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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Proclaim the Lamb

You were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.
Revelation 5:9-10

Recently I was privileged to gather with over a thousand men and women from all over the world for worship and Bible study. As we lifted our voices in praise, I was reminded of the vision given to John in Revelation of a great multitude from every nation, tribe, people and language standing before the throne praising the Lamb of God. (Revelation 7:9-10) My recent experience was glorious, yet it was only a glimpse of the glory we believers will experience as we gather around the throne of God worshipping our Lord together.

Throughout the weeklong event, I shared meals and conversations with people from numerous countries. Many are facing persecution because of their belief in Jesus and their commitment to follow Him. Yet, their faith is strong and their testimony is bold.

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs…They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion (Psalm 84:5-7). 

Blessed are those who follow the Lord Jesus. Their pilgrimage will lead through spiritually dry regions (the Valley of Baca), yet the Living Water within believers can turn those arid regions into places of springs. Their pilgrimage will involve ridicule, persecution and loss. In these times of tribulation, God’s people will need patient endurance, faithfulness and wisdom. (Revelation 13:10, 18)

However, as the psalmist declared, each trial is an opportunity to experience God’s strength. Believer, are you experiencing persecution because of your faith? How have you seen God strengthen you with wisdom, endurance and boldness?

God, You are our strength. In the midst of persecution help us boldly stand for Your name and truth. Thank You that our future is glorious and secure in You. Amen.

Jan Burkhart

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