“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold…” – 1 Peter 1:7
We all have people in our lives who need or want to bring us down. You may have that one relative who finds pleasure in bringing you down. You could have a boss that is always criticizing you. Maybe you have a friend that is very subtle in tearing you down. And there are always people out there who want to knock Christians down a peg or two. As Christians, how should we deal with people like this?
We should not be shocked when non-Christians seek to belittle our beliefs. Jesus was mocked when He was crucified, and He told us that people would hate us because we follow Him. That is part and parcel of following Jesus. When we embrace Christianity, we give up the idea of being popular with everyone. The Christian does not seek the world’s approval so we can not expect people who have not had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ to respect our faith or applaud our world views.
The key is not to let people diminish your faith because they are belittling your faith. It would be nice to completely disconnect from people who disrespect your God-inspired goals and drain the faith out of you. But that is not always possible. In this week’s message we talk about what to do when someone in authority wants to belittle your faith.
People will have a hard time reducing your faith if you remember one thing. It is not your faith that empowers, but the object of your faith. The quality of your faith is dependent on the source of your faith. If you place your faith in your abilities, strengths, weaknesses, or something other than God, the quality of your faith will go up and down along with your circumstances.
You are only as strong as the object of your faith. If you are trusting in something that someone can take away, your “soul-strength-stability” is dependent on that thing never wavering, diminishing, or vanishing. “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ( Romans 8:37-39)
- How can people and circumstances influence our faith?
- What is the difference between faith and faithfulness?
- What can we do this week to focus more on the source of our faith, God?