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Sunday Services

9:45 am Sunday School
10:45 am Sunday Worship

Echo Evangelique

(590AM WEZE Boston)
Saturday 9:00-10:00PM
88.9 FM SCA
Thursday 7:00-8:00PM

TV Program

TV Channel 23
Sunday 7:00-8:00AM

Bible Study

FRIDAY NIGHT
7:30pm Bible Study
SATURDAY MORNING
8:30am Bible Study
Sunday School
9:45am  10:30am

Living Faithfully in Difficult Times.

Text: Rev. 2: 8-11

Key Concepts:

  • Even in the face of trials, tribulations and persecutions, God expects us to be faithful.
  • We must rely on the bible to dictate how we live in difficult times
  • Our loyalty to Christ should never depend on our circumstances.

                     Consistent with biblical prophecies, as we move closer to the end of the world, it is evident that life is more difficult physically, socially, morally, politically and spiritually. Security is at stake more than ever. Countries around the world are all on alert against terrorist attacks. The secret intelligence agencies worldwide are busier than ever. Even on the medical front, we face new strain of viruses that are hardly contained. Furthermore, more people are dying from cancer. Many die young. Life is more expensive. There is no safe place left; schools, stores, even churches are all under attack. Nothing is sacred anymore. More people are separated and/or divorced. Political turmoil plagues the world. The church is losing its influence on the world. As the bible predicted, things are worsening. And they will remain so until Christ returns. It is in such a world, and in the face of all these, that we, the children of God, are called to be faithful to God. How then can we live faithfully in such a difficult world? How do you remain faithful when facing tragedies, broken relationships, tribulations, and afflictions of all sorts, and persecution?

                          We can all benefit from the lessons in this passage (Rev. 2: 8-11). The Scriptures give us several examples of men and women who had to demonstrate their faithfulness to God in dire times. People who faced tragedies, tribulations and even persecutions but chose to remain loyal to God, nonetheless. Of those we have Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego and all the heroes of the hall of faith (Heb. 11).  It is easy to be faithful in good times, when the weather is nice, when we are healthy, when we are enjoying ease and comfort, when everything is going well, when the job pays well. When it is most necessary to be faithful is when it is most difficult to be so. Your faithfulness will not be tested in good times; but rather it is when there are tears flowing, hearts broken, when fears strikes, when your livelihood is threatened. Faithfulness in hard time is genuine.

                          Smyrna was a very beautiful city that used to be referred to as the flower of Asia. It was a very rich city. It was at the heart of commerce. Smyrna was also very pagan city, very loyal to the Roman empire. They were devoted to worshiping Caesar. Anyone who failed to call Caesar lord paid the consequences economically, socially and sometimes, physically. Living in such an idolatrous city, where your livelihood and life are threatened, would you betray Christ to save your skin? Before you answer, consider your life right now.  How loyal have you been to Christ when your job; your immigration status is on the line? When your loneliness claims that you need to find someone? What about the things you know not to participate in? Would you take part in an abortion procedure to save your job? Would you attend a homosexual wedding ceremony just because it is a member of your family or someone close that you don’t want to betray? What kind of loyalty have you demonstrated to Christ? Do you allow debauchery in your home? Do you participate in the typical festivities that are dishonoring to God? Are you against fornication in others but allow it in your children in your own home? Maybe your situation is not listed here but you know the compromises that you’ve been making. Don’t dare say that God will understand. It is one thing to claim that God is faithful, and to say that we are faithful in good times. However, when the real situations come into play, will we truly be found faithful?

               The church of Smyrna was faithful in the midst of trials, afflictions and tribulations. Out of the seven churches that receive letters from Christ, Smyrna and Philadelphia are the only two that did not receive any blame. They remained faithful even in the face of martyrdom. To the church of Smyrna, Christ identified himself as “First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life” (Rev.2:8, NKJV). These are comfort words to any Christians.  When we are tempted to compromise, we must remember whom we are serving: The Alpha and Omega.  It means that God is above all others. Being the Alpha and Omega means nothing happens to God’s child that he is unaware of.  He is in the past, as far as we care to look and, in the future, further than we can see. He is in control. Our security in him is what causes us to remain faithful. Jesus told Smyrna that he knew them. He knows of all our tears and struggles as well. Why then does he not prevent the pain we go through? It is because he has a purpose for us. You can find out about that purpose in prayer. You can pray for deliverance, but most importantly ask him to show you his purpose. The church of Smyrna suffered because they refused to sin. They were not poor because they were lazy but because they were rich spiritually. The paradox is this, the city was a wealthy one but refusing to say that Caesar was lord cost them the right to do commerce. They could not buy nor sell. (This is a preview of what the antichrist will do with the mark of the beast.) They would even allow thieves to steal from those who denied Caesar. They chose true riches in God rather than perishable things of the world. Those persecuted Christians also had to deal with the false accusations of unbelieving Jews who sided with the roman empire. This caused some, like Polycarp the pastor of the church, to lose their lives.

                              Living faithfully in hard times, starts with being faithful one day at time, one situation at a time. If you can’t do it for the smallest things, how do you expect to it for bigger things? When things get difficult, fear is not the proper response. Rather, increase your faith and the fear will decrease. Fear will cause you to compromise, to take short cuts. When panic seeks to swallow you, go on your knees and run back to The Word. No matter how bad the situation, with the alpha and omega on your side, God will never fail us; you will overcome. He measures the storm and will never give you more than you can handle. What is faithfulness? It means to be steadfast. It implies perseverance and endurance. It is to remain under the weight of the situation knowing God will lift it in His own timing. It is to wait on the Lord as long as the journey requires, no matter the challenges.  Faithfulness speaks also of loyalty, which is a quality that pleases God (2 Chron. 16: 9). Obviously to be faithful has to do with trusting God, to believe in who He is and what He says and to rest your life on Him and on his word. Faithfulness starts internally, as an inner disposition, as a confidence that resides in the heart when alone and when suffering. Such was the case for heroes of the hall of faith (Heb. 11). Such reality is only possible when we keep our eyes on Christ, the author and finisher of our faith. To be faithful is to be trustworthy. We are expected to be faithful unto death, and to trust God’s sovereignty, wisdom and timing. God has never betrayed us. In fact, He went so far to sacrifice His only son on the cross for us. Don’t we owe him faithfulness in return? In the tradition of the Marines, simper fidelis (always faithful). Betray the world be but honor Christ. Lose everything but not your convictions. Reject your own life to honor Christ, after all, that’s what He did for us. 

 

More Info
575 American Legion Hwy
Roslindale, MA 02131
Phone: 617-323-3107
Fax: 617-323-3165
Come Worship with us Live
Every Sunday at 10:45am