Revelation 12:11 provides an amazing testimony for persecuted believers. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
May we, as believers, enter 2023 with such love for Jesus that radical faith in His leadership and power ensues. We can learn from persecuted Christians living in settings where mediocre Christianity is routinely quashed by the state. Believers struggling under such challenging circumstances endure as they embrace a fervent love for Jesus with radical faith. Then, from the relative safety of our own residences, we can observe three things that spring forth from such a radical faith.
- Radical Obedience
Believers can discern the genuine voice of God among all the counterfeits of the enemy. They listen to the right voice, especially through the written Word and the Holy Spirit, and once the voice of God is discerned, they engage with a radical obedience to Jesus. Undeterred obedience regardless of personal consequences is a matter of radical faith.
- Faith Filter
Whether circumstances seem pleasant or dreary or even threatening, believers can properly assess situations as they view matters through the filter of faith. They are mindful of the fact that what God allows will be used for good if they respond in faith. Lacking trust in the providence of God, we can have weakening meltdowns, but remember that God is transcendent and sees the greater picture. We will have our moments of perplexity due to unfavorable circumstances, but as situations arise that are completely out of our control, radical faith directs the believer not to react based only on what can be seen. A faith filter enables one to respond properly while trusting in the wisdom of the unseen God.
- Prayer Reality
Some engage in prayer as a matter of routine while others take to their knees when troubled or frightened—but do these suppliants actually expect to be heard? Possessors of a radical faith understand the reality of prayer and leave perfunctory praying to others. They cry out to God with confidence that He hears and answers. They have come to understand that biblical promises must be obtained through praying in faith, believing, and so they pray. Based on the Spirit’s guidance to specific truth, the believer with radical faith has confidence and calls on the name of the Lord who hears.
May we look to Jesus for radical faith in the One who loves us with radical love.
John Van Gelderen