Wednesday, June 29, 2016

TAKE A STAND

I hear from many believers who have drunk of the cup of despair. They have faced so many traumas and endured so many crises they are now exhausted. They are so weighed down that they think one more worry, one more fear, will crush them beyond hope. They have come to a breaking point, the very end of themselves.

What does God say to such a fearful people who tremble with anxiety? What is His prescription for those whose hearts are failing with fear, whose eyes are fixed on the calamitous things coming upon them? He gives them this word: “Awake! Stand up!” (see Isaiah 51:17). Here is the condition that God puts on us so that He may remove the cup of trembling from our lips: “Get up! Take a stand!”

Beloved, with everything that is coming—with evil men growing more vile and wicked, with economic crises continuing to mount—God’s people need more than uplifting messages. They need more than sermons that pump up a short-lived faith. A man wrote to me, “Your recent messages seem repetitious. They are one message after another trying to encourage despairing believers. It sounds like few know how to lay hold of a faith that doesn’t have to be constantly pumped up. Do they not know their Bible?”

This was God’s very concern about Israel. What was the Lord’s answer to their accusation? He told them, “Who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and the son of man which shall be made as grass” (Isaiah 51:12). In other words: “I have put My words in your mouth. I have covered you with My hand. I have pledged that you are My people. But still you won’t be persuaded that I will be faithful to perform the Word I have spoken to you. You still fear men who will fade like the grass.”

Paul preached, “God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). All believers are given a portion or degree of faith. And that portion must be built up into an unshakable, unwavering faith. How does this happen? As faith grows, it is strengthened in one way only: by hearing and trusting in God’s Word.