11 They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; for they did not love their lives to the point of death. — Revelation 12:11
by Paul Wilkinson
When things seem wrong or hopeless, people have a tendency to become cynical, pessimistic or apathetic. But Scripture teaches that God is Lord of all moments, not just the seemingly pleasant ones. And oftentimes it is in the most discouraging circumstances that the most meaningful work of the Lord ensues.
We learn in verse 11 about a parallel between Jesus’ death and the suffering of believers. At the moment that was most bleak, Jesus’ death, the ultimate victory was beginning. The disciples demonstrated the devastation of Jesus’ death as they hid, scattered, and returned to their former ways of life to think through the horrible events of the crucifixion. Like Satan, the disciples didn’t think and couldn’t believe that the Messiah would die.
Yet Jesus’ death was the supreme victory, as God’s creatures were redeemed from their rebellion. Likewise, the suffering of Christians who “did not love their lives to the point of death” are not moments of dark defeat. Indeed, our suffering is a sign of Jesus’ victory. By suffering with Jesus, we demonstrate our faith in Him and reveal our freedom from death. Every ounce of pain and suffering we endure is a point scored against the enemy.
But we have more than our suffering as a weapon against Satan: we have our testimony. By the simple statement of our salvation through the person and work of Jesus, accompanied by the great truths of the gospel, we are able to wield the ultimate weapon against Satan and his work.
Believers must see the world differently. We must recognize the Maximally Perfect Being engaged in and working through history. We maintain hope through our suffering, we endure because Jesus endured, and we fight for the souls of those who have yet to believe because the Spirit empowers us to do so.
Be bold with your testimony. Glorify God in your suffering. Take joy in your victory over Satan, your flesh and the worldly things.
- Every Christian should have a 1-minute, 5-minute, and 30-minute testimony. Begin by writing yours. If you need help, ask a staff member at your campus.
- Pray for lost and searching people with whom you might share your testimony. Practice with people you know and trust so you will be ready when the time comes.
- Reflect on any suffering you’ve endured and how the Lord has brought you through it. Remembering those times gives us strength for the future.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.