Perspective for today - “When anyone is overcome by horror and repugnance in the presence of a deadly epidemic, he should take courage and strength in the firm assurance that it is the devil who stirs up such abhorrence, fear and loathing in his heart. He is such a bitter, knavish devil that he not only unceasingly tries to slay and kill, but also takes delight in making us deathly afraid, worried, and apprehensive so that we should regard dying as horrible and have no rest or peace all through our life.”
When do you think this was written, and by whom? The writer went on to say, “Because we know that it is the devil’s game to induce such fear and dread, we should in turn minimize it, take such courage as to spite and annoy him, and send those terrors right back to him.… We should arm ourselves with this answer to the devil: ‘Get away, you devil, with your terrors! Just because you hate it, I’ll spite you by going the more quickly to help my sick neighbor. I’ll pay no attention to you. … No, you’ll not have the last word! If Christ shed His blood for me and died for me, why should I not expose myself to some small dangers for His sake and disregard this feeble plague? If you can terrorize, Christ can strengthen me. If you can kill, Christ can give life. Should not my dear Christ, with His precepts, His kindness, and all His encouragement, be more important in my spirit than you, roguish devil, with your false terrors in my weak flesh? Here is Christ and here am I, His servant in this work. Let Christ prevail! Amen.’” – This was written by Martin Luther in 1527, an advocate for Jesus the Christ addressing the topic, “Whether One May Flee From A Deadly Plague”.
Behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. – Matthew 8:24-26. Jesus’ reference of “little faith” with His disciples is recorded eight times in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. In this passage, while Jesus is rebuking “the winds and the sea,” He is meeting His disciples where they are. The winds and the sea naturally stir up legitimate fear, worry and apprehension. Jesus is letting them know that “little faith” will keep them in the present physical realm. In their time together, He would lead them in faith focused on the eternal spiritual realm. This would be the faith needed for them to stand against the fear and dread the Romans and the religious leaders of their day would stir up once He returned to the Father. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit lifted them up as advocates for Jesus the Christ in a dark world.
Years ago, on a trip to Holland I was encouraged by a friend to get away from the major cities and visit the heart of the country. On one stop, my bride and I spent an evening with a lovely elderly couple. They conceded that the silent majority of faithful Netherlanders had stayed silent too long. Comfortable in their “little faith” they failed as advocates for Jesus the Christ and very progressive ideals took control of their country. They warned us to be on watch in America. That was over thirty years ago.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for Your word and Your love. I confess being a comfortable Christian, walking through this world with “little faith”. I have failed to love as You love, to show grace while standing firm in Truth. I have compromised Truth while trying to show grace. Forgive me. Lift my faith above this present physical realm through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Grant me strength to walk boldly as an advocate for You in this world with a faith focused on the eternal spiritual realm. That is the dad you call me to be and that’s the dad the next generation needs. Amen.
A faithful father walks boldly as an advocate for Jesus the Christ in this world.