Victory of Faith

I grew up when there was constant fear of a nuclear war with Russia. It was believed that godless propaganda produced people who became antagonistic to our way of life. Is it possible to program the mind of someone so they become a particular kind of person? “As he thinks within himself, so he is” (Pr 23:7). You might call it a mind set. In this sense you could expect retaliation to threats because it’s “survival of the fittest.” But with Christians it is “with the heart a person believes” (Ro 10:10). The Bible often uses the heart as a metaphor for the spirit. You are “renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Eph 4:23). You should “‘love your neighbor as yourself'” (Lev 19:18). We “live by his faith” (Hab 2:4) because “we walk by faith” (2Co 5:7). “By faith Sarah . . . considered Him faithful who had promised” (Heb 11:11). “By faith [Moses] . . . endured, as seeing Him who is unseen” (:27). Others had a longer time horizon and “these people died in faith, without receiving the promises” (:13) but they “saw them from a distance” (:13 NIV). However, “God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect” (:40 NIV).

Christ said “‘you will be hated by all nations because of My name” (Mt 24:9). He also said “‘an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God'” (Jn 16:2). Some were tortured . . . , experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment . . ., stoned . . . [and] were put to death with the sword” (Heb 11:35-37). It is because “the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God” (Ro 8:7). That is why Jesus said “‘I did not come to bring peace, but a sword'” (Mt 10:34). But there should be a point of commonality. However, as citizens of the same country even Republicans and Democrats violently disagree. People in the same geographic region start wars of ethnic cleansing. “‘Nation will rise against nation'” (24:7). It will “wear down the saints” (Da 7:25) “but the people who know their God will display strength and take action” (11:32). They “by faith conquered kingdoms . . . and obtained promises” (Heb 11:33). They “escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, [and] became mighty in war” (:34). They all “gained approval through their faith” (:39) and “God is not ashamed to be called their God” (:16).

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