I don’t have that in me right now. Sorry. Because sometimes life is hard. Today it’s hard. Hard hurts.
That’s all I have to say about that.
But here’s the thing–here’s what I’m clinging to right now in this moment.
The kingdom grows.
What I taught and believed Sunday is still true today. The kingdom grows. The kingdom grows because that’s what God meant it to do. It grows because God promised it would. It grows because God’s zealous love for us makes it impossible for things to be otherwise.
The kingdom grows.
We know this because God has already told us. God looked at a people who had rejected him as king and promised an everlasting kingdom. He looked at a people living in darkness and promised them great light. He looked at a people about to be overwhelmed by the tide of Assyria’s military might and promised them that he would send a deliverer. Not a warrior, not a judge or mighty hero.
God sent a child. Honest, transparent, and vulnerable. God promised that a child would come whose name would be Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
I think there’s a song about that.
And God promised that his kingdom would have no end. More than that, he promised that his kingdom would grow.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this (Isaiah 9:7)
God promised that there would be no end to the increase of the kingdom. Read that again. There will be no end to the increase of the kingdom. No. End.
The kingdom grows. It grows like a mustard seed becoming a tree, like yeast spreading through the dough, like a single seed producing a hundredfold.
The kingdom grows. And it will continue to grow. There is no point on God’s timeline where Satan wins. Oh, he may get a good lick in here and there. The devil’s mean and he doesn’t play fair. Satan roams the earth looking for people to devour, and he seizes opportunity where he can. But he’s losing. The end is already written: Jesus wins. Satan fights ferociously, bitterly, because he knows his best efforts can’t stop the rising flood. Despite persecution, despite distress, despite our failures, Satan still can’t stop what God has ordained: the kingdom grows.
I know there many people are anxious about our country’s changing culture. I understand. Things are rapidly changing and will continue to change as we see the day of Christ’s return drawing near. As David Kinnaman has written, believers today must learn to live as citizens of Babylon, not Israel. We need Esthers and Daniels who will have the courage to remain faithless in a faithless world. This is true. But that doesn’t mean we should fear.
As Christians, we should never live from a position of fear. The sovereign Lord is in charge of history, including my little piece of it. The kingdom grows under persecution and underground. It grew in the catacombs of Rome and the house churches of Cuba. It grew behind the Iron Curtain and grows behind the Great Wall. God is writing his plan of redemption across the ages, and the constant truth in that story is that the kingdom has grown and is growing and will continue to grow.
God’s zealous love for us wouldn’t have it any other way.
That doesn’t mean it will always be easy. I know better. Christians around the world know better. There are real risks and real costs. But I refuse to live from a position of defeat when Christ has already won the victory.
Because no matter what else happens, there are a few things I know for certain. God loves me. Jesus lives. And the kingdom grows.
Like this post? Subscribe to get updates by e-mail.