Believing in a Difficult Unbelieving World
Joyce today. I would love to have a really good conversation about how to be a strong believer in a difficult, unbelieving world, because there’s a lot coming against us right now, and there’s just no way around it. It’s it’s not easy. Um what are some of the things that that you have found through throughout your life, whether it’s now or earlier, that has made it more challenging two be a christian in the world that we live in today? Well, maybe I can talk to you about how to make it easier on yourself. You know, first of all, I think if you’re going to be a really committed christian, you have to realize that you are going to get persecution from somewhere. It’s either gonna come from family or it’s gonna come from friends who don’t want to be as committed as you are, and so they accuse you of being a fanatic or you may experience things like people not including you uh at lunch at work, or different things like that, because if you if you’re a strong believer, and I’m not talking about somebody who’s just being outlandish, you just doing nothing but talking about the bible all the time. I mean, there’s, you know, prudence that we need to use and what to say where, because you’re not gonna you’re not gonna get somebody to believe by trying to cram the gospel down their throat. The best thing to do is to live the life in front of them and wait until they’re open. I want to ask you. So I think it has to be a foregone conclusion that if I if I’m gonna be really committed and you know, there’s a lot of people who go to church every week that are not really wholly committed to serving God in there everyday life. They still compromise and do a lot of things that, you know, they probably shouldn’t be doing. And uh so once you’re prepared to do that, then I think we need to remember that we are in the world, but not of the world. So what we hear that, what is how do we do that? Well, that means that I don’t do things the way the world does things and that’s one of the things that makes you come under persecution sometimes or seem a little bit odd to people. You know, like I remember somebody was doing my taxes one time telling me that I was giving too much money to the church. Well, he was looking at it purely from a just a financial standpoint and he didn’t understand what I understood that I’m gonna reap what I saw and I wasn’t giving because I thought I had to I was doing it because I wanted to. So people don’t understand, they’re not gonna understand you if they don’t if they don’t know what you know about the word, they’re just not gonna understand you. So so expect that. Yeah. Yeah. Well, yeah, I mean, I don’t think we have to go around believing to be persecuted, but it is, it is going to happen, you’re going to experience some rejection, jesus was rejected and he said that a servant is not above his master and so there I mean I’ve been through enough of it myself that that I I know and so to be in the world would not be of, it means that I’m gonna find myself pretty much continually needing to make choices that are going to be kind of going against the flow, so to speak. Or I’m going to always be swimming upstream when everybody else is floating downstream. And it’s in the beginning it’s something you have to really try in the beginning of your walk with God, you have to really try and it seems so hard and you know you pay too much attention to the friends you don’t have that. I don’t want to be like you. But after a while to be honest it becomes your lifestyle and that’s what being a christian needs to be. It needs to be our lifestyle. And then I remember what Joshua he said and this is probably a big thing we need to remember is you know as for me and my house we’re gonna serve the Lord, you you serve whoever you want to serve. But as for me and my house we will serve the Lord and that’s what each person has to make their own decision about how they’re gonna live and how committed they are gonna be And I think it’s wise to remember that when all this is over, there’s only gonna be God are the devil. We’ve only got two options of how we’re gonna live out eternity, and we make many decisions now, that may seem that we’re losing something by making those decisions, but you’ll reap the reward of doing the right thing when you get to heaven. And also to remember that, I mean, even say you lived 100 years, which very, very, very few people do that, but let’s just say you live to be 100 uh that sounds like a long time, but it’s nothing compared to eternity. And so I’ve kind of come to the conclusion that I need to spend now getting ready for their and so it’s it’s really about decision and, you know, to be honest, sometimes ginger, I think we we talk ourselves into, oh, this is so hard, it’s, you know, I didn’t get invited to the party, it’s so hard, but maybe you need to talk about yourself the other way, you know, jesus wouldn’t have been invited to that party either, and so I’m glad to be in his group and not somebody else’s. Do you find that as as the world changes around us um that it gets easier because you are close to christ um and you have to make these right decisions, but it also gets harder to watch the world going, where it’s going, in other words, we we know the end, but still it’s a difficult process well and to be honest and you know, I hope people understand what I mean by this, but as a believer in christ, this is not where you belong anyway, I mean this is not our, this is not our home and so there’s a certain part of us