It was just a touch, but it made all the difference to Colin. As his small team was preparing to do charitable work in a region known for hostility to believers in Jesus, his stress level began to rise. When he shared his worries with a teammate, his friend stopped, placed his hand on his shoulder, and shared a few encouraging words with him. Colin now looks back on that brief touch as a turning point, a powerful reminder of the simple truth that God was with him.
John, the close friend and disciple of Jesus, had been banished to the desolate island of Patmos for preaching the gospel, when he heard “a loud voice like a trumpet” (Revelation 1:10). That startling event was followed by a vision of the Lord Himself, and John “fell at his feet as though dead.” But in that frightening moment, he received comfort and courage. John wrote, “He placed his right hand on me and said, ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last’” (v. 17).
God takes us out of our comfort zone to show us new things, to stretch us, to help us grow. But He also brings the courage and comfort to go through every situation. He won’t leave us alone in our trials. He has everything under control. He has us in His hands.
How is God taking you out of your comfort zone? What friends has He given you for support and comfort?
Seeing Jesus in a vision, John “fell at his feet as though dead” (Revelation 1:17). This is similar to his response some sixty years earlier when he saw the exalted Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration: he “fell facedown to the ground, terrified” (Matthew 17:6). Such reverence is the appropriate response toward “the Alpha and the Omega . . . the First and the Last” (Revelation 1:8, 17). In revealing Himself as “the First and the Last,” Jesus is saying He’s God. For God Himself has declared, “I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6).