“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. ” Hebrews 11:1
With more faith comes more conviction. With more conviction comes more courage. With more courage comes the ability to stand up for Jesus without counting the cost.
Christians who truly are following the Lord leave the world behind more and more as they further along the path. They are no longer enticed by the things of the world, caring less and less for material items and worldly status, but instead, they become increasingly unashamed and willing to stand for God’s truth, with no regard to personal costs… loneliness, ridicule, pressure, misunderstanding, and even hatred. They refuse to abandon God’s truth for the sake of popularity. They are happy to be distinctive from the world by their adherence to a higher moral code (i.e., sanctification). They become more willing to stand alone, losing belongings, friends, and status in the world. They don’t care what is politically, culturally, or socially correct. They will stand for God and His truth… even if they are completely alone in their stand.
- “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:15-17
Non-believers hate the certainty and strength of devote followers of Jesus. They hate the idea of fixed boundaries and set rules by which they are suppose to abide. They are convicted by their sins and yet cover it up by labeling Christians as intolerant and close-minded. To them, everything must remain unfixed and open to interpretation, or basically, “I make my own rules so that I don’t have to feel guilty about what I do.”
Tolerance – The ability to ‘put up with’ and overlook the actions of others, even though you don’t agree with them and know that they are wrong.
- “But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud. “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”” Isaiah 57:20-21
The church of Acts was certain… certain of their Savior, certain of their faith. And, because of the certainty in their convictions, 10,000’s of people came to know the Lord. Throughout history, those who have truly stood up against the culture and society to side with the Word of God have paid a tremendous price, yet their actions have changed history forever… Look at Martin Luther and Martin Luther King Jr just to name two. We could name 100’s of significant Christians throughout history. Great change happens when Christians are willing to sacrifice themselves and stand up for what is truly right. When Christians don’t speak up, the opposite happens… abortion laws come into effect, gay marriage becomes the norm, just to name two.
What have you stood up for or what do you need to stand up for? Where is God stirring your heart?
Without faith, conviction, and courage of the believers, the world will continue in spiritual decline. The Lord needs His children to step up, to open their mouths, and bring forth His Word in order that hearts are convicted, repentance comes, and lives and changed.
- “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. “Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you..;” Isaiah 60:1-4
Father God, Strengthen us in Your Word and in conviction so that when the time comes, we are able to boldly stand up for You without regard to our own cost. Help us to say and do what is right in your sight. Take away our desires to fit in and to not ‘rock the boat.’ Let us be a change agent for You and Your Kingdom. Thank you, Lord, that you have paid the cost for and redeemed our lives. In Jesus Name. Amen.