An open Bible and a cup of coffee.

I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”
Psalm 16:8

By far the greatest threat to any Christian is the threat of becoming discouraged and losing heart. Our enemy the devil understands this very well; we are not ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11). He cannot take our salvation from us; in this regard we are eternally safe in the arms of Jesus (John 10:27-30; Romans 8:31-39; Philippians 1:6; Jude 1:24). On the other hand, he can and has intimidated and discouraged many Christians into complete inactivity. This is his plan. If he cannot steal your soul, he will do all he can to neutralize your godly influence in the world. The antidote to this of course is to commune with God in prayer often. When we draw close to Him, He draws close to us (James 4:8). We must also be in His word, receiving instruction and encouragement from the inspired record of what He has done in and for His people in the past. “So then faith cometh by hearing,” wrote Paul, “and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). As our faith grows, so will our courage. Remember that even the greatest figures in the Bible were finite and flawed people just like ourselves. Even the great prophet Elijah, who stood against a powerful government, their military forces and 850 false prophets (1 Kings 18) “was a man subject to like passions as we are” (James 5:17). The biblical heroes of old are our examples. They overcame darkness and opposition to their godly causes and we can too. Thoroughly unintimidated, David ran out to meet the Philistine giant in battle (1 Samuel 17:48). When the apostles were brought before the authorities for preaching Jesus, their fearlessness itself became a powerful witness. “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John,” wrote Luke, “and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). While Paul and Barnabas were preaching in Antioch, there arose aggressive—and public—resistance to their message. Instead of shrinking back, “Paul and Barnabas waxed bold” (Acts 13:46). Luke goes on to say that through their courageous witness, many Gentiles found salvation (Acts 13:48). In Lystra, resistance to Paul’s message led to his being stoned and left for dead outside the city. Undaunted, he marched straight back into the city and resumed his missionary work. May we heed and obey the inspired words of the Lord’s undaunted champion: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1Corinthians 15:58).

God bless and strengthen you today, my dear friends,

Pastor John