Patience and hope are great lessons for Christians to learn. God gives us many opportunities to learn both. Patience and hope can get us through the tough times life will sometimes throw at us. I’m still learning these lessons. We learn throughout life and then on into eternal life.
Here are some thoughts that have comforted me through the past 40+ years. I pray they will comfort and encourage your hearts and guide your actions for many years to come. Believe me, you won’t go wrong practicing the truths God shares with us all.
Paul makes no bones about it. He is a saint. A holy man. And why not? That’s what God called him to be.
“… just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love …” Ephesians 1:4
Start talking about holiness at the office, school or around the neighborhood and see what happens. It’s like the plague made you its permanent home! People don’t want to hear about holiness: God’s or yours. They especially don’t want to hear about their lack of it.
“Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 1:5-7
One of the polite criticisms I’ve heard from Christians about the Apostle Paul’s writings is that he is “wordy.” It’s important to remember how the Holy Spirit “inspired” the Bible writers. Paul wrote that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) The Greek word translated “inspiration” is theopneustos, which comes from the words theos (God) and pneo (to breathe). All Scripture (graphe) is given by God as He spiritually “breathes” on the writer.
“For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.” 2 Corinthians 1:12
Can we say this about ourselves? Can we “boast” that we have our “testimony” in the world and with our brothers and sisters in Christ in “simplicity and godly sincerity” that are from God? Paul was speaking straight from his heart to the hearts and minds of his friends in Corinth. He was also speaking to you and me and every other believer through the centuries. Paul was an example to Christians of how they should conduct their lives on earth.
We can experience victory in every aspect of life. That includes personal and interpersonal matters of life: personal habits, addictions and illness, family problems, struggles at school and work, conflicts with friends and neighbors, crime in our neighborhoods and streets, wars and rumors of wars. No matter what you’re facing now or will face in the future, you can have victory. God holds victory in store for His children. He is our shield. He guards our path through life.
It’s an easy thing to say that Christians are a victorious people, but how do we prove it? What is there about our lives that shows the victory we claim in Jesus Christ? What’s the measuring rod for spiritual victory?
We often hear non-Christians say that if being a Christian is like that person (and they point to someone who identifies themselves as a Christian), they want no part of it. Why would they say that? If our life is victorious, why wouldn’t people want to live it? Good question.
As we saw in the first part of our study, the people of God are winners! They won through faith, through believing in the Word of the Omnipotent God. We have that same legacy of faith. We win because we believe. We are the children of God by faith. We were called into fellowship with Christ by the Faithful God. We are co-heirs with Christ by faith. We have the Holy Spirit of God living in our hearts by faith. We accomplish great things in the name of Jesus Christ by faith.