Grow in Faith

Focus on the prize!

We are in troubling times. Terrorism. Religious persecution. The world was shaken up by COVID19, in more ways than one. Identity confusion – an increase in transgenderism in which advocates seek to normalise the belief that one can choose to change who you fundamentally are based on subjective feelings. There is liberalism in the Church of Christ, a movement away from historic, Biblical orthodoxy… tried and tested truths that have influenced our law system, social care and charitable services, yet critiqued as ‘irrelevant’ and ‘intolerant’ at the same time. Even rebranded and reimagined as ‘Progressive Christianity’. Yet the follower of the Lord Jesus is called to “walk by faith, not by sight” as written in God’s word, the Bible. The follower of Christ is to trust Him for answers, rather than the confused and contradicting alternatives on offer.

There will come a time when this current troubled and confused world will be over – that is promised in God’s word the Bible. Not only will it be over, but the One who came to rescue sinners will come again in glory, ushering in a new heaven and new earth.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea no longer existed. I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.

Revelation 21:1‭-‬2 HCSB

It is essential that we know who the person of Christ is and be found living for Him at His return – not the esoteric ‘Christ-consciousness’ of mysticism, or the Islamic version of Christ who did not suffer in crucifixion and conquer death, despite the historic witness. Or the reimagined politically-correct Christ of the ‘Progressives’.

Reinterpreted truths and confusion are the order of the day. It’s important that we have firm convictions of our beliefs – who we believe in and why is crucial. It’s not just ‘hoping for the best’, but having a solid truth foundation.

The beauty of knowing Christ Jesus the Saviour is that He gives us eternal life – a living hope beyond what we see and hear now. Yet we fail to live with eternity in mind, focusing on the troubles of the here and now. Understandable, you may say. The here and now is what we see, touch, experience… it’s real. However, we are not just flesh and blood beings. What we see, physically feel and touch is not all there is. There is another realm that those who follow Christ Jesus need to be ready for… and those who don’t yet follow Him need this just as much.

Jesus answered: “I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” “But how can anyone be born when he is old? ” Nicodemus asked Him. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?” Jesus answered, “I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit.

John’s gospel 3:3‭-‬6 HCSB

Yet moral relativism abounds. “Whatever’s right for you”… but this needs responding to. If the need for ultimate truth isn’t necessary, if what Jesus taught and demonstrated is to be reinterpreted for modern society (which still faces the same existential issues), then what is the alternative answer? When COVID19 hit the world, and we could not escape hearing about it constantly – statistics, social rules, lockdowns, which prompted fear in a lot of people, what answers were on offer to calm the soul? Now we are being told we must learn to live in the ‘new normal’. Well, thankfully there are ancient truths, unchanging promises from an unchanging Creator God, that we can hold onto.

Living for an eternal hope does not mean walking around in a daze, somewhat detached from the here and now – by no means! It means realising, trusting and being thankful that there is Someone looking out for us, caring for us, securing our future, helping us through the trials of life, giving us a sense of purpose. The wisdom and promises found in God’s word, the Bible, have been tried and tested and found to be trustworthy and producing fruit in the lives of those who believe. Those same pages of the Bible also indicate we are called by God to do good in this temporary troubled world, while we wait for the blessed hope of Christ’s return, rather than to sit around feeling sorry for ourselves. When anyone does struggle to carry on, we must give a helping hand with a prayerful heart, for the vulnerable to be revived by God’s power. People of faith in Christ are called to active loving service and to persevere. God makes it possible.

For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

James 2:26 HCSB

So whether it’s virus mutations going around, or terrorism, or other existential concerns, the only way we can truly deal with life wisely is to have a firm foundation of truth to steady us, and live our lives with faith-filled purpose.

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