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Press On

Do you ever feel like the burdens of this life are sucking every ounce of peace and joy out of your soul? Sometimes the weight of this world just seems too much to bear. Every day, we encounter more bad news. Senseless acts of violence. Shattered lives. Evil abounds in the hearts and actions of cruel human beings. I confess, sometimes I can get caught up in the hopelessness of it all and lose sight of God's promises.

It's in these moments that I need the precious reminders found in Scripture. My friend, if this is your struggle too, take heart! You see, the enemy would love to keep us focused on the ever-increasing turmoil of this world. He wants to distract us, discourage us, and derail us from the path God has set before us; a path marked with God's purpose, God's presence, and God's provision.

Sometimes I forget that this world is not our home. I long for the absence of evil and the end of suffering that will only come when Jesus returns or when I enter eternity, whichever comes first. In this world, we will have trouble. Yet Jesus reminds us to take heart, because He has overcome this world (John 16:33). Setting our hopes on Him and keeping our focus where it belongs gives us the comfort and strength needed to persevere in this wicked world.

Here are three soul-encouraging truths to meditate on as we await the perfection of Heaven:

Suffering has an end

Suffering and pain are a part of this life. No-one is exempt from it and in fact, Scripture teaches that those who follow Christ should expect to suffer. Contrary to popular opinion, Earth was never meant to be our best life. Our best life is yet to come, an infinite life lived in perfect harmony with Jesus. Our span of time in this world is so short when looked at through the lens of eternity. We can take comfort in knowing that, though we will experience suffering in this lifetime, God promises amazing things for His children in our lives to come.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." Revelation 21:1-4

God's justice always prevails

Though it seems as if evil is currently winning, God has the final say. There is an appointed time for judgement. A time when God's wrath and fury will be unleashed on all those who practice wickedness. God's patience with evil will eventually run out. Those who persist in wickedness without repenting and turning to Jesus will face the consequences of the life they have lived. Justice will prevail. Victory belongs to God, the author of everything good, pure, and true. He is the righteous judge and no evil will go unpunished.

"I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless." Isaiah 13:11

Jesus is enough to see us through

We can glean such encouragement from Scripture for the troubled times we are living in. In the early days following Christ's death and resurrection, it was not popular to be a Christian. Followers of Jesus faced much persecution, yet they persisted in spreading God's word and bringing His light, love, and truth to those who walked in darkness.

The author of the book of Hebrews instructs the early Christians (and us) to run the race God has given us to run. We are told to run this race while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2). He tells us to run with endurance.

The Greek word he uses for endurance, hupomone, connotes a cheerful, hopeful, and steadfast perseverance in the face of evil. It suggests a tranquil mind, a mind focused on God's promises. A soul that stands firm in the hope of Jesus, even while everything around it crumbles. As we keep our focus where it belongs, God will give us the comfort and strength to persevere. He will provide us with everything we need to complete the tasks He sets before us.

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

God does not want us to live in fear. Those who have Jesus should always remember that hope is not lost. We know how the story ends. We know that no matter what happens in this evil world, God's truth still stands. One day, His vengeance will come and suffering will end. In the meantime, Jesus will sustain us with His promised peace and His precious presence. So press on. Keep the faith. Fight the good fight, and do not grow weary, for at the appointed time, all will be made right.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us and eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

Be blessed and encouraged today!

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