Christians need to be strong. Weak Christians will not stand for God, and the world will not be able to see God in them if they fail to stand for God’s truth.
This is not something new. It is something that Christians have always needed to understand and work at making happen.
In the first century, there were many times when what God’s people were instructed to do was considered wrong by the world. During the time of the Roman Empire, some emperors demanded they be thought of as a gods and that worship was to be directed at them. This violated God’s law, and Christians either had to remain strong and faithful or give in to the pressure of the day.
Jesus talked about this kind of choice when he said, “And fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul, but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew10:28). In that text, he went on to discuss sparrows and how little value they had. Yet when even one of those tiny birds fell to the ground, God knew and cared that it had happened. When John wrote the Revelation letter, he told those Christians, “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer. Behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation 10 days. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).
He, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, was speaking of the persecution being levied against the saints in that day. He himself had been exiled to the Isle of Patmos. John was telling them even if their own life had to be given for the cause of Christ, let it happen. The reward of heaven would be worth the sacrifice.
Just how can a Christian become strong enough to endure such things? The answer is fairly simple: Become and remain a student of the Bible. Peter wrote to a people who were being persecuted because of their faith. “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:17-18). Such knowledge only comes from study
(2 Timothy 2:15). Study of the word produces and strengthens a person’s faith, and a strong faith is what one should be striving to achieve.
From Old Testament examples, it is seen that being faithful to God and following his directions will lead one to victory. When his people followed his way, they were able to win their battles. The Israelites were able to take the land of Canaan. David was able to defeat Goliath. Daniel was able to come unharmed from the lion’s den. These and other accounts serve to give hope to the Christians of today.
Persecutions may come, but those who stand steadfast with God and his word will be victorious in judgment. Mankind may turn its back on God’s word and many have, but one day that word will judge all men. “He that rejecteth me and receiveth not my words hath one that judgeth him. The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).
Seek out the strength that comes from being a true follower of God. Open the Bible, study it and obey it.