From beginning to end, Jesus’ life was totally identified with human need, suffering, and sin. With the incarnation of Jesus Christ, God became bound up in humanity, into the pit of sins and the misery of the world. He became one of us! If He was to know us, He had to BE US! This identity of the body of Christ was necessary so that suffering might be healed and sin forgiven. To do that, we need to accept Him as our Savior, believe in His life and death and that He died for all of us. We need to choose to accept Him for our sins to be forgiven.
We have to have the courage to accept Him. What are some examples of courage? The background writings of Peter are writings of persecution. Nero unleashed his demonic fury against the church. Christians were first, and horribly, targeted for persecution as a group by the emperor Nero. A colossal fire broke out in Rome and destroyed much of the city. Rumors abounded that Nero himself was responsible. Perhaps in order to divert attention from the rumors, Nero ordered that Christians should be rounded up and killed. Today we ask, how could they hold on to their faith?
How do we hold on to our faith during these turbulent times? Luke 18:8, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” When Jesus returns back to the world, will there be anyone with faith still here? We all need faith to live every moment of our lives. The wonderful, free gifts from God provide strength for our faith. If anything can strengthen us to take courage, it is internalizing the words of the Bible which have divine power to demolish strongholds that challenge our faith. How many of us have thought that we could not accomplish something and we proved ourselves wrong!
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war the way that the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of
God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Imagine the things that you will do with God if you accept His invitation to take courage. Think of the things that you will miss out on if you don’t accept Him. The works that He designed for you will require courage. He gave you an imagination to envision faith and all of its possibilities. The fact that faith requires imagination is scriptural. Hebrews 11:1 “Faith means being sure of the things that we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.”
Imagine if Paul decided to throw in the towel and not take courage in that prison cell. The Good News might never have reached Europe. People are waiting on the other side of the world for your courageous obedience.
So my question for you is, how are you going to react when you see the world resisting the Gospel? What do we do when the world is indifferent to the claims of Christ that we so passionately present them? There is only one way to the cross which is the symbol of all that is great in this world. Patience, endurance, courage, and faith in God are the ways to ultimate triumph!