that’s gonna always be uncomfortable here and I think that’s a good way to look at it. I remember kind of Never feeling like 100% satisfied and it got to the point what was really bothering me because I want to be totally satisfied with what God has given me and you know happy all the time and he led me to some scriptures that basically tell us that eternity, you know heaven is our home and even creation groans waiting for the full redemption of mankind and so we can’t, you know when, when you have a a beautiful spirit because you’ve been born again and the holy spirit is living in you, if he feels grief, which you know he does, then we’re gonna feel a little bit of that too and I know for me and I’ve said this to you, I am just so weary of all the strive and arguing and bickering in the world and so many angry people and everybody’s got an issue or a drum that they want to bang and you know and we just need to love God and appreciate what he does in our lives and find people to be good to and be happy and enjoy the day that God has given us and you know, that doesn’t mean that we’re not all going to have troubles, jesus said in the world, you will have tribulation, but his answer to it was cheer up, I have overcome the world, so he’s basically saying you’ve got this going on now, but if you realize that I’ve got a plan for here, you know, then you can be cheerful in the middle of it and everybody, sooner or later we all have to take a responsibility for ourselves and how we’re going to behave in situations, how we’re going to believe, you know, just just making a decision, I’m going to be positive and not negative, I’m going to be around as many positive people as I can be and not just surround myself with complainers and grumblers and murmurs and angry people and you know, people who just always gossiping and judging, I mean that in itself, I will drag you down, but but even if you’re not around any of that, I think we feel the weight of what’s going on in the world and the the sin and you know, I was talking with somebody this morning about something, I don’t remember exactly what it was, but it was something that, that the bible says is wrong, that the world sees as being right, There are a lot of those things right now, but you know the bible says that in the last days, which we are probably in the last of the last days in the last days people will call evil good and good evil. That’s why it’s so important for christians to not think that all I need to do is show up at church once a week and everything is gonna be wonderful in my life. You have to know the word. You have to not just read a chapter a day out of the bible to fulfill some religious obligation, but set aside time to study the word of God and to two listen to teachers and preachers and read good books that are full of biblical principles, we have to, the word is our food, it’s the food for our spirit. Just like we feed our body physical food, we need to feed our spirit spiritual food and it’s the word and worship and fellowship with God and things like that. And you know, I can tell when I’m getting physically hungry can’t you? And so I think we can also tell him we’re getting spiritually hungry and when you start feeling weak spiritually or like you’re starting to maybe drift and drift is a good word because it is a scary thing. Yeah. If you just kind of just if you’re not being decisive, if you’re being the least bit passive, I mean you will drift in the wrong direction with the crowd and that’s not what we want to do. We got to stand strong and the times that we’re in the bible says that if God did not shorten the days for the sake of the very elect, no man could stand the deception that’s coming on the world. I’m gonna say that again. If God did not shorten the days for the sake of the very elect. No man. Yeah, no matter how spiritual you are, would withstand the deception that’s coming on the world. And so how many things today do people think are just fine that the bible condemns? You know, I might as well make a few people mad while I’m go for it. So what about what about people living together before they’re married? I mean, that’s just become a common, almost expected things like the next step after dating is to live together. Like how could you get married before you tried to get married before you try it out And people aren’t ashamed of it, they don’t feel there’s any need to hide it. It’s just that’s the way it is. And but that’s not what God says. And so we have to make a decision. Are we gonna go with the world? You know, I I remember trying on clothes and different places from my conferences and feeling like it was something that would be inappropriate for me to wear a little too short or a little too tight or a little too low. And and uh I remember when the skirts came out that had the slit up the side, but it would go halfway up your leg. And I remember sales clerk saying to me one day, oh honey, that looks beautiful on you. Besides that’s all the style today. I said, but it’s not my style. It’s not the style for what I’m doing. And so I like it, I’ll buy it but you so the slit up to my knee. So we we have to stand up for what we believe in. And you know, if you live with the thought in mind of I’m gonna live today to please God not people, then that helps you a lot when you’re living in the society we are. Which is a really important decision to make. Not always the easiest, but well worth it. Well worth the sacrifices that will make. Thank you Joyce. We appreciate your encouragement very much.