Luke 21:14-15 “Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.”
Many will shrink from confrontation because we feel inadequate or even ignorant of the facts needed to engage. We fail to participate because we fear to come to a point where we may not have the answer or are unable to refute the argument they present. Jesus tells His disciples and us that we must not fear.
When it comes to our faith, we must be the ones to speak boldly, plainly, and with power and truth to those who oppose us.
When confronted for our faith, God will guide our speech, give us the confidence, and all who listen will hear what God desires.
Fear comes when we feel we must be in control. God tells us that in these situations, He wants to control us.
We must learn from Hosea:
Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…”
What we do not know can and will hurt us.
Proverbs 16:1 “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.”
Through regular, daily devotions, and the teaching and preaching in my church, I am given all I need to answer those who confront me.
We feel in the confrontation that they are attacking who we are, our character is impugned and become defensive. Many allow defense mechanisms to kick in, and the battle escalates.
When we feel we are questioned for our beliefs or even persecuted, we must remember what Jesus taught.
Matthew 5:10-12 “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
We are in good company when we find ourselves persecuted for our faith. We are blessed and should rejoice and be exceeding glad. Though we may not feel like it at the time, we can look back and know that God was with us.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego stood for their faith. They refused to bow at the king’s command to a statue made to be their god. Upon penalty of death, they stood firm. All saw God’s deliverance.
Thrown into the fiery furnace, the Son of God joined them in the fire. There was no guarantee that they would live. They did not know if God would deliver them. Yet, they stood.
We marvel at their faith.
Jesus marveled at the faith of those who acted upon it. The centurion who sent a servant to Jesus gave instructions that He need not come to his home. He understood authority and recognized that Jesus was who He said He was.
Luke 7:9 “When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.“
The underlying principle of overcoming any adversity in our lives is preparedness. Persecution can come at any time. We are confronted with our faith often. Having the answers comes down to trust.
Faith that God will supply.
Faith that God will not forsake us in our time of need.
Faith that looks beyond any personal attack and knows God is glorified and lifted.
We must read and study the Word of God.
2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
It is what we store away that which God can call up when confronted. Verses memorized, promises given, and God’s character that we already know can be used by the Holy Spirit when we are to stand and give an answer for our faith.
We are not rehearsing answers. We are studying the truth.
Worldwide, the sentiment toward believers is changing. There is looming on the horizon, a great persecution of Christians – more than we see today.
If you want to be able to answer, you must prepare. Not in the rebuttal, but the truth. A bank teller is not given counterfeit bills to study what to look for but handles only good bills. That way, when a counterfeit comes through, it is easily spotted.
It is the same with biblical truth. When we read, study, and meditate on who God is, we can quickly identify the error and false doctrine.
If we acknowledge that we are in the end times, we must also accept that we will not be allowed to sit on the sidelines. Joshua told the Israelite people:
Joshua 24:15 “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Choose today that you will stand for Christ. Allow God to control you through the Holy Spirit’s leading and guidance. Trust that when we are called into question, that God will supply what we need at the required time.