3At such times of
, we believers must call upon all our reserves of faith builtup in our walk of faith. Otherwise we are in danger of suffering the fate of the one whose “plantof faith” has insufficient roots so that it withers in the face of “tribulation or persecution onaccount of the Word”:And he who was sown on the rocky places, this is the one who hears the Word andimmediately receives it with joy. He [i.e. his faith; cf. Lk.8:13] has no roots, however, but lasts only a short time. So when tribulation or persecution occurs on account of theWord, he is immediately tripped up [Lk.8:13: “becomes apostate”].
Faith must move
such times to reach the promised deliverance. According to biblicalChristianity (in contrast to paganism), our basis for confidence must remain not
works, but our faith in Jesus Christ
and His work
on the cross for us. All God asks of us is that wecontinue to trust Him and follow Him. In times of acute pressure, in times of
, however, the maintenance and perseverence of faith may require an unusual degreeof fortitude.
Courage Under Fire:
When we become Christians, we embark upon a wondrous new journeydestined to change our lives forever:Therefore if anyone is in Christ, that person is a
. Prior things have passedaway. Look!
Corinthians 5:17 (cf. Gal.6:15; Eph.4:23-24)
By the power of God, we find ourselves instantly transferred out of this kingdom of darknessinto the glorious kingdom of the Son of God (Col.1:13), becoming the very heirs of God theFather Himself (Rom.8:17; Gal.3:29; Eph.3:6; Tit.3:7). But this shift of status is positional.That is to say, the temporal effect of our new citizenship is not to be overtly felt or seen until theliteral, physical establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven at the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So as marvelous as our new status of "sons of God" truly is, it does not spell an endto our struggles here in the devil’s world. In fact in many ways our real struggle is only just beginning at the point in time in which we become believers in Jesus Christ. Here on earth, thedevil is still in charge, and by shifting our allegiance to Christ, we can expect to incur Satan’swrath (1Pet.5:8):We know that
are from God, but that
this entire world
lies in the power of The EvilOne.
John 5:19 (cf. Jn.16:11; 2Cor.4:4; Rev.11:15)
The Bible is clear. We can expect to encounter resistance if we attempt to follow Christ, and, attimes, we should expect that opposition to be severe:[They were] strengthening the hearts of the disciples, and encouraging them to remain inthe faith, and saying “We must pass through many tribulations to reach the Kingdom of God”.
Acts 14:22 (cf. Jn.15:20; 16:33; 2Tim.3:12)