I have been incredibly stressed out lately. School is crazier than ever. I am taking on too many things at once. I have let the craziness of school, aka - the world, steal my gaze from Christ. But as of last night, I read the book of Revelation. I've read it before, but tonight it came alive.
I kept thinking of Georg Handel's "Messiah" as I was reading (the big choir nerd that I was...one of my all time favorite musical compositions!). The majority of it comes straight from Scripture...
The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord
and of his Christ...
And He will reign for ever and ever...
As the apostle John continued to receive incredible visions about the last days, it was obvious that some great culmination was approaching. It appeared that the story was all over but the shouting. God had opened up Heaven and provided John with a sneak preview, everyone who has lived since has been offered an opportunity to hear of the celebration of God's incredible victory over evil.
It just doesn't get any better than this! The Lord will claim His omnipotent power and begin an uncontested reign - just as He has always promised and just as His people have anticipated since the beginning of time (Genesis 3:15). In John's vision, all of the saints and angels in Heaven fell on their faces and worshipped Jesus, recognizing Him as the eternal King over all creation. (sweet bliss!) The flawless relationship with God that He has promised His people throughout the ages will be theirs in every way imaginable. Sin and the devil will have be routed, and nothing will ever again stand between the Creator and His creatures! Wow!
When Jesus takes His place as the King of all creation, two things will happen. He will reward with eternal life in Heaven, those who have honored Him. But those who have refused Him will be granted precisely that for which they have asked all along - for God to leave them alone, forever. Revelation 11 began with a description of hell on earth, but in the middle of his vision of judgment, John reminded us that victory is certain. Certain! There will inevitably be conflicts and challenges ahead of us, but one glimpse of Heaven reminds us that God is still on the throne! God is in control - and we are in His arms!!
Rewind back to Romans, and remember what Paul told us (Romans 8)..."What then shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all - how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?...Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us"
That to me says we win. More than conquerors doesn't just mean we catch the hail mary at the last second...nope, more than conquerors to me says we're so far ahead, we could have quit playing at halftime...but we didn't. So don't quit - it could be the beginning of a new battle, you could be sitting in the locker room at halftime, or you could be so close to the finish that you can taste the victory - but don't lose sight of that victory! It's certain!
So if you're feeling down...stressed out from life...overwhelmed by the task at hand...read Revelation...and get your focus on the certain victory of Christ. Suddenly, the other troubles fade away - they don't go away - they just lose their power! I know, it's a confusing book - a tough book to swallow - but take the plunge, and let God reveal pieces of it to you!