Living in Our Convictions.
Down through history, we have learned about valiant women and men who stared into the face of insurmountable odds and uttered some profound words of inspiration. They didn't flee from conflict nor did they offer apology for their words of resolve. They believed so deeply in their hope and had great fortitude. Their outlook on the situation before them was covered with opportunity rather than calamity. Below are a few quotes found in scripture from women and men inspired by God to stand strong in the face of such maladies. Other quotes have been gathered from the internet and are widely attributed to individuals in society throughout history.
Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”
“Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” (Judges 4:8-9, NIV) Judge Deborah
Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:15-16, NIV) Esther
“Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:31-33, NIV) Jesus
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:2-4, NIV) James
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." (Romans 5:1-5, NIV) Apostle Paul
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me." (Matthew 5:11, NIV) Jesus
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln
" 'Put your trust in God; but mind to keep your powder dry'." Oliver Cromwell
“It often requires more courage to dare to do right than to fear to do wrong.” – Abraham Lincoln
"Give me liberty or give me death" Patrick Henry
"But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour." Winston Churchill
Our current place of abnormal ebbs and flows carries a strange resemblance of past catastrophic events. While caution is warranted, confidence needs to rise up and be counted as a distinct flavor that overrides any thought of fear that engulfs, strangles, and in general kills our spirit. If those of us who follow and serve a Risen Savior, live in a dark room wringing our hands and lamenting current conditions, then we have already lost the war against our faith.
I cannot find any hope in the dark times we are enduring apart from my unyielding faith in Jesus Christ. If Jesus is still in a tomb in Jerusalem, then this blog is nothing more than 'pie in the sky' accolades about nothing. If Jesus was just a nice man who taught flowery lessons about happy human interactions, then his death was really meaningless. If Jesus had never followed through on his personal conviction to honor God by obeying his Father's will, then you and I should be wringing our hands and tossing and turning in sleepless night. However......
Today, if only as far as your back door, go outside and take a deep breath. Exhale slowly and offer God a praise. Be thankful for the Lord's strength and Jesus' resurrection. The world is weird. Jesus is Good!!
Call a neighbor, a fellow parishioner in your church, or a relative and offer the encouraging spirit of Christ who is alive. Be bold. Be strong. Be courageous.