When I read the biographies of those who followed the Lord during times of persecution, famine, and war, I noticed an absence of a shallow Hallmark-card-like expression of faith. Also absent were religious silliness and legalism. Their lives and expressions of faith were reduced to a simple and pure devotion to God and nothing else. We don’t think we need a redeemer when anything remains in our lives that would foolishly cause us to think we can be rescued by our own power and ability. Trauma in life will rapidly change that error in perception.
In the “good” times a pure and simple devotion to God is not always present when we have become overly confident in our ability to manage our surroundings by our effort and choices. We can clutter the distance between us and God with overconfidence in self, by continually following the dangling carrots of false hope offered by errant culture shapers or by relying on an emotional storehouse filled with the decaying provisions of self-help concepts that have not passed the test of conflict. The only thing that creates a surviving and overcoming faith in the painful times of life is the cry of our hearts desperate to know the Lord in a deeper way when all else has utterly failed us.
Some are saying we are about to enter a very painful and stress-filled time in our history. It would be wise to study the lives and life-observations of those who went before us and navigated through their challenging times and came out of the experience with an alive faith and a whole soul. The lessons learned from these survivors will teach us how to prep our lives to endure, overcome and live to see another day alive in Christ.