Hold on to what you have so that no one can take away your crown. I will make those who conquer pillars in the temple of my God, and they will never depart from it. I will write on them my God’s name and the name of my God’s city (the new Jerusalem …), and my new name as well. Revelation 3:11–12
In the midst of circumstances that test our commitment to Christ, we can conquer any fears that confront us by considering the glory of the crown he promised us. The most difficult kind of trial we face is personal rejection. When popular or powerful people in our community insult or ignore or isolate or inconvenience us because of our allegiance to Jesus, we feel their slights deeply. We feel disapproved and disconnected. While Jesus tells us that we are fortunate “when people insult and persecute and falsely say all kinds of evil things about us on his account,” it still hurts when it happens. We could become like the temporary seed that fell on the “rocky soil,” who, when we experience “trouble and harassment” become so offended that we abandon the promises of God, that is promises of fellowship with God. The glorious “crown” we will retain if we persevere is a permanent connection to God. Like the pillars of the original temple, it will be clear that we have been “established by his strength,” by the power of the Almighty. In other words, Jesus will make it obvious to everyone that we belong to the him and the Father.
O Lord, holy and true, thank you for opening the door into your kingdom. Guard my heart as I encounter the trials you send my way.