July 10, 2021
July 10, 2021
It’s so important that we don't minimize the value of personal convictions, even if they seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Over the years, I have learned that how we respond when our personal convictions are questioned helps us prepare for the times when our concrete beliefs are attacked.
There's a Scripture in Jeremiah that says,
If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan? -Jeremiah 12:5, (NIV)
In this passage, Jeremiah complained to God about all he suffered because He was God's prophet. Rather than saying, "Oh, poor Jeremiah," God spoke these words, which essentially say, “Suck it up Buttercup, you ain't seen nothing yet. If you aren't strong enough to stand up to a little suffering, what are you going to do when major persecution comes?" (My paraphrase, but if you read a commentary, that's the gist.)
Here's how the principle applies to us: Sometimes God allows us to experience a little suffering as we stand up for our personal convictions to teach us how to stand firm in the face of significant persecution regarding the unshakeable truths of God's kingdom. Every time we stand firm in our convictions, we grow stronger. Our convictions deepen. We are less likely to "bend" with every new theory and more likely to stand firm and say, "No, you move."
I've seen this happen in my own life. Even though I always wanted to be a man with deep convictions, it wasn't until my beliefs were tested that I could really claim the title. As is true with so much, it is the difficulties in life that make us shine—be who we genuinely are—and fulfill our purpose in life. Every time we stand firm in our convictions, we grow stronger. Our convictions deepen.
As I look back on my life, I'm thankful for the challenges to my convictions. They made me stronger. They proved to me that God honors our faithfulness to Him and His Word. They helped me understand what it means to plant yourself like a tree and stand firm.
If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan? (Jeremiah 12:5, NIV)
New International Version (NIV)
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