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. Revelations 13:10
The Message translates this Scripture “They’ve made their bed; now they must lie in it. Anyone marked for prison goes straight to prison; anyone pulling a sword goes down by the sword. Meanwhile, God’s holy people passionately and faithfully stand their ground.”
I take this to mean that regardless of what is going on around us, as believers, we need to stay in faith and endure through it. Endurance and faith is the witness we are called to give. People will see our testimony through out actions. Our actions should speak just as loud as those who face prison for their crimes or where violence begets violence.
Regardless of what is going on around us, we should be in faith as we go through it. So often we allow our testimony that the world sees to change when we are going through difficult times. We fill our social media with grumbling and complaining about what we are facing in life. We let out countenance change, walking around defeated and depressed, worried and anxious, or angry at the world. That is not how Christ called His followers to walk.
I think about when my mother was advancing in dementia and how my life revolved around being there with her at the nursing home. During that six months, my life looked like it did before and after. My testimony did not change. I continued to go to work every day. I still attended church and was involved in the activities I previous was. I was there for my husband, children and grandchildren. Yet, I was at her side every day.
To those who were close to me, they saw the weight of what I was carrying. They stood beside me, lifting me up, encouraging me and strengthening me. I won’t say that I didn’t share anything on social media, I did. There were times I asked for prayer, or shared a praise report of update on my mother’s journey. I look back on those posts and memories and hope they are an encouragement to those who have lived them with me as they walk thought similar things. I know when they come up in my memories, they are bittersweet reminders of that time.
This weekend, God brought me back to my journals written during that time in my life. I had forgotten much of what was written there. I grumbled and complained to the Lord, a lot. I poured out my hurts, sadness, and anger to Him. I know at times when I was very overwhelmed, He had a handful of people that would allow me to share where I was, and who would lift me up and hold me accountable not to stay in the negative mindset.
As I read through some of the journal entries, I saw the depths of my struggles. I was reminded of what I had endured as God walked me though my mother’s illness and death. I was reminded of the hands that lifted me up and who walked though the journey with me. I admit, it doesn’t look like I thought it should. Yet, it was what God knew I needed and my mother needed during that time. I can see His hand on every page.
Without the journals or the social media reminders of the negative and positives of that time time in my life, when I think about it, I am reminded that God was with me every step of the way. I can look back and know that I stayed in faith. I can see that with God, I endured through one of the most difficult times in my live. I am still amazed at the peace that surrounded me during that time, it still surpasses my understanding. I can look back and say “Here is the testimony of endurance and faith lived out in my life.”
It is important that our life reflect God every day, even when we are going through difficult times. There is a saying “This to shall pass.” It is true. We will endure through whatever situation we face. The question is if our endurance will reflect our faith as we walk through it. Will our life be a witness of the Spirit, or will it be of the flesh? We will all face difficulties, only we can chose what we allow the world to see as we do.
Prayer – Lord, I know that I don’t always get it right. For every time I know I stood in faith, I know there are equally if not more times that I didn’t. Looking back, I know I have endured because You have always been faithful in walking with me. I want my testimony to be one of endurance and faith, that the world will see you even as I walk through difficult times.