Worst Marketing Campaign Ever?
By John A Carroll
"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat" Winston Churchill May 13, 1940.
When Churchill became Prime Minister of Great Britain, he called his nation to rise to the challenge of defeating Nazi Germany. He told them it would be a long hard fight, but they would pursue victory no matter the cost. Would that call resonate? It was no winsome marketing campaign, yet it was necessary and eventually it was successful.
Believers in Jesus Christ have been called to “take up their cross and follow Him.” The call has been heeded by innumerable disciples from every nation, tribe, and tongue. They have endured all kinds of suffering with “blood, toil, tears, and sweat” holding to the promise that in the end they will enjoy blessing and rest in heaven with all God’s redeemed people down through the ages.
This week in our December 23 reading, we will see how Habakkuk and the Apostle John both were privileged to live by faith in hard, confusing times with the assurance of glory to come.
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places. Habakkuk 3:18-19
Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” Revelation 14:12-13
Habakkuk was perplexed about the spiritual state of Judah. Why did God seem to ignore the injustice and corruption in the nation? God responded that He would send the Chaldeans to discipline Judah. That answer drove Habakkuk to even greater confusion. How could God use such a wicked people to discipline His own people who while sinful were not nearly as evil as the Chaldeans? The Lord explained that when He was finished using the Chaldeans to discipline Judah, He would then turn His wrath on them, too.
Habakkuk got it. He concludes with a psalm of praise and commitment to God. The prophet says he will trust God and rejoice in Him no matter what. Now that is an example of faith!
In Revelation, God gives John a picture of the things to come. There will be great trials. The saints must respond to the call to endure with obedience and steadfast faith in Jesus. Once that is over, they will be received into eternal rest where their deeds in this world will be remembered.
Are you in hard and confusing times? Walk in faith and obedience, my brother and sister. The time will come when the stress and pressure of this world will be over. Remember God gave His Son who gave His life so that His sheep would have eternal life. Meanwhile, endure—blood, toil, tears, and sweat. Whatever it takes. Final victory is ahead.
This week’s schedule for Concealed and Revealed is below.
Week 51 in the Word—December 17-23, 2021
December 17/Day 351 Silence in Heaven (Obadiah; Revelation 8)
December 18/Day 352 Sin: The Lethal Weapon (Jonah 1-4; Revelation 9)
December 19/Day 353 Foolish Presumption (Micah 1-3; Revelation 10)
December 20/Day 354 Walking, Serving, Fearing (Micah 4-5; Revelation 11)
December 21/Day 355 Choosing Sides in the War (Micah 6-7; Revelation 12)
December 22/Day 356 Judgment: Does God Delay? (Nahum 1-3; Revelation 13)
December 23/Day 357 A Call for Endurance (Habakkuk 1-3; Revelation 14)
This schedule and devotionals are taken from my book Concealed and Revealed: a year in the old and new testaments. Available here.