Hey, Grace, and anybody who may be watching this. This is Pastor Chip coming to you from the Hurricane Irma Update Center, throwing God’s Word in the midst of the storm to give people encouragement and peace.
I want to read you a passage of Scripture that often isn’t read. Many people don’t even know it exists. But, I think it’ll be an encouragement to you and me. The Apostle John had been exiled to the Isle of Patmos for his Christianity, and he wrote the book of Revelation during this time. I think there’s a couple of things that he says that are important, and I want to read them to you.
In Revelation 1:9, John says, “I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus,”
What’s interesting here is he doesn’t think that just being part of the kingdom is all roses. Sometimes there is tribulation; there is difficulty. So, he lays that out at the very beginning to say, “Hey, I want to encourage you all that are going through difficulties that the Kingdom of God does have tribulation, the Kingdom of God does have difficulties.”
He’s partnering. Every Christian partners with everybody going through these difficulties. But, in just a few short verses later, he says something that is absolutely powerful for you and me during the midst of the storm.
He says, “When I saw him [Jesus], I fell at his feet as though dead.”
He was stunned. The radiance of Jesus put him on his face. He just laid before Jesus. But, it says, “Jesus laid his right hand on me, saying, ‘Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hell.’”
Imagine that. Imagine you falling in front of Jesus and Him taking that nail-scarred hand that had gone through all of the endurance of the cross and gone through all the sufferings that He had gone through, meeting John on the Isle of Patmos in his suffering, connecting with him through the suffering he had had and saying, “Listen, it’s going to be okay. You can have peace because I’ve conquered everything that could conquer you.”
So, let’s take heart about that. We’re not on the Isle of Patmos. We’re not struggling for our Christianity right now. But, we are in the midst of the storm and we are in the midst of questions, doubt and fears. What I want us to understand is that the same Jesus that has that nail-scarred wrist that laid His hand on John is here to lay His hand on you right now in the midst of the storm and to bring peace to you.
Listen: I want you to understand that Jesus is going to bring you through this storm. No matter what happens to you and me, it’s not the end of the story. If He’s conquered Death and Hell, we have nothing to fear, not even Death itself.
So, let God speak to you in the midst of this storm. Let Him bring you peace and comfort and enjoyment in the midst of this storm. Draw to Him. Draw near to Him. Seek Him right now and I promise you you’ll find the peace that surpasses all understanding will fill your hearts and minds and will guard your hearts during this time.
I look forward to seeing you very soon next weekend as we worship the Lord. Stay safe. This will be my final update from the Hurricane Irma Update Center. I look forward to seeing everybody on the flip side.