Behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Revelation 7:9-10
John sees a vast crowd—in the immediate presence of Jesus Christ—standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They are dressed in white robes that speak of complete purity. They have palm branches in their hands—a symbol of victory. These people are celebrating total victory, which they ascribe to God himself.
What they are experiencing there in heaven is very different from what we are experiencing here on earth. We live this life in a fallen world where God is dishonored, righteousness is spurned, and evil casts a shadow of pain and destruction. We are up against the pull of the flesh. The direction of that pull may change, but the struggle it brings never goes away. And we have an enemy—the devil who, though he can never finally succeed against us, will never give up.
With all of these realities, we live a life of repentance and faith. Repentance, because we never get beyond the awareness of our own sins and failures. Faith, because we walk by faith and not by sight. We do this with the help of the Holy Spirit.
The Christian life is a struggle, but it will not always be so. John sees believers in the presence of Jesus. They are celebrating victory. Their long struggle is over. Their battle has been won.
How might this glimpse of eternity encourage you to persevere in faith today?