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In Tribulation, Be in the Spirit

Daily Reading: Revelation 1

Scripture Focus: I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying... (Revelation 1.9-10)

Devotional Thought: Have you ever felt rejected because of your Christian testimony? It seems that it is more acceptable than ever to exclude people from public discourse and 'benefits' simply because they are men and women of faith. The writer of Revelation, John, was on an island of exile because of his faith. But that didn't stop him from worshiping on Sunday (the Lord's Day). He was 'in the Spirit' in spite of the persecution he endured. And while John was worshiping in the Spirit, Jesus showed up! John heard "a loud voice like a trumpet" reveal to him things to come.

Some of our most trying times, our times of rejection, our moments of despondency, are the occasions of God's revelation to us. When we feel forgotten and lost, God appears on the scene. "It was in exile that Jacob saw God at Bethel; in exile that Moses saw God at the burning bush; in exile that Elijah heard the 'still small voice;' in exile that Ezekiel saw 'the likeness of the glory of the Lord' by the river Chebar; in exile that Daniel saw 'the Ancient of days'" (Plummer, BBC)

Are you in exile now? Don't be dismayed. Look for Jesus. Like John, worship Jesus in Spirit and truth. Be brother and partner to those of like precious faith. In the midst of the clamor and confusion, listen for the still small voice. In tribulation and trials, endure with patience. You are a citizen of the Kingdom, and Jesus is your King. And he will come to you!

Prayer: Lord, when I am lonely, remind me that you are with me - Emmanuel. When I am discouraged, help me to worship you in Spirit and in truth. Speak to me, O Lord, and show me your ways. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! 8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! 9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! 10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity." 11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; 12 let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy 13 before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness. (Psalms 96:7-13)

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