FAITH THAT BRINGS HOPE
…for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
—1 John 5:4 (NIV)
We often think that faith is our duty or something we can give back to God. In reality, we cannot even do that on our own. There is nothing we can give to God. We must rely on Him for everything—even our faith. When we accept it as His precious gift, we find victory over sin and trials. We could never have this victory if we relied only on our own tenuous faith. “Faith does not always provide an exemption from suffering, but it does keep us from being defeated at the hands of suffering.”
Carl Moeller, Open Doors’ USA President says, “I met secretly with a courageous believer who had been forced to hang from his ankles or wrists every day, subjected to repeated beatings and was crammed in a three-foot square box for three weeks.
Racked by memories of the agony he’d been through, Aran had been looking at me with a pained expression until I asked the question, “What were you thinking or feeling during that time?”
His face completely changed. A huge smile broke across it, and he gave me two thumbs up.
What was he thinking…?
Aran simply said, “That I was counted worthy to suffer for Jesus Christ.”
A Christian leader in another restricted country shared the situation there in these words:
In our country, we live in the midst of a pressure cooker. To survive as Christians, we must have a pressure cooker faith. Our young people decide for Christ not because He offers them the most, or because it is fashionable, but because they consider that here is One worth dying for. That may even be what their discipleship may have for them.
Standing Strong Through the Storm (SSTS) examines persecution and the results of persecution—suffering and martyrdom. Satan wants to dishearten us and create hopelessness because of persecution and suffering. We will expose Satan’s lies and show how by faith we can experience God’s restoration of our hope—“the oxygen of the human spirit.”
RESPONSE: Today I will rely on the Lord to walk by faith and not by sight, no matter what happens.
PRAYER: Lord, help me to ignore Satan’s lies and live victoriously today by faith in the hope which only You can give and restore.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.