How to get ready for a troubled world (cont’d)
When you speak to Christians who have survived difficulties, every one of them will tell you how God helped them. Some escaped miraculously, some found the strength to endure, some were enabled to overcome, some to transcend their circumstances, and, yes, some eventually died. How God helped each differs, but all kept the faith, to the end!
That is the protection Jesus promises to all who put their faith in Him. Spiritually, every one of His will make it to the end, and then to eternity with Him. In John 17, as Jesus tells His disciples what to expect of their future, He prays for them. In His prayer, He does not pray to spare them of what is to come. He prays that they would be protected from the evil one. In John 17: 15, He says: “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.”
Jesus doesn’t protect us from the problem or difficulty (although He does that sometimes) but, He protects our faith always so that we can handle the matter at hand and get the better of it. When our Lord intervenes, it is to build our faith up. As long as we look to Him, He will help us in countless ways through which to strengthen our faith, which is what will keep us going until the end. That is the miracle of faith.
It is not enough to just pray, go to the altar and have others pray for you and wait for God to do a miracle. That might not happen. The miracle is to find the faith and experience His help in our own respective issues and be resolved. His help is always available to us. That is His continuing ministry to us through all time.
Most of us can deal with problems, but there will always be one or two which we find way over our heads. If such problems happen a couple of times or they remain unresolved at the back of our mind, it is a sure sign that we need to address it. Failure to address it will have two negative consequences.
Firstly, we fail to apply faith in that area, which means we will always feel weak and helpless in those areas. If we, by faith, can not overcome, then when a bigger challenge presents before us (and they will because that’s life!), we go down under or feel unbearably overwhelmed. We run to avoid and escape. That puts our faith at risk. Many have lost hope and faith, because they did not find the faith to resolve.
Secondly, we will be unable to share and help others deal with their inabilities to cope with the pressures of life. That, I feel, is the greatest neglect we can pass on to others. We can’t find faith to overcome, so, we can’t help others deal with their own problems. This means that the generations who come after us for whom the problems will be greater would not have been taught how to apply faith to overcome their problems.
How, then, can the Church of Christ — His precious Bride — face the last days? It’s imperative that we teach others to face their challenges because that is the legacy of faith that is going to protect the faith of those coming after us.
NEXT: Point 3: His joy, peace and unity are with us