|by Henry T. Blackaby||Return to Articles|
Every believer must live and work in the midst of a real world that isn’t kind toward our Lord very often. There seems to be in our day a relentless opposition to the mention of God, and especially His Son, Jesus Christ -– our Lord.
This is not unique to our day; God’s people have always had to live this way. Many of God’s people not only find this offensive, but quite unnerving as well. We can become intimidated by such vocal opposition when we want to share our faith in God and His Son with others.
But each generation must find a way to live victoriously in the midst of a real opposition that wants to denounce and censure the mention of God, especially those who give a strong witness for Him. Can we find Scripture that gives us any guidance against such opposition? Yes!
A key passage which is almost self-explanatory is found in Philippians 4: 4-7. Each phrase can be taken and meditated on for great profit. Notice my own way of processing these truths:
“– rejoice -– in the LORD –- always”
“– let your gentleness (graciousness) be known to all men”
“– the LORD –- is at hand [the LORD is near]”
“– be anxious for nothing”
“– but in everything”
“– by prayer and supplication”
“– with thanksgiving”
“– let your requests”
“– be made known”
“– to God”
“– and the peace –- of God –- which surpasses all understanding”
“– will guard your hearts”
“– and minds”
“– through Jesus Christ”
Each phrase is full of God’s instruction to us and carries with it great directions and encouragements. But each truth must be received, appropriated and lived out in our lives. God has everything in place and ready to be experienced by us. The reason so many of God’s people do not experience His peace guarding their hearts and minds is not because He can’t or won’t, but because we do not believe He will. Therefore, we do not receive His measureless provisions.
There is another word from our Lord which to me is very significant, and which I have experienced in my life for many years. Our God is faithful who made this promise to the disciples and, therefore, to each of us today:
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as
“– serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up”
“– to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before”
“– governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. But”
“– when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak.”
“– For it will be given in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who”
“– Speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you (Matthew 10:16-20).”
What a wonderful provision of God. He Himself is with us in our world wherever we are, regardless of what we face! His presence and provision will always be sufficient, that “we may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).”
Since God has made available His perfect provision for life and happiness, let us receive and appropriate daily God’s “exceedingly and great and precious promises, that through these we may be partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:3-4).
This will not only be pleasing to God, it will greatly influence the world around us. Remember that others are indeed seeking God but don’t know what that would look like in their lives. You may be God’s loving provision to these who desperately need a demonstration of God’s sufficiency for all men!