Sunday, January 18, 2009

Faith & Peace

Faith & Peace – Twin Towers Of Refuge

The collapse of the twin towers in New York has changed the colour of the world for many. The shadow that it cast over millions in the world still hangs around today. Then fear and worry struck as fatality began to arise from the harm of anthrax. There was unrest in the hearts of many. If not threatened by physical attacks, people are battling the assault on the world’s economy as its contraction struck several with financial insecurity.

As uncertainty and more uncertainty plague the minds of many, fear, anxiety and depression are increasing and professional help to cope with the ills becomes a necessity. As many would have observed the economy was already tilting on its own before the attacks but that one incident in America bent the world over and according to several reports, paralysed it from any quick recovery.

One night, while praying, it dawned on my spirit that since the entire world is dimmed by fear and uncertainty, all the more the saints of God should bring light into the darkness by exhibiting faith in God as a testimony. Instead of walking in fear, we should be walking in faith. Like how a lighted candle is far more outstanding in the dark than in a lit environment, so the glory of the Lord in us should be given to shine even brighter now that the world around us is darkened. We are the light of the world, established to illumine the darkness, not be lost in it.

While landmark twin towers may have been struck in America, in the hearts of saints a spiritual refuge called Faith and Peace are being erected through the Spirit of God. The world may have been darkened, but the children of God need not fear or wait for the light to come, for we have the light within us because of the residing presence of God in us.

“Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The gentiles (unbeliever) shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising”. (Isa. 60:1-3)

There are two kinds of darkness in this passage. The "darkness shall cover the earth" refers to falsehood, ignorance, deception and blindness. The "deep darkness (over) the people" is the caused by the darkness that covered the earth. It refers to the misery, gloom and hopelessness that result from the lack of enlightenment in a darkened circumstance. Once struck by this deep darkness, the soul becomes a miserable state. The victim feels weakened as its strength wears away, leaving it to succumb to hopelessness and fear. Be very afraid of the virus of hopelessness and fear, make them flee from you, for once infected by them, the vitality of life will soon be lost to them. Be on your guard and be vigilant!

Jesus said in Matthew 6:22-23 "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" Do we see gloom and doom alone or do we look out for God in the midst of the doom and gloom. If we see only darkness and hopelessness, our entire being is lost in the thick ambush – there is no help. However, if the Spirit of God opens our eyes to see the light, love and power of God in every situation, our entire being will be filled with light, full with hope and overflowing with strength to take on the challenges to come.

The fact is seldom a reflection of the truth. Today there is a worldwide recession going on, and we are reminded of it all the time, by the media, by the people around us. This is a fact no doubt, but the relieving truth to that is that God is in control! In or out of recession, the world exists under the sovereignty of God and He is in supreme control of every situation. The recession may be the most severe the world has experienced, and perhaps even the worst is yet to come. But whatever it is, the truth remains that it will never get out of hand with God and it will not get out of His control! Of course, this is not something that one remembers all the time everyday. That is why the fellowship of believers is important – for our brothers and sisters in Christ will remind us of God’s strength when we are weak. That is also why fellowship with God is so important because it is only when we spend sufficient time in His presence that we are able to view the world’s situation through His eyes of wisdom and deal with it by His overcoming strength. Indeed, God is more than able to bless His children even in the worst of situations.


Fundamental faith is there in a person by choice, not by any privileged divine gifting. We simply choose to trust God in every step of our life and in every circumstance. We discard fear and doubt and convince ourselves that God is in control. Even when we cannot comprehend, we believe that God will see us through, and in whichever way He does that, it is the best for us.
So, what exactly is this fundamental faith that every child of God can and should have? It is the faith that comes about by knowing God’s word and believing in them. It is believing every jot and stroke written in the Bible the promises of God make to us. It is simply believing in God for who He says He is and doing what He promised towards us.

“And not being weak in faith…he did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthen in faith giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He has promised He was also able to perform” (Rom.4:19-21)

Faith does not descend upon anyone like a dove - it needs to be developed, cultivated and guarded. An unbelieving heart is the most fertile ground for the devil and his evil cohorts to sow seeds of anxiety, depression, fear, stress etc. Over time, the heart becomes so plagued by these ills that nothing can hurt it any further. That’s when the danger becomes full-grown, for that’s when the heart becomes hardened, starts becoming disobedient and ultimately ending in rebellion. We are thus warned of this condition by the word of God in Heb. 3:12-13 : “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily…lest any of you be hardened…”

The condition of our hearts should never be neglected or overlooked. We need to keep it in constant check for an unbelieving or doubting heart is more destructive than we imagine. It causes us to doubt God and His power, which is a greater transgression than we think. It is so very crucial that the same warning is being repeated from the Old to the New Testament. Therefore, as the Scripture urged, encourage each other in the faith and remove any foothold of doubt or fear in our brother/sister’s heart.

