A Systematic Expository Study of the Word of God
LIVING BY FAITH IN TRYING TIMES
Exodus 1:12,13,22; 2:1,2; Micah 6:4; Proverbs 29:25; 25:26;
26:25; 24:10; 2:12-14; 24:9; 2:17; 1:24-32; Deuteronomy 32:20
These are trying times and we need to live by faith. There was a time Israel was under captivity and servitude in the land of Egypt. They went there without knowing that there would be oppression or difficulty. The Egyptian midwives were commanded to kill every son but save every daughter born by Israelite women. “And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive”. Pharaoh never wanted any future for the nation of Israel. By killing every male child, he wanted to assimilate the women into the Egyptian culture and community. It was at this period that Moses’ father and mother got married and gave birth to him. Theirs was a decision of faith. As they got married by faith, they raised their children by faith. Although, they were surrounded by idolatry in Egypt, they brought their children up in the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In difficult times, we can still raise our children to follow the path of righteousness. We must not allow the surrounding culture or religion to influence the upbringing of our children. The family of Moses lived, walked, planned and did everything by faith.
How we react to trials and persecutions depend on our faith. Difficulties will either crush or stir up the giant in us. Some people’s reaction is manifested through: (1) Fear. They may refuse to go to church, read their Bibles or mention the name of Jesus. It is fear that make them compromise with the wicked and surrender their birthright. (2) Falsehood. Such people get whatever they want by means of falsehood. (3) Faint-heartedness. They react to persecution by becoming timid and tired. (4) Frowardness. They are people who are not dependable because there is no faith in them. (5) Foolishness. They cannot confess Christ and stand for Him in the public. (6) Forgetfulness. They easily forget their root and the commitment they made to the Lord. (7) Faithlessness. When people allow challenges and difficulties to hinder them from abiding by their conviction, it is faithlessness. Whether at home, school, office, marketplace, etc., we must live by faith; we must declare to the world who we are.
THE CALL AND CONVERSION THROUGH FAITH IN TRYING TIMES
Exodus 2:11,12; Romans 3:23,24; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Acts 24:16; Romans 5:9.
At a time in Egypt, Moses did not have faith in God; he acted like the Egyptians. He wanted to be a great political leader because he had learnt that the Egyptians oppressed and killed his people. But a moment came in his life when he knew that what people thought or said about him did not matter. He realised that he had to place his conviction firmly in the Almighty God. This was when he got converted. With his transformation and encounter with the Lord, he was able to stand before Pharaoh to demand for the freedom of the children of Israel.
When a man becomes born again, he begins to walk in newness of life. He does not give room to the old lifestyles anymore. He becomes bold by reason of his justification and transformation from being a sinner to a saint. And by having “a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men”, he is no longer a slave to any man. He manifests courage to obey the Lord and nothing can hinder him from entering the kingdom of God.
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF FAITH IN TRYING TIMES
Romans 15:4; Hebrews 11:24-27,28; Psalm 31:15; 1 John 5:4; 4:4; Philippians 3:14,13.
The life of Moses should make us desire and follow the path of righteousness. By faith, he rejected: (1) Royalty. Moses was regarded as a son of Pharaoh’s daughter, yet he refused being an heir to the throne. (2) The pleasures of sin. (3) The treasures in Egypt. Moses rejected all these and chose the following: (1) suffering with God’s people. Though he was counted as a son of Pharaoh’s daughter, he voluntarily chose to identify with the suffering of the people of God. (2) The reproach of Christ. (3) Reward that will come from God.
From the time Moses knew the Lord and before he died, there were three things he retained: (1) Faith. He had implicit and unwavering faith in God. Like the rock of Gibraltar, his faith was immovable, solid and steadfast. (2) Fearlessness. We must get to a level where we understand that our time, life, success, promotion, and fulfilment are in the hand of God. David had no cause to be afraid because he knew his “times” were in the hand of God. (3) Fortitude. Moses never compromised because of his determination to please the Lord. If God is our defender and protector, we should not be afraid. We must “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” God who is on the throne will get us to our desired destination, earthly connections notwithstanding.
THE CHARACTER OF THE FAITHFUL IN TRYING TIMES
Exodus 39:1,5,7,21,31,32,42,43; 40:19,21,23,25,27,32,16; 25:9; Hebrews 8:5; 2 Corinthians 2:17; Romans 12:1,2; Hebrews 11:24-27; 2 Corinthians 4:18.
Moses knew that he owed his honour, authority, ministry and assignment to God. He never did anything by human wisdom but “as the Lord commanded” him. He did not modify or deviate from the pattern; he followed the blueprint that was revealed to him on the mountain. He succeeded also because those who associated and worked with him knew that they must do the work as the Lord commanded him. Faith in a believer leads to faithfulness, loyalty, dependability and obedience to the word of God. As believers, we must conduct our business, career, marriage, child training, choice of friends according to His word.
We must note that: (1) Faith in God and faithfulness to God go hand in hand. If we have faith in God, we will not be unfaithful to Him. It is impossible to be faithful to God without having faith in Him. Both are revealed by our obedience. (2) There will be fearlessness in tough, difficult times, if we must succeed. (3) There should be courage to stand for God. When we obey God, He will not live us in the hands of persecutors. (4) We should manifest love for God and His people. (5) There must be humility and meekness. (6) Seeking God’s glory in all things must be our pursuit. (7) We must walk with God at all times.
Some people who claim to be Christians today do not have any conviction. There is no difference between them and the people in the world. There are also nominal ministers. The way they conduct themselves do not portray them as real ministers of God. They hardly preach the message of salvation or live holy lives. They are nominal in character, conduct, conversation, comportment, consecration, and evangelism. They are covetous and corrupt – they corrupt the word of God by misinterpreting it to suit their selfish interests.
As believers, we must be willing to identify with the people of God when they go through persecution and suffering. We should think about the rapture and the reward that awaits us in heaven. Moses saw what Pharaoh and others could not see. As a result, he fixed his gaze on the Almighty God. Like him, we are to continually seek things that are eternal.
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