"Also [the beast] was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe, people, language, and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes. If anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints." - Revelation 13:7-10
In the tribulation, Satan will give his power and authority to the beast, the antichrist. The antichrist will war against believers and conquer them. His authority will extend over all nations. Unbelievers will worship the beast. Believers who refuse to do so will be imprisoned or killed. It will be a very difficult time for believers. They will need great faith and Spirit-empowered endurance to maintain loyalty to Jesus.
While these words do not directly apply to believers today, the general principle does. Our faith in God and Jesus is what will get us through times of persecution. Endurance is a fruit of the Spirit. We cannot endure by the flesh. We can only endure by the power of God. In tough times, God calls us to endurance and faith. This applies to Averil in her healing from cancer and in my ministry of evangelism and discipleship here in New Zealand.
Father, help me to endure in my ministry by the power of the Holy Spirit. May my faith increase greatly over the next several months as we see you work around us in surprising ways. Help Averil endure in her cancer healing. May her heart and mind be full of faith in you and your perfect plan for her. Be with our brothers and sisters who are going through tough times. May they endure with faith, too. Thank you for the Lamb who was slain and the book of life in which our names are written. In Jesus' name, amen.
- Jeff Coleman