The Cincinnati Reds have just won the Central Division championship in the National League. The Reds clinched the title in dramatic fashion, with a walk-off home run by Jay Bruce in the bottom of the ninth inning. It was the 45th come-from-behind victory for Cincinnati this season. It feels especially good when you can turn things around and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Sometimes it feels like the world is winning and the church is losing. On many issues, the battle is going the wrong way. But we can take heart in knowing that we will be ultimately victorious. We have read the story, and we know how it turns out in the end.

Jesus sent a message to the church in the last part of the first century. The book of Revelation was addressed to believers who were struggling to hold on to their faith in a world where evil was prevalent. The early Christians faced persecution and many other hardships. They were discouraged in the face of such severe adversity. But Jesus urged his people to remain faithful to him, no matter what happened. The promise he made to them applies also to believers today—“…Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Rev.2:10).

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