When Christians lose hope, it’s a sign to the lost world that we don’t really believe what we say we believe. (See Phil 1:28-29)
People who have lost hope are driven by fear.
But what does fear look like in the day to day?
It’s not that we often see fellow Christians running around screaming and crying, but we do see them allowing fear to get the best of them when they rely on their own strength and go outside the ways of God for what they perceive as protection and provision.
One way you can know you are walking in fear, instead of faith, is that you trust yourself more than God and will disobey God as you seek what you think will bring you protection and provision.
This kind of disobedient living is destructive and it wrecks our witness.
This is to a lost world a “proof of perdition” (Phil 1:28). It’s proof that we don’t truly believe what we say we believe about God.
And the enemy loves it.
He loves it when he can convince those who long for a husband to sleep with their boyfriends to try to keep him and make themselves feel loved. You don’t believe God’s love is truly enough. You are walking in fear.
The evil one delights when he can get you to cheat on your taxes and be dishonest with your expense accounts and time cards, to make sure you have enough money to take care of yourself. You don’t believe God will provide for you. You are walking in fear.
The enemy gets great satisfaction when you parent just like the world because you are worried your kids won’t like you and will feel left out if they can’t do all the things their friends are doing. You don’t believe God’s ways are better for your kids. You are walking in fear.
BUT those who continue to follow Christ in hard circumstances, when it would just seem easier not to, are living proof to a lost world that salvation is true. They are walking in faith.
Paul said, “For to you, it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me” (Phil 1:29-30)
Friends, Paul could have thrown in the towel. He could have remained quiet and followed the ways of the world and lived comfortably as a Roman citizen, but he was sure of what he hoped for and certain of what he did not see (Heb 11:1) so he walked in faith and not fear.
And because of that, the faithful are still inspired by him all these thousands of years later.
Listen, I know it’s not easy.Fearful things assault our minds all day long.
The father of all lies is tempting us to go his way instead of following Christ. But as we wash those thoughts with truth from the word, DAILY, we can continue to follow Christ. We really can trust Jesus more than we trust ourselves.
His ways are always better than succumbing to fear and going our own wrong way instead of His best way.
And that is just the truth…