Faithfulness in 2021

In my office, I have four pictures hanging on my wall. Over my computer, I have William Tyndale, father of the English Reformation, who would ultimately give his life to translate the Bible into common English. To the left, a portrait of Martin Luther. On one wall, I have a picture of George Whitfield preaching in the open air to a crowd of unruly individuals. Adjacent to Whitefield, I have a scene of John Knox in the pulpit, thundering the Word of God to the Scottish Nobility.

One might find it strange in my choice of office décor as in that somehow, I am doing the Protestant version of venerating saints in iconography as my Roman Catholic friends do. However, each of these pictures represents a reality that we find ourselves in today and that is, difficult times call for faithfulness.

Tyndale, Luther, Knox, and Whitefield along with many others throughout church history, had to choose to be faithful in the face of difficulty. And yes, faithfulness is a choice. Every day, we have to make the choice to either honor and glorify God in what we say or do, or do the opposite, to esteem and serve ourselves. Every day, we hear the call “Choose you this day whom ye will serve…” (Jos. 24:15) and then face the consequences of the choice we had made.

2020 was a year of decisions concerning faithfulness. Many had to determine what precisely fidelity to God is concerning family, church, and our involvement within politics. “Do we obey God rather than man?” was the question I had to ask myself many times the previous year and I know that I wasn’t the only one. With only days into 2021, I have a strong belief the question will be asked again and we will be pressed to answer.

Okay, but what does faithfulness look like in 2021? The way it looked in every year previous. Regardless of the year, we find ourselves in or the challenges we face, our call to remain steadfast remains the same. Whether we are facing down a corrupt royalty (Knox), recovering the gospel after centuries of it being buried under unbiblical traditions (Luther), preaching to disorderly crowds who want you dead (Whitefield), or even being tied to a stake to be burned just because you gave a common plowboy a Bible he can read, the command to be faithful to our Christian confession is universal.

Of course, the examples mentioned above are notable and unique to a specific time in history. For example, I don’t think any one of us is going to testify before Scottish royalty anytime soon nor do I see us being hauled off to be burned at the stake; well, not just yet anyway. My point is that we cannot isolate faithfulness just to martyrdom or even doing great feats for the cause of Christ, it is much more mundane and ordinary than we realize. However, it is the ordinary endeavors of faithfulness that in my opinion, count the most.

Our day is full of the ordinary and the mundane and with that, full of opportunities to be faithful unto Christ. The reason these opportunities matter most is that much of what we experience is unseen by others and only observable to God. Take David for example, even before he slew the giant Goliath, vanquished the foes of Israel, and united a splintered kingdom, God considered David a man after His own heart (1 Sam. 13:14). In other words, David demonstrated a heart towards God and a commitment to Him when no one was there to witness or give him accolades. Another example is Abraham in Genesis 18:18-19. God considered him a chosen friend because he taught his family and his entire household the ways of God. Scripture does not record every moment or every detail of Abraham’s life but from what we read from the passage mentioned, is that they were undoubtedly filled with moments where Abraham committed himself to teach and show his children the truth about the true and living God and he was commended for it.

As we begin 2021, there will be situations where you will have to make choices that reveal your commitment level to Christ. Those decisions may be big or small, but decision time will come upon us all in the coming year. I pray God gives us the strength to stand when we are called upon and remain faithful unto Him.

 

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