The world is a hard and harsh place, and it is incredibly hostile to, and opposed to, the gospel. As messengers of the gospel, who are bound by royal and cosmic duty to proclaim it to everyone we can while we are on this earth, what are we to do when the chips are down and all seems lost, or defeat seems certain or all-too apparent?
Firstly, we need to remember that God has already won. When Jesus said “It is Finished”, that meant that His work on earth was done, and consequently, it means His victory was complete as well. He’s already won.
Look at His words in John 16:33: ” I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Further, look at the words of John in his first letter: ” For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5 ESV)
Read those words over and over. With those words alone, we have ironclad, rock-solid assurance. We’ve overcome the world. We’ve won. No matter how many people scream that our faith is backwards, harmful, even bigoted, or try to silence us, or even physically attack churches in an attempt to strike terror into the hearts of believers (such as happened, on a small scale, against Mars Hill Church in Portland a couple years back, and as is happening, on a much larger scale, across the world in places such as the Middle East where the gospel is opposed much more violently and hatefully than it is here), they’ve lost. Jesus said that He’s overcome the world, and John supplements that by saying that by being in Christ, we’re party to that victory.
Further, look at the ending of Revelation. We have a clear and vivid picture of Jesus returning, crushing all rebellion, and instituting His golden reign. We’re part of that! And that will happen, it’s not possible to change it or stop it!
Do not fear. Do not fear. In this life, they can slander your name and reputation, but that’s nothing – the apostles faced that, Jesus Himself faced that, even John the Baptist faced that. It’s worth it in exchange for Christ. They can torture you, and kill you! Not really happening in the Western world, but in other parts of the world, absolutely. Well, the disciples and apostles and countless other martyrs went through that, and Jesus saw them through it into His kingdom, where they were welcomed with glory and honor, a royal welcome. A welcome that we’ll receive when we get there too.
We’ve won. Pray on that. Read on it in the Scriptures. And accept it. And work hard to minister to those who hate us, even if they don’t want to hear it, because it’s our royal duty to work as hard as we can to make sure that those who hate us end up standing next to us in paradise when that day comes.