Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, December 2, 2023
Shabbat Shalom,

Persevere by Seeing the Invisible
by David Harwood

Part 1

I desire to be faithful to the end in whatever form The End takes. I was wondering how I might encourage others to be faithful, too. I decided to teach about this topic, concentrating on “How might I persevere?”, not, “How might You persevere?” So, welcome to my meditation: Persevere by Seeing the Invisible.

To begin, I’ve been warned about the nature of The End. The Messiah said:

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:25–28) 

This is a prophetic snapshot of what I may have to live through. These prophesied seasons are rightly called “hard times.” They will be evil, dangerous, difficult times.

But understand this, that in the last days hard times will come—(2 Timothy 3:1) 

Trouble and Persecution are prophesied for the believer at the end of this age. That includes me.

And you will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 10:22)

“Then they will hand you over to persecution and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of My name. (Matthew 24:9) 

How can I prepare myself to stand despite persecution?

Here’s where I might begin: REALLY Believe the Good News. Really believe in the One who God sent. Through the Ruach’s enabling power I need to vigilantly guard my faith, strengthen it, and practice faithfulness. The fundamental faith in the Good News is the foundation of my hope to overcome.

Look at this:

Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Yeshua answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (John 6:28–29) 

Can’t I classify loyalty to Father, through Yeshua, as an aspect of the works of God? I think so. Faith in Him is the root that grows deep into the soil of God’s love.

However, I am tempted to fear that, rather than being faithful, I will be feckless. How might someone like me overcome in a foaming-at-the-mouth, hostile, cosmos? John wrote that the faith of the child of God provides the victory. That includes me.

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. (1 John 5:4) 

Let me correct myself. My faith does not merely provide the victory. My faith IS the victory that has overcome the cosmos. Amazing. Might it be as simple as that? Maybe. At the very least I can say that this is a good foundation.

And so, O my soul, trust in God. Don’t forget His mercy. Recount His benefits. Recall His saving actions on your behalf. Believe in His saving work. He will be faithful to me through to The End. He will help me be faithful to Him.

Friends, I hope this semi-private meditation is encouraging to you.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarsson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sat 2-Dec-2023 19th of Kislev, 5784 Parashat Vayishlach
Ge 36:20-43 Obad 1 1 Cor 5:1-13