Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Many of us can look back on our "Christian experience" since we were "converted" and lament that often we have done like Peter: denied Christ. Maybe we have been too cowardly to confess publicly our "peculiar" beliefs. Maybe we have laughed at a crude joke in order to avoid appearing puritanical. Or gone to an unchristlike movie for the same reason, wanting to be part of the social circle. Or voted with the majority to deny Christ.
Yes, thankfully we have forgiveness with the Lord (Psalm 130:4). But can we overcome this inner cowardice? The Lord is obliged to try us again and again until we finally "overcome" (see His promise in Hebrews 12:5-11). Remember, He was obliged to "test" Abraham in Genesis 22 (the offering of son Isaac), or He could never have inspired Paul to speak of him as the father of the faithful in Romans 4:11-16.
Although God had called Abraham to be the "father" of all who should be faithful, he had failed again and again to be "full of faith." In several successive incidents he had not told the truth about his wife, fearful that the Lord would not protect him. Now when he has become old and weak (120 years even then was old age), Abraham must endure the most trying of all his tests of faith--to offer his "only" son, Isaac; God cannot let Abraham close his life record without proving for all time that he deserves this wonderful title.
It's in mercy to our souls that the Lord gives us opportunity after opportunity to demonstrate that we have overcome our unbelief; hence, our trials! They do not "seem to be joyous [experiences], but grievous" (Heb. 12:11); the Lord knows that. The heavenly angels must watch with deep interest--will we bear the test?
The real issue is far greater than our own personal salvation: we are called and privileged to be key personnel seated "with [Christ] on [His] throne" in the closing up of the great controversy between Christ and Satan (see Rev. 3:21). In the final battles of the "war with the Lamb, ... those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful" (17:14).
The conflict may be intense, but remember that you are "with Him," not alone. Buddies in fierce battles learn to be special friends; often they have saved each other. You are developing a special oneness with Christ that you will treasure through all eternity.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: July 30, 2007.
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