“Fight the good fight of faith” – 1 Timothy 6:12
Faith should be a way of life, not an occasional pastime. We can’t say we accept Jesus as our Saviour and refuse to follow His example. Noah and Abraham are the kind of Christians we should aspire to be. People who did evil things in God’s sight surrounded both men but they never sinned against God.
Faith becomes a habit or an accessory instead of heartfelt conviction and way of life. People carry their Bible, wear their crucifix and Jesus pin to church but once they leave the church, the Bible goes back on the shelf, the crucifix and pin go back in the jewellery box. Faith is not something you put on display to impress others. Faith should be a commitment, a necessity.
Faith should not be a feeling. It is a belief. We can’t say I feel like being faithful to God today and then tomorrow, we say, the opposite. We should eat, sleep and drink faith. We should embrace faith and be steadfast in it. We should have unwavering faith like Abraham and David whose faith got them through the toughest of times. Faith is our lifesaver, our anchor, and our hope in good things to come. Faith is an expression of love for God. Faith is relying on God to meet our needs, it is to believe that He will take care of us—that He will keep His promises and that He will come through each and every time we turn to Him for help. Faith should be a long-lasting experience not a quick fix. Faith is what gets us through tough times. Faith should be growing stronger not weaker.
People are convinced that they can’t live the way Jesus did because they are ignorant of God’s Word and the power He gives us to live out genuine Christian lives. They think their behaviour is acceptable because of how other Christians are living—they are looking at their friends, not at Jesus. God promised that we can do all things through Him. (Philippians 4:13) He encouraged us to “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) Among the rulers there were many believers but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Jesus because they were afraid of being put out of the synagogue. They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. (John 12:42-43)
People are more concerned with following the example of others than following Jesus. Jesus warned His disciples about the teaching of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. (Matthew 16:5-12)
Some Christians are more committed than others in their walk with God. They behave differently than those around them. Their lives are completely surrendered to God and they stand out from the rest of crowd. They are God’s peculiar people. The apostles did not fit in with the rest of the people because they ate with tax collectors and sinners; did not fast; picked and ate grains of wheat on Sabbath; did not wash their hands before they ate. They gave left their fishing nets, boats, families and homes and followed Jesus. They gave up everything to follow Jesus.
Other disciples left Him because the things he said to them when they were in Capernaum were hard for them to understand. (John 6:53-66) However, Peter and the other eleven disciples remained. When Jesus asked them if they wanted to leave as well, Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John 6:68-69)
We should be like Peter and the other apostles who remained steadfast in their faith. They stayed with Jesus because they believed that He was who He said He was. As Christians, if we accept Jesus as our Saviour and believe that He died for our sins, then we should accept all the trials and blessings that come with the faith. We can’t give up at the first sign of trouble. We should trust God to see us through hard times just as He did with Paul and the other apostles as they preached the gospel as they were commanded to. It is better to be persecuted for following Jesus than for committing sin. It is better to fit in with God’s wonderful plans for our lives than to fit in with the crowd.
Our aim should be to stand out—as one of Christ’s committed followers who are more interested in God’s wisdom than worldly knowledge. We should want to please God not man or ourselves. We should enjoy Christianity especially when it calls for real sacrifice because it is our opportunity to show God how much we love Him. We are God’s children and should start acting like it.