Be Sober, be vigilant because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. I Peter 5:8
I have noticed lately that a much of the Christian community is viewing world events, not with the power of love and faith that God has given them, but with fear of what the world can do to them. They share videos from ISIS that show Christians being beheaded or worse. They are afraid that if this continues, they might have to face the same fate. It doesn’t have to be that way. It shouldn’t be that way.
Hebrew 2:14-15 says That then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself (Jesus Christ) likewise took part of the same that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil. And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
As believers of Christ Jesus, we don’t have to fear death. As Paul said in Philippians 1:21 “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” If we live, we have Christ to guide us (if we let him) if we die, we join Him in Heaven.” Paul realized that whether he continued to live or whether he died, he was a winner. The same is true with believers. Follow Christ in this journey through life, and we further Christ’s Kingdom. Die because of our beliefs, and we win then too.
This brings me back to the verses in Proverbs 3:5-6 where it says, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Lean not unto your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all of your ways and he will direct your path.”
Do we trust Christ? Do we believe that he wants the best for us even if it means that we have to face loss? Do we trust him with taking care of our children when they start leaving the nest? Can we trust him even when a loved one renounces Christ’s existence? Could we trust him even we have to face the loss of a loved one or even if we have to face our own death or torture or murder of our closest loved ones because of our faith?
The good thing is, we don’t have to answer all those questions now because we are not facing those things personally right now. These are just things that the enemy is using to try to keep us from doing what God wants us to do right now.
In Matthew 6:31-34 Jesus said, “Therefore take no thought saying What shall we eat? Or What shall we drink or Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (for after all these things do the Gentiles seek). For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek you first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. take no thought for tomorrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
I remember a story that Cory Ten Boon told. At seven years old, she asked her father, “How do I know if I have enough faith?” Cory’s father thought about it for a minute and then said, “When we go on a journey, when do I give you your ticket to board the train? Cory answered, “When I get on the train.”
“Faith is like that train ticket. Our heavenly Father gives us the faith we need when we need it on our journey through this life.”
If you have read the book The Hiding Place, you will know that she and her family helped save Jews during the Holocaust. Because they disobeyed the Nazi law by harboring Jews, they were thrown in prison. Cory’s Father and her sister both died in prison. Cory’s own faith was tested and sharpened to the point where she spent the rest of her life sharing God’s love and healing with the world.
I have heard many times (especially from mothers) that they think that they feared most of their children being tortured while they were made to watch. Although it would be the most painful experience I could imagine, my biggest concern about the scenario isn’t their pain or even my own. It would be that my children could denounce God if they lived.
Therefore, it is not my fear of their pain that would concern me as much as my concern for their trust in God. I cannot do anything about that type of future event, but what I can do today is teach my children and others that our most important role as believers of Christ is to learn to trust him, no matter what we face on this earth.
We need come to the place ourselves where we are so trusting of Christ that we too live out those words of Paul, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Do you trust God enough today to trust him to this extent? If not, ask God to begin teaching you to trust in him more than ever before.
My Own Faith Tested
Sometimes when we make bold statements like the ones I have made above, the thief comes in to kill, steal, and destroy.. (John 10:10. When I think about what has been stolen and destroyed in my life during the past two years, I would ask myself where I was doing wrong. The truth is, I am not at fault for the adversity I have had to face. Two years ago my Dad died. Six weeks after that my brother died five months later my sister died. After my sister’s death, A few weeks after my sister’s death, my husband threatened to kill me and tried to choke me so I left and I left my daughter behind because I knew that it was what she wanted and that her father wouldn’t harm her. It took me three months to find a job and then just short of a year after getting that job my boss informed me that I no longer had that opportunity either. Just Monday I discovered that I am not eligible for unemployment. If I would have worked just one more day the following week. JUST ONE DAY, I would have been eligible.
But God is faithful, as it says in the rest of John 10:10, Jesus said that he came that his sheep could have life and have it more abundantly. Last night when I went to bed, I realized how much my Lord, My Savior loved me. He’s got my back. He is faithful and since he is in me, I am full of faith.
Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .