Lessons from the Martyrs: Seven Examples on How to Wait on the Lord

April 24, 2020


Strength in the Desert, Part 13

Revelation 6:9-11 reveals the opening of the fifth seal found in the great scroll that only the Lamb of God can open. This seal revealed tribulation saints that had been, “slain for the word of God and the witness they had borne.” They were crying out for retribution and for the justice of God to prevail. They set a perfect example for us on how to perfectly wait upon the Lord. They have now seen Christ face to face, which means their sanctification has been completed. Waiting isn’t passive, docile, or lifeless for them, it is an intensive and focused activity. Here are seven examples given by the martyrs in heaven on how to wait on the Lord.

1. They Persevered

These martyrs in heaven are those who endured, persevered, and were slain for the true gospel and their open witness of faith in Christ. This is the requirement for all who claim to be in Christ and the guarantee for the same. (2 Pet. 1:10; Heb. 3:14; Rom. 11:29; Jude 24). Be less concerned about those things in your life you are waiting for, and more concerned with walking in a manner worthy of your calling.

Be less concerned about those things in your life you are waiting for, and more concerned with walking in a manner worthy of your calling.

2. They Prayed

These saints are in the literal presence of Almighty God, and they are making a request to God. Their prayers were not passive, puny, or pint-sized, they were pursuing God in prayer with all their might.

3. They Proclaimed

Their prayers begin with proclamation of truth about God; they are God-focused and God-exalting prayers. The title they use, “Sovereign Lord,” is a lofty and grand proclamation that God is not obligated to do their will, He is not manipulated, He is not their servant, but He is sovereign.

4. They Praised

Their praise of God, calling Him holy and true, shows first and foremost that they are deeply concerned with God’s reputation. They are appealing for divine justice, not for personal vengeance. As perfected saints, they are fiercely loyal to the fame and reputation of the only holy and true God.

5. They Persisted

The martyrs of God serve Him by providing prayers for His justice, and they find their greatest purpose in persistent prayer. Whatever you are waiting on the Lord for, let it drive you to the great purpose of prayer, communion, and persistence.

6. They Prepared

They received white robes or righteousness, which was the uniform of the grand invading army of God who would accompany Christ back to earth. Their vindication would be answered soon, and they were prepared. Dress yourself with the armor of God from Ephesians 6, and praise God that you have also been given the white robes of righteousness.

7. They Postponed

The martyrs were told to wait a little while longer. There is no indication that they were told to stop praying but to pray in restful waiting. We have so much to make our wait bearable and enjoyable. We have the word of God, the people of God, the songs of our faith, our families, a purpose to live as faithful witnesses of the gospel, and a perfect hope of the future. The saints provide a glorious example for us on how to wait on the Lord, but it’s not an impossible example. It is one we can follow now.

Steve Swartz, D.Min

Dr. Swartz is the senior teaching pastor of Grace Bible Church in Bakersfield, California and author of Shattered Shepherds and Strength in the River. You can hear him on the Steadfast in the Faith broadcast.

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