When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living one. I was dead, and see, I am alive forever and ever; and I have the keys of Death and of Hades.

Revelation 1:17-18

In Revelation, Christ reveals himself to the apostle John, and his writing of this book was to give hope and encouragement to those Christians who were suffering severe persecution for their faith in Jesus Christ. These Christians needed to know that God controls whatever happens here on earth.

I doubt any of us Christians here in the United States, have experienced the kind of severe persecution that these Christians did. But this still is happening in several parts of the world today. Where it does occur, I can imagine the faith of those Christians is tested every day, and strengthened by the struggles they go through. I wonder if the lack of severe persecution here has let our faith go on a kind of “auto-pilot”.

We are clearly tested daily in our faith, but not to the degree that the severely persecuted are. We need to daily be aware of our faith and strengthen it, and know that God really has control here and now, as it was written by the apostle John in Revelation. We can't afford to remain on “auto-pilot”, we know that the day will come, the “last” or the Omega, when the Lord will someday judge and punish what is evil.

Lord, please help us sustain our faith in you. To know, that you have control in this world, especially at those times when we doubt. Help us to exercise our faith daily, and strengthen it so we may do the good things you wish of us all. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen.

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