Living by faith in difficult times – Part 2
How do we recognise the characteristics of faith in people who lived during difficult times? (1) Repentance and refusal to identify with Egypt or the world. Faith in Christ will make every adherent to separate from the world, which Egypt symbolises. The world is corrupt, evil and under the dominion and authority of Satan. (2) Identification with the people of God. It was more convenient for Moses to identify with the Egyptians and be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, so, he could enjoy all the privileges and pleasures of the palace. But he rejected all that and “chose to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” Ruth also had this kind of faith in trying times that God wants all His children to have.
(3) Forsaking sin in all its forms, standing on the Word of God even when other people get by with lies and deception, and are running the race with patience. (4) Joyfully accepting the reproaches of Christ. A true Christian does not change his attitude, stance, dressing and conviction because of persecution. (5) Fixing the mind on eternal reward. Moses’ mind was fixed on the reward that he was going to receive from God. Every believer needs to put aside whatever will hinder him from getting to heaven.
(6) Disallowing fear from controlling our decisions in times of crisis. It is difficult to get saved or take a stand and live by personal conviction and be rewarded if there is fear of man in the heart. (7) Seeing by faith, the invisible God in trying times. These characteristics of faith in Moses are required of every Christian today.
Faith in God and faithfulness to God go hand in hand. If we have faith in God, we will not be unfaithful to Him. And it is impossible to be faithful to God without having faith in Him. Faith and faithfulness are revealed by (a) obedience to God, (b) fearlessness in tough times, (c) courage, (d) love for God and His people, (e) humility and meekness, (f) seeking God’s glory in all things, and (g) walking with God at all times. God’s testimony about Moses is: “My servant Moses … is faithful in all mine house.” Moses literally lived in the consciousness of God and “according to all that the Lord commanded him, so did he.”
If we are going to be Christians in nature and not in name, we must obey God’s commands. Obedience to the word of God is the essence and substance of Christianity. When the Lord called Moses, Daniel, David, Paul and others, He expected them to “fulfill all His will.” And the call of the Lord upon our lives today is to make us fulfill all His will, to love God and His people even in trying times.
God also testified that meekness had replaced aggressiveness in Moses. He was humble and made room for other people to be what they ought to be. Filled with love for His people, Moses rejected the privilege of becoming king of a great nation at the expense of leading into freedom, the nation of Israel that sinned and risked being wiped off. He was willing to lose his spiritual privileges if God would not forgive the children of Israel. God wants this kind of faithfulness in all His children.
• Further reading (King James Version): Exodus 2:10-15; Hebrews 11:23,24; 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15. Romans 15:4; Hebrews 11:24-27; 1 John 5:4,5; 2:15-17; Hebrews 11:25; Ruth 1:16; Hebrews 11:25; 12:1; 11:26; 13:12,13; 11:26; Philippians 3:13,14; Hebrews 11:27; Proverbs 29:25; Hebrews 11:27; Isaiah 33:15-17. Numbers 12:7; Hebrews 3:2,5; Exodus 40:16; Acts 13:22; Numbers 12:3; Matthew 5:5; 11:28-30; Numbers 11:27-29; Romans 12:10; Exodus 32:9-14,30-33.