Remain true to the faith. (Acts 14:22)
The dictionary definition of the word “remain” is as follows: To continue to exist, especially after other similar people or things have ceased to exist. To remain true to the faith is to not only exist but to endure, last, abide, go on, carry on, persist and prevail. And how is this to be done? By continuing to remember Whose you are and to rest in His strength, power, and mercy—not just daily, but moment by moment.
John Stott, the influential evangelical preacher, teacher, and author, observed that “The Christian landscape is strewn with the wreckage of derelict, half-built towers—the ruins of those who began to build and were unable to finish.” Why does this happen? Because too many Christians lose sight of the One who promised that “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). The key that keeps us on the road “Remain” is to remember this promise. Jesus never shied away from telling His followers what the cost of following Him would be. Our Lord included no “fine print” in His presentations; He made it crystal clear that there would be a great cost in following Him.
The world, the flesh, and the devil line up to deliver one hardship after another to every child of God, all of them intended to turn us away from our walk with the Lord. We hear the whispered echo of the wicked words of Job’s wife: “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Why don’t you curse God and die!” (Job 2:9). And, sadly, many who started out well do just that. They allow the waves of challenge to engulf them and wash away their witness for their Lord. They forget the truth that our Lord allows these waves of challenge—not to crush His children, but rather to conform them into the image and likeness of Jesus, who was “crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus was crushed so that you and I would not be!
God did not bring you this far just to leave you here. He has promised to bring you safely to the other side of the Jordan, but He never promised that the journey would be free of struggle. Hardship is the high ground to holiness. It will be walked by every child of God. But it is never walked alone. Jesus has promised to be with you every step of the way. Trust Him even when you cannot trace Him, and you will remain on the road called “Remain” for the glory of your God . . . and ultimately your eternal good.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!