25 ”Only hold fast what you have until I come.
26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations,
27 and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.
28 And I will give him the morning star.
29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

“Only hold fast what you have until I come.” When you read this exhortation from Jesus, what do you relate it to in your own life? Whatever it is, Jesus knows your struggle, and He wants you to remember He’s coming again and to hold onto what you have as you wait for that Day.

These words are aimed at us just as much as they were aimed at the saints in Thyatira. Jesus used each church’s context to make His point, but His words transcend time and space: open rebellion against God, in any context or in any era of history, is unacceptable (vv. 20-24). He wants us to take our sin seriously and to genuinely repent of it. He wants us to hold fast to the grace we’ve been given. Our period of holding fast is not forever; our time on earth is temporary and eternity waits for those who remain faithful to the end.

Jesus’ letters to the churches in Revelation include promises to those who stand firm in their faith throughout the various threats and temptations they face. All of these promises center around eternal life with Jesus. Christ knew these churches intimately, even their most extreme sins. He also knows us intimately, even in our worst sins. But He still offered them, and He still offers us, the hope of eternity with Him if we repent of our sins and persevere in the faith.

• What do you appreciate most about Jesus’ promises to those who hold fast and overcome temptation?

• When you are tempted, to what do you sometimes mistakenly hold fast as a way to overcome: your upbringing, not disappointing the people you love, your own ability and self-discipline, or something else? Why do these methods always fail us eventually?

• Thank God that His name and renown is worthy of all your attention. Praise Him that He holds you as you hold onto Him, and that, ultimately, His strength will prevail against anything that threatens to pull you from Him.