1Jn 5:4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
Rev 13:10 If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.
The past two Sundays I have read the 10th chapter of J.C. Ryle’s book, Holiness. The subject was, remember Lot’s wife. Both of those messages can be viewed on our Facebook page (Light for Dark Times), our YouTube channel, and at sermonaudio.com/crc . For the next two Sundays during our first hour class, we will be hearing the 9th chapter of that same book, the subject being Lot – but he lingered. Again, you will be able to view those readings in video format on the same three web pages.
Here, I want to point you to still another subject Ryle wrote about. The scripture text is this:
Heb 11:24-26 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, (25) choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. (26) He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.
We all go through very difficult times, tribulations, and sufferings in this fallen world as we follow Christ. Following Him is a walk of and by faith, not by sight. To possess that faith, which is a gift of God, we must be born again. We must be born again. By faith we choose to be mistreated with the people of God and we look forward to the reward which awaits Christ’s people in heaven – in the new creation.
It is very easy to get caught up in walking by sight rather than by faith, and getting bogged down in the misery and quagmire of disappointment or even bitterness. (See Psalm 73 on this, by the way). No one can fix our sufferings here. No human being can intercede and rescue every abuse victim from economic abuse, trauma, unjust court proceedings, loss of all kinds, or other missiles of the devil. We can help one another partially, but as so many of you know, evil people so often enjoy victories and escape justice.
It is only by faith in Christ that we can get through these valleys. That is where our victory is to be found. This is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Faith in God’s Word. Faith in His promises. Faith that He is coming again and faith in his promise to execute perfect justice when He does. Faith that our real life is not here – but up there with Him.
Apart from this, we will not enjoy the victory He has for us.