Throughout the ages God has had many people who have been His appointed witnesses; who, under dire circumstances, stood faithful to Him and to His word. Oh, for you and me to be faithful under all circumstances!
“In the experience of the apostle John under persecution, there is a lesson of wonderful strength and comfort for the Christian. God does not prevent the plottings of wicked men, but He causes their devices to work for good to those who in trial and conflict maintain their faith and loyalty. Often the gospel laborer carries on his work amid storms of persecution, bitter opposition, and unjust reproach. At such times let him remember that the experience to be gained in the furnace of trial and affliction is worth all the pain it costs. Thus God brings His children near to Him, that He may show them their weakness and His strength. He teaches them to lean on Him. Thus He prepares them to meet emergencies, to fill positions of trust, and to accomplish the great purpose for which their powers were given them.” The Acts of the Apostles, 574, 575.
- “Joseph was maligned and persecuted because he preserved his virtue and integrity.
- David, the chosen messenger of God, was hunted like a beast of prey by his enemies.
- Daniel was cast into a den of lions because he was true to his allegiance to heaven.
- Job was deprived of his worldly possessions, and so afflicted in body that he was abhorred by his relatives, and friends; yet he maintained his integrity.
- Jeremiah could not be deterred from speaking the words that God had given him to speak; and his testimony so enraged the king and princes that he was cast into a loathsome pit.
- Stephen was stoned because he preached Christ and Him crucified.
- Paul was imprisoned, beaten with rods, stoned, and finally put to death because he was a faithful messenger for God to the Gentiles.
- John was banished to the Isle of Patmos ‘for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ’ (Revelation 1:9).” Ibid., 575.
“These examples of human steadfastness bear witness to the faithfulness of God’s promises—of His abiding presence and sustaining grace. They testify to the power of faith to withstand the powers of the world. It is the work of faith to rest in God in the darkest hour, to feel, however sorely tried and tempest-tossed, that our Father is at the helm. The eye of faith alone can look beyond the things of time to estimate aright the worth of the eternal riches.” Ibid., 575, 576.
Father in heaven: I rejoice in the blessed hope You have placed in my heart. Help me to be patient in trials and to always bear witness to the faithfulness of Your promises. I am awed at how You have sustained my brothers in all of their tribulations and I am so thankful for Your words of promise which will continue to sustain each of us through faith as we walk with You. Amen!