By Bob Claycamp
We are living in days that are full of uncertainties. Having come through the last couple of years navigating the COVID-19 lockdowns, masks and shots we thought we were finally out of the woods. But then the Russian invasion of Ukraine took place recently along with the evacuation of millions of mainly Ukrainian wives, mothers and children fleeing to neighboring countries for protection and safety.
Through the ordeal an unlikely hero emerged: a comedian turned politician previously elected as the leader of the Ukrainian government, President Zelenskyy. Rather than save his own skin and going into hiding or fleeing the country, he chose to stay and lead the country from the trenches of the battlefield. He would rather die protecting his country than leave it behind. And the world found in him a long-lost inspiration of what it means to be a true patriot.
Whatever the final outcome of the country of Ukraine, a fresh spark of faith and courage was lit around the world through President Zelenskyy’s stand. If in this life we are inspired by role models that fight for a worldly cause, how much more should we as believers be looking for and embracing true Biblical leaders who will stand upon the essential truths of the Kingdom of heaven, risking their own lives in the process! We know from the book of Hebrews chapter 11 there are listed many Old Testament heroes of the faith. That’s why that chapter is often referred to as the “Hall of Faith”. Included in that chapter is also mention of those who died in faith and for their faith. They refused to accept compromise to save their life and were martyred leaving a legacy of courage and testimony that they seek a better country—the Kingdom of heaven!
When you read through the last of the Apostle Paul’s epistles, Second Timothy, you will notice that he exhorts Timothy to stand fast in the faith in the midst of difficult and challenging Roman days. Believers were losing their lives during those times simply because they wouldn’t bow to the Caesar’s demands to count him their lord. And many were inspired by their courage and strength even as the wild animals were tearing into them in the Roman colosseum amongst the blood-thirsty pagan crowds. Today there are believers all around the world who have been imprisoned for their faith. They are at this very moment being tortured to not only denounce their faith, but to reveal the names and locations of other believers in their territory. Many of them end up dying in the process, ‘choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season’ (Heb 11:25). These are true heroes. As we think upon these sobering realities of our brethren around the world, may we also be so inspired to have like courage, strength, faith and love to stand strong in Jesus in our sphere of life. Some of you are facing difficult life situations in your workplace, your families and even your health. The Holy Spirit of God has been given to you to give you power from on High to endure day by day. His grace is sufficient for you. His strength is brought to maturity, completion, fullness in your weakness.
We are all called to be heroes of faith in our own life sphere to His glory and through His power. Let’s finish well!