Josh WannerDevotions

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

Revelation 19:9

This is the feast of victory for our God! Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! – LSB 155

Can you identify three things the following words have in common?

Afflicted, beaten down, daunted, demoralized, depressed, disheartened, dismayed, dispirited, distressed, frightened, hopeless, intimidated, troubled.

What are the common factors?

  1. All these words are synonyms of the word discouraged.
  2. All these words have been felt at one time or another by every person reading this devotion.
  3. All these words are being experienced to some degree right now by a majority of those reading this devotion.

Discouragement is what results when our expectations (what we think should happen) don’t align with reality (what actually happens). Discouragement is like walking through deep mud. It’s hard to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

What is one thing we can we do when discouragement tries to drag us down? We can remember the Reformation!

Today, October 31, is Reformation Day, when we praise God for using Martin Luther and others to bring the church back to the truth of God’s Word. We rejoice on this day in the Scriptural truth that salvation does not come through our efforts, but solely by the grace of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Yesterday we celebrated Reformation Day in our worship services, and it was glorious! The hymns, the special music, the readings, and the message all pointed to one thing – the power of God’s Word, which gives us victory through Jesus.

Victory through Jesus is the answer to discouragement.

One part of the liturgy yesterday gave us an especially powerful weapon against discouragement. It gave us a glimpse of our future with Jesus in paradise.

Look again at these familiar words (LSB 155):

This is the feast of victory for our God. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Worthy is Christ, the Lamb who was slain,
whose blood set us free to be people of God.
Power, riches, wisdom, and strength, and honor, blessing, and glory are His.
Sing with all the people of God, and join in the hymn of all creation!
Blessing, honor, glory, and might be to God and the Lamb forever! Amen.
For the Lamb who was slain has begun His reign. Alleluia.

You and I will one day join with all believers and with our Lord Himself in a feast of victory. As the Apostle John wrote in Revelation 19:9,

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

The marriage feast of Christ with His Church (that’s you and me) gives us something grand to look forward to in the future. And it gives us a powerful hope which shatters discouragement in our present-day lives.

Because of Christ, we know that any disappointments of life we currently face are only temporary. They won’t last. Our victory is in Jesus, the Lamb of God who was slain for our sin, and who paid the ransom to set us free and give us a glorious future with Him in paradise.

Look how John describes this truth in Revelation 5:8-14. Savor and digest these words. Picture yourself praising God with the heavenly host, and watch your discouragement disappear.

And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation,
and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
    and they shall reign on the earth.”

Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

Don’t be discouraged, my friends. God used the Reformation to restore the message of the Bible, the message that you are saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ. You have the victory through our Lord Jesus, and your future is sure.

The table is set, and your seat is waiting. This is the feast of victory for our God! I can’t wait to see you there.