allows us an intimate sharing with Christ's sufferings that we "may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death" (Philippians 3:10).

Suffering for Jesus strengthens our walk in the Lord: "We ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure" (2 Thessalonians 1:4). Suffering for Jesus prepares us for future service for the Lord in heaven: "If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us" (2 Timothy 2:12). We can share in His sufferings (1 Peter 4:13), and be strengthened by persevering through the trials (1 Peter 5:10).

People are so deceivable and gullible (Revelation 20:7-9). Christ has therefore warned us to beware of deceptions, especially in the last days: " ‘Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, "I am the Christ," and will deceive many' " (Matthew 24:4-5; see also Matthew 24:11, 24).

May Christ's kingdom come! Now let us turn our focus to Christ's coming and the Lord's Prayer. Although I touched on this verse a little earlier, I'd like to develop it a bit more: "Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). These are familiar words in our Lord's giving of a model prayer to His disciples. What kingdom is He talking about? We know that it is not the universal, providential, sovereign rule of God because that is occurring right now.

David had this to say about God's kingdom in this present age: "The Lord has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all" (Psalm 103:19). Paul affirmed God's rule in Ephesians 1:11: "In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will."

We do not pray for that which already exists. No, the key is in the clause that qualifies all three petitions: "On earth as it is in heaven." So then, what is the petition Christ desired to ever be on the hearts and lips of His own people-we Christians? He wants us to earnestly pray: Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth just like it is in heaven. Therefore, Christ must come to put this rebellion down-and for that, we are to pray!

Make a Choice to Live in Hope: Since God will keep His Word about the kingdom, we can count on Him to also keep His Word about today. Perhaps your life presently seems miserable and difficult, and you long to escape whatever is weighing you down. Sometimes people think that if they could only change their circumstances that they would be happier or better off in some other way. But did you know that external change is powerless?

A change in outer circumstances can effect no real inner transformation. Christ's visible presence on earth during the Millennium proves that even an outward Paradise does not produce godliness within. No, the solution to living in enduring hope is to choose to let Him reign within your life.

God therefore wants you to believe: "My presence is always with you, and I will give you rest!" He wants you to cling to Him in hope because He has promised to bring you victoriously through whatever trial(s) you may be experiencing. For God works in all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28)!

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