Chances are, this is the first article you are reading on my blog. I’m willing to make that bet, since it’s the first one that I’ve written. My hope is that this is a place where we see how knowledge of God doesn’t just change our minds, but our lives everyday.
“Him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lamp-stands.”
— Revelation 2:2 (ESV)
When we think of “comforting promises” we don’t often think of the book of Revelation. There are not too many coffee cups or moleskin journals with passages from Revelation monogrammed on their face.
The typical American approach to the book has sadly reduced its ability to carry out its initial purpose: to be an encouragement to a persecuted church in the 1st century. As a quick way of interpretation, the lamp-stands in the book of Revelation consistently symbolize local churches. So this verse above is literally picturing Jesus Christ himself, in all His resurrected power, walking among the churches.
This tells us something very important: Jesus is not far-off, peering through a telescope. He isn’t calling via phone or sending a quick text message to scope things out because he’s lost track of what’s going on. No, he is with the churches. Among them. And He is with us now.
So why is this a big deal?
Excellent question. It means that no matter where you are right now, you can be sure of one thing: God knows. He does not forsake His people. He sees all (hence why the book of Revelation says his eyes are like flames of fire). The good and the bad. As a matter of fact, the address to each individual church in Revelation 2-3 begins with Jesus reminding people that he knows. That he knows their work, tribulation, endurance, shortcomings, sin, failures, poverty, pain, etc.
God is never, ever confused in the midst of tribulation or pain. God is never unaware of hidden sin. God is never unaware of poverty or persecution.
What do we do?
Is there sin in our lives that we think is hidden? Do we foolishly think It’s too far off to be seen by the all-knowing King? Then we must turn from it and ask for forgiveness, that He would save us from it.
Is there pain? Then we remember that our Savior knows our name. We remember that He knows exactly what He is doing. Nothing can separate us from His love (as we see in Romans 8).
Is there persecution or suffering? Then we must remember that He alone is the “ruler of the kings of the Earth, the Alpha and the Omega.” (titles given to Jesus in Revelation 1). No one has supplanted His throne. No one has removed Him from office. He knows. He reigns. Forever.
And if you know this all-knowing, all-powerful king, then never doubt His love for you. And when you do doubt, don’t look to yourself, look to Him. Remind yourself of His promises. His promises won’t fail, He won’t change. Remind yourself, and ask him to remind you, that he is with you. Walking among His Church for eternity.