St. John's Lutheran
We Have Jesus...Now and Forever!
I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.
How often in this world do we feel like we have zero power to make any sort of difference? This is especially a strong feeling when we are facing a diagnosis that seems daunting, or are caring for a loved one who is sick or suffering. As parents we often feel helpless to protect our children from negative influences, bullying and danger. We stand by wishing, hoping against all hope, that there would be something, anything, we could do to help. That feeling of helplessness can be despairing. That’s because we are doers. We are fixers. We like to be active, solving problems, working things out, making an impact.
It’s that way for the Church as well, but especially small churches. In small communities of faith we aren’t sure that we can make any difference beyond gathering for worship on Sunday. Sometimes even that is a struggle with a shortage of pastors, COVID-19 shutdowns and a serious lack of resources at our disposal. It’s almost as if the apostle John was speaking to those in smaller congregations, “I know you have little power or influence, but you have remained faithful and have not denied Jesus!” There’s something important about simply being faithful, but as doers we like to see results! We forget that it is faith in Christ that actually sustains us. There’s a spiritual depth and maturity to being steadfast, relying solely on Jesus, and trusting that He will use our lives no matter how much or how little we have.
This was the case for the Christians in Philadelphia, a city in Asia Minor. The Word of the Lord came to them through the apostle John and it was a word of encouragement in the face of trials and rejection. They didn’t have a lot, but they were faithful, and Jesus made a solemn promise, “Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast (to) what you have, so that no one may seize your crown” (Revelation 3:10–11).
What we have is Jesus, now and forever! When we have nothing else in all the world, be it a lack of power, health, influence, resources, or anything else we think we need, we always have Jesus. He has promised us an eternal crown and a place in the New Jerusalem, the city of God, with Him. He has given us faith and has strengthened and sustained us through every trial. He has opened a door for us to His kingdom, a door that no one can shut. Furthermore, He promises to protect us from those who seek to steal our faith, threaten our bodies, or lead us into sin. “Hold fast,” He exclaims. “Hold onto me!”
We don’t have to be fixers, doers, or solvers of all problems because we have the living Lord on our side, and this is all we need as we wait for His imminent return. Amen.