Faith that Endures
March 5th, 2021
25 mins 33 secs
About this Episode
Within a month of being in office, the Biden administration is working to legalize abortion on demand (through the ninth month!), revoke religious liberty protections, attack private and parochial schools, and lockdown citizens with absurd, anti-scientific Covid-19 laws while non-sensically opening the border to people coming into the country illegally. These orders defy human nature and are aggressively oppose Biblical morality.
Today's culture tells us that it's acceptable, even legal, to covet, cheat, and take innocent life. How should Christians respond? How can we face this disaster? And do we have any power to overcome this disaster?
In addition to wisdom and courage, we need faith. Not the world's "believe in yourself" kind of faith or a general optimism that things will somehow work out, but something radically different: We need a faith with sustaining power that endures under the pressure of evil. The power of true faith rests not in how much we believe but in the object of our faith: Jesus Christ.
After his jet was shot down over North Vietnam, Admiral Jim Stockdale was taken as a prisoner of war for seven years. After this horrifying experience, Admiral Stockdale said it was his faith that got him through. Stockdale says: "I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted, not only that I would get out, but that I would prevail and turn the experience into the defining events of my life, which in retrospect I would not trade."
Stockdale's faith challenges us to see that there are truths and values that endure beyond our mere practice or trust in them. They are simply undeniable and rely on no other reasoning or support. Americans, Christian and non-Christians alike, are familiar with this kind of foundational-truth as identified in the declaration of independence.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Belief in absolute truth is psychologically healthy. When we can trust in something bigger, wiser, less selfish, and more knowing than our very limited selves, it provides certainty, purpose, and peace amidst environmental calamity.
Psalm 23 says, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil..." Christians can take comfort in this because it means that God plays an active role in our life, that he has power over death because of His Son's death on the cross, and that our future is secure in His hands.
The Bible's message is a proclamation of freedom to a world hell-bent on destroying itself. It's a message of victory that doesn't rely on human strength or cunning. This means we see things as they are -the chaos, trouble, and evil in our world- and rejoice because God's victory over evil has already been accomplished. We have more than just wishful, empty hope that things will turn out alright. We can rejoice even in the face of adversity because God's victory over evil has already been accomplished. That victory belongs to anyone who puts their faith in the work of Christ.
Scripture mentioned in this episode:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Resources Mentioned in this Episode
Article: What the Stockdale Paradox Tells Us About Crisis Leadership
Article: The Stockdale Paradox: We Know the End of the Story
Remember, there are two kinds of fire in the world: One that burns and consumes and one that burns and empowers. May God's word and God's love burn brightly in you, giving you the strength to face any fire. Until next time, little embers!
Thru the Fire is a production of Family Vision Media, a non-profit ministry committed to helping Christian parents discern the truth in a culture of lies.
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