On December 23, 1776, the American patriot Thomas Paine wrote those famous words, these are the times that try men’s souls. While he was referencing American’s problems with Britain, we can easily relate to his emotion.
We are living in times that certainly try our hearts and souls.
His next statement is almost as famous as his first: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country.
Summer soldiers will march in the good weather, but not in the bad. Sunshine patriots will stand up for the cause when there’s little to no danger but not when the dangers become great.
Which leads me to this – are we summer Christians and sunshine followers of Jesus? Are we among those who sing praise songs when life is great, raise our hands and say Amen when we aren’t bogged down with problems, post on Facebook I Love Jesus and if you do, you’ll re-post this, when we’re feeling blessed?
Or are we among those Believers who will remain faithful in the dark times?
Prior to the COVID-19 restrictions, I was teaching a Bible Study on the life of the Apostle Paul. That man was no summer soldier or sunshine patriot! It seemed like the harder life became for Paul, the harder he served God. Paul has been a challenge to my faith!
And I want to challenge your faith. Don’t allow the bad times to affect your faithfulness. If ever we needed to stand firm (Paul’s admonition to us in Ephesians 6:14 in the context of putting on the armor of God to stand against the attacks of Satan) it is now. Our faith is being tested and now is when we will know how strong it really is.
Let’s not be, to quote another great American (and again take it out of context), President Teddy Roosevelt, among those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Great results come from great effort. Great victories usually include great defeats, even in the spiritual realm. Even if you try, stumble and fall (spiritually speaking), don’t give up. God understands and He will be there to pick you up, dust you off, and put you back on the right path.
Now is when we need to be all-weather Christians. People who remain faithful when all odds are against us.
It is in HIS power that we stand (Ephesians 6:10). It is for HIS glory that we strive (1 Corinthians 10:31). It is for HIS honor that we remain faithful.
Stay in the Word