“I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you. Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control. Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but take your share of suffering for the gospel in the power of God…..” “Followthe pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus; guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.” (2 Timothy 1:5-8, 13-14)
Faith, keep the faith, hang onto your faith, we hear it over and over again. In fact all scripture that was chosen for this Sunday in the back of my Bible, ALL revolved around faith. In the Old Testament it was a reading from the prophet Habakkuk who was questioning his own faith and why was it that God seemed to be turning a deaf ear to all the suffering. Then there’s 2 Timothy, that I’ve chosen to take a closer look at, talks about faith, courage and not being ashamed, and then of course in Luke where Jesus talks about all you need is faith just the size of a mustard seed. All three of these are so relatable to what’s happening in today’s world. In fact, they couldn’t be chosen to be read at any better time when it seems there is so little faith to be found anywhere.
It can be so very difficult to talk about faith in times such as these. Just look at everything going on around us:
- War in Ukraine
- The devastation left behind from Hurricane Ian
- The attack on our individual liberties
- Our children under attack from all directions
- Things we know to be true, because God claims them to be true, are under attack
- Things that we know to be immoral are being advertised as “normal behavior” or “acceptable behavior”
- The economy in total shambles, prices going beyond reasonable price hikes, food and energy shortages on the near horizon, in our very own country
- Innocent people being persecuted simply for having dissenting voices while those who have committed real crimes are never held accountable
Just that alone makes it easy to understand why so many would be losing faith and struggling with the question, “Why God?” Just as the prophet Habakkuk asked why and felt he was losing his faith and asked God to help him make his faith stronger. It was OK with God that Habakkuk had faith that was faltering, because God can work with any amount of faith.
Jesus further emphasizes this same sentiment when His disciples are asking Jesus to help their strength to become stronger because, they too found it difficult to maintain their faith, with all that was happening around them, at their time. Jesus reassured them, and it should also reassure us, that even if our faith is as small as a mustard seed, God can work with even faith as small as that. It’s a reminder to us all, that we cannot allow ourselves to believe that if our faith is faltering that there’s no hope. That’s playing right into the hands of Satan if we allow ourselves to get to that point of hopelessness.
Paul reminds Timothy and all of us in 2 Timothy that we need to rekindle our faith always because faith is a gift that comes directly from God Himself. It’s also important to note that the gift of faith was never meant to be timid. After all, look at Paul, those letters he wrote Timothy and to many of the churches Paul had started, were all from prison. And why was he in prison? Was it because he was timid in his faith? No way, instead it was just the opposite, it was because he was given the courage and power of God to stand up for his beliefs and his faith, knowing very well that it could result in his death, which of course that’s exactly what the outcome was.
Yet, during all of Paul’s persecution he wrote letters of encouragement to people like Timothy to stress the importance of holding onto that faith, no matter how weak or strong it might be, because God did not give any of us the spirit of cowardice, instead He gives us the spirit of power and love so that we can rise above persecution and the evil that might surround us.
There are so many battles that are in need of fighting right now and yes, it can make us want to run the other direction and bury our heads in the sand, hoping that it will all go away. But, when we do that, it makes us look as if we are ashamed of our Lord and that we are afraid to stand up against the forces of evil that wants nothing more than for us to take a knee to that evil and not God.
No matter how weak that we might think our faith is, it’s never too weak for God to work with for His good. This is vital for all believers to understand and hold onto. It’s our faith and especially our collective faith that’s going to help us fight the battles that lie ahead of us.
As Christians we must never be afraid to follow in the footsteps and the pattern of behavior that Jesus has provided for us. What’s extremely important here is that in order to fight against all that’s wrong in our country we must understand that God is asking for us to be unashamed of the truth and it is our duty to Him to be His warriors in guarding this truth, because He has entrusted us with His truth through His Holy Spirit.
It’s not going to be easy, but we need to band together as one united front in our faith to stop the continuing evil that is encroaching upon our individual liberties and the threat that it has to not just our country but to the lives of our loved ones and especially the children of this country. If we can’t stand as warriors together to guard and protect His truth, what future are we giving our children?
Remember, God has more faith in us than we tend to have in Him, and He will give us the victory over evil, if and only if, we are willing to stand with Him in the battle!