Unbelief paralyses one from obeying God. It destroys the virtue of obedience in a Christian. Unbelief cost the Israelites the rest that God intended to give them: “so we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief”(Heb.3:19). When we do not enter into the rest of God, we will always be striving, worrying and fearing the uncertainty – there will be no difference between the souls of these people and those of the unsaved.

The Bible warns of people with hearts “failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth…”(Lk.21:26). Does that describe us? Do we find ourselves having a problem in trusting God wholeheartedly because we fear the future? We no longer need to remain tormented by those fears. The refuge of Faith is in us. Turn to it and let God bear us up in this difficult time. Have faith in Him and allow Him to carry us through. We know that God doesn’t lie. He will do whatever He promised us. To doubt God is to call Him a liar. We know that He will never fail – He is the creator of the universe, the Beginning and the End. “Do not be afraid; only believe”(Mk.5:36).

When God made a promise to Abraham to bless him, He made an oath to seal that promise. He is God, and Abraham is but man created by Him – did God need to swear an oath to Abraham? He needn’t, but He did, perhaps because He cared enough for the fear that comes so easily to man’s heart that He wants to eradicate it by making secure His promise. “For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you”(Heb. 6:13-14). God wants to thoroughly assure us that whatever He promised will come to pass. We are all heirs to the promises of God given to Abraham: “ that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith”(Gal. 3:14). Thus, this hope should be “an anchor of our soul, both sure and steadfast”(Heb. 6:19).

God’s word says in Romans 5:20 that “…where sin abounded, grace abounded much more..”. The principle is that when evil increases, God’s grace will also increase. During this period of increased darkness, God has added to the grace and favor given to His children in order to strengthen us and provide a shelter for us. Remember, His grace is always sufficient for us (2 Cor.12:9). Do not be downcast but put our faith in God “If you can believe, all things are possible to Him who believes”(Mk.9:23), “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God”(Jn.11:40). On the other hand in Isaiah 7:9, we are warned, “If you will not believe, surely you shall not be established”.

Beloved, choose to believe in God, appropriate His blessing and grace, and be established even during these times of distress. “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent”(Jn.6:29). Be diligent in this ‘labour’ of believing God and it will accomplish more for us than our many endeavours.


The other tower that God erects for us is that called Peace. When we abide in the peace of God, we are abiding where it is both a refuge and a fortress. In Romans 16:19, we are told, “the God of peace will crush Satan under our feet”. Reading the same words another way, the trick to keeping Satan under our feet is to abide in the peace of God. When we lose the peace, Satan will escape from under our feet and soon be all over us. When we lose the peace, we will quickly lose our patience, love, self-control, etc. It is the peacemakers who are called the sons of God (Matt.5:9). We are called to represent our Lord Jesus, the Prince of Peace. By keeping the peace, we are allowing God to wage victorious warfare over the devil and overcome him (Ex. 20:20).

If we can believe that God is in control, we will stand firm in peace and there is no power that can remove us from where we stand. When we abide in the peace of God regardless of the circumstances, it crushes Satan’s attempts to manipulate us using those circumstances. We are promised in Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You”. As fear and anxiety increase in the world, peace will arise in the hearts of those who put their trust in God. Fear and anxiety is the direct result of man trying to live without God and who are trying desperately to keep their heads above the waters. But how long will they endure? Will not the unrelenting waves and unceasing currents overcome our efforts one day? The more we fear, and therefore try, the further away we go from the rest of God, and the more strife and confusion we reap. This in turn generates further fear and anxiety. Do not dismiss the tower of Peace that God has erected for you. Run to it and seek refuge, for there you will find safety and the power to overcome.

In Hebrews 12:14-15 “Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking diligently lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled”. Be at peace in your own heart, and also be at peace with others. Bitterness against anyone is an assault against God, for He created both us and all other people around. Take care of how we respond to God and the situations around us – both are equally important. Do not stir unrest with others lest we reap more unrest into our hearts which blocks the peace of God. The peace of God is the power that will lead us to victory over ourselves and the strongholds of the enemy. This peace is not the result of peaceful conditions, but is a profound confidence in God even in the midst of the most trying conditions.

Guard the twin towers of Faith and Peace that God has so lovingly given to all His children. Satan might be able to strike down any physical twin towers, but he can by no means destroy the twin towers of God. Let us learn to take refuge in what God has given to us, for we need them.

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