Friday, July 17, 2020

Only Lukewarm Christians Wait For Favorable Circumstances

Writing from Ephesus, Paul the apostle, tells the Corinthians that his intended visit with them would be delayed due to a great opportunity for witnessing to many of the oppressors of the church who were coming to Ephesus for the purpose of celebrating Pentecost (1 Corinthians 16:5-9). Once again, Paul's faith would be tried in the fires of adversity. 

Sometimes I believe that we, as Christians, expect God to give us the world on a silver platter. We don't believe we ought to suffer or have any difficulties while in this world. 

Paul in the above mentioned passage of Scripture found great opportunity amidst much opposition. If we sit around and wait for "favorable" conditions for sharing the gospel we will never leave our homes. After all, when has the world ever been favorable for spreading the gospel? Jesus was opposed on every hand. Isaiah 53:5 tells us, "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him..." The Lord Jesus didn't have an easy time while here on earth. Why should we expect to? He told His disciples, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." The church was born in adversity and has endured difficulties throughout its existence. Going through the fires of adversity has purified the church and made it stronger and more resilient.

Adversity is not a hindrance if we are truly committed to God. Antagonism didn't stop Nehemiah's wall from being rebuilt (Nehemiah 6:1-15). Hate didn't stop a woman from witnessing (Luke 7:37). There has been and will always be those who desire to hinder the work of God. The work of the Lord will go on! The work will go on with or without us. God won't wait forever on us. 

Someone told me once that he was going to wait on the Lord concerning a particular situation in his life. My response to him was, "It's okay to wait on the Lord, but don't wait too long because He's liable to pass you by while you're still waiting."

What prompts the child of God to go out and endure some of the hardships we encounter in this world? Paul, the apostle, sums it up very well in 1 Corinthians 5:14, 
"The love of Christ constraineth us." Because of our love for Jesus and what He means to us in our lives, we step on out in His Spirit and do that which He not only commanded, but expects us to do. No matter what we face in this life, we are more than conquerors because of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:35-39).

Like Paul's, our faith must pass the many tests that it will be put through. Our faith must pass the test of time, the test of opposition, even from loved ones. Our faith must pass the test of love as well as the test of choice. The tests of repentance and physical afflictions must be successfully passed, as well. 

The church is not an asylum for moral cowards. It's not a place for wimps. It's not somewhere to hide. The church is for those who are laying up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20). The church is for those who are laying hold of eternal life (1 Timothy 6:12). The church is for finding righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17).

Only the "lukewarm" seek favorable circumstances. 

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