The Thought for the Week this week is written by Paul Sharkey

by Susie Jean Sharkey


“Stand firm!” (2 Thes 2:15)

 

 

To be a Christian is to be different. Jesus calls us to follow him, to follow His teachings and example, to live holy lives and to stand up to wickedness. None of those things are easy, even if that was all there was to it, but in a world where there is so much pressure on us to conform to the trends of the day, it takes guts to stand firm.

 

There's even more to it than that. Watchman Nee, in his book The Spiritual Man, describes how there is a tendency for everything to migrate back to the world. He gives the example of Christian works, started in the vision and fire of Christianity which, within two generations are being run and organised either by governments or non-Christian groups. At some point the fire of God had burned low or gone out and the organisation (school, hospital, orphanage, etc.) had simply ceased to be Christian and had returned to the world. The same tendency applies to individual lives.

 

We stand in the midst of a storm with many forces against us. I witnessed this first hand on the streets of Glasgow years ago, where for a while I was part of an outreach work among drug addicts and prostitutes. On one occasion that I remember distinctly, one of the women decided to get off drugs so she could get off the streets (prostitution was funding her drug habit). The other prostitutes heard this and gave her free drugs (unheard of) until she gave in and was entrenched again in the vicious cycle of drugs and prostitution. So sad.

 

When you make a stand for Jesus, many things will come against you. It always happens. Whether it's colleagues at work or members of your family suddenly making your life difficult, it will happen. On reading through the New Testament, take note of the times the writers mention persecution. It's not new. It's been happening for two thousand years and will continue to happen, but, as Paul writes in the second letter to the Thessalonians, when these things happen (and they will), stand firm!