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4.3 Courage to Stand
Unwavering Faith in Times of Darkness
Compare Acts 5:28–32; Ephesians 6:10–12; and Revelation 3:11. What fundamental principle is contained in these texts?
The mentioned Bible verses convey a central principle:
Loyalty to God and His Word over human authorities and against spiritual resistances and temptations.
1. Acts 5:28–32: In this passage, the apostles are questioned by the Sanhedrin about why they continue to teach in Jesus’ name despite the prohibition. Peter responds unequivocally: “We must obey God rather than men.” This emphasizes that divine authority and obedience to God should stand above human instructions and laws.
2. Ephesians 6:10–12: Paul encourages believers to be strong in the Lord’s power and to equip themselves against the “spiritual forces of evil.” This underscores the necessity to be spiritually vigilant and to put on the full armor of God to stand firm against spiritual attacks, temptations, and obstacles.
3. Revelation 3:11: Jesus admonishes the church in Philadelphia to hold on to what they have, so that no one takes their crown. This is a call for steadfastness in faith and a warning against the danger of spiritual apostasy or distraction through false teachings and seductions.
In summary, these Bible verses emphasize the fundamental principle of loyalty to God and His Word, the priority of divine authority over human instructions, and the necessity to remain spiritually vigilant and steadfast in faith, even when facing resistance, persecution, or temptation.
The history of the Waldensians is an inspiring testament to unwavering loyalty to God’s Word and the sacrifice associated with it. Despite dangers and persecutions, the Waldensians courageously copied, memorized, and clandestinely disseminated the Bible in their own language. This commitment and devotion have helped preserve and spread the truth of God’s Word over centuries, even if they might not have fully understood every biblical doctrine.
The mention of Jean Leger and his handwritten Bible, containing firsthand drawings and information, gives the story a personal and human dimension. It illustrates how profound and personal their commitment to spreading the Gospel was.
The comparison with Proverbs 4:18 is particularly apt. Like the light in the morning gradually becoming brighter, the Waldensians, through their loyalty and devotion, contributed to spreading the light of the Gospel in a time of spiritual darkness. They were like the sun rising higher and higher, shining with increasing brightness despite the initial darkness.
It is admirable that despite the resistance and personal dangers they faced, the Waldensians continued to cling to God’s Word and saw it as their mission to make it accessible to others. Their story is a living example of the power of faith, determination, and devotion, and it should encourage all of us to remain steadfast in our faith and to spread the light of the Gospel in our own time and culture.
How can we, who reflect the light of Christ, shine in our surroundings? Are we doing that?
As Christians, it is our calling and responsibility to reflect and shine the light of Christ in our surroundings. Here are some steps and practices on how we can do this:
1. Lifestyle: Our daily decisions, behavior, and reactions should be guided by the principles and values of the Gospel. Genuine and loving behavior towards others, regardless of their background or beliefs, can send a powerful message about the love of Christ.
2. Serving: Jesus demonstrated that true greatness lies in serving. By serving others, we display the humility and love of Christ. This can be through volunteering, community service, or simply helping people in our immediate surroundings.
3. Words: It is important to courageously speak about our faith and bear witness. However, this should always be done in love and respect, without judging or persuading others.
4. Prayer: Prayer is a powerful tool to bring light into dark situations. We should pray for our community, our nation, and the world, that they may be touched by God’s love, truth, and healing.
5. Community: By forming or participating in Christian communities and groups, we can encourage, strengthen, and support each other to be more effective light in our surroundings.
6. Knowledge and Understanding: It is important to know and understand the needs, questions, and challenges of our community. Through listening and empathy, we can better respond and offer relevant light and hope.
Are we doing that? This is a personal question that everyone needs to answer for themselves. It is important to regularly pause and reflect on whether our lives and actions reflect the light of Christ. It is also helpful to seek feedback from trusted friends, mentors, or spiritual leaders to understand how we can improve and be more effective light in our surroundings.
The connection between our daily life and our faith is profound and unavoidable. Our faith should not only be visible on Sundays in church but in every aspect of our lives, in our decisions, our relationships, and our daily behavior.
Everyday Connection with Faith:
1. Integrity and Honesty: In a world often marked by deception and half-truths, we can bear witness to the truth and reliability of the Gospel through our honesty and integrity.
2. Compassion and Forgiveness: By approaching others with compassion and forgiveness, we display the unconditional love of Christ. This can be visible in small acts of forgiveness or understanding towards others.
3. Work and Profession: In our professional lives, we can bear witness to Christ through hard work, honesty, and ethical behavior. Our workplace can be a venue where we let the light of Christ shine through our professionalism and conduct.
4. Family and Community: Our family and community are often the first to see and experience our faith. Through our love, support, and commitment, we can let the light of Christ shine in these closest relationships.
5. Crises and Challenges: In difficult times, we can bear witness to God’s faithful care and strength through our trust, hope, and perseverance in Him.
6. Education and Growth: The time we invest in education and personal growth can be used to deepen our understanding of the Gospel and improve our ability to share Christ with others.
Are we doing that?
This question requires honest self-reflection and can prompt us to reconsider our relationship with Christ and our influence on others. It is easy to fall into the routine of daily life and neglect our faith. Therefore, it is important to regularly pause, review our faith, and ask ourselves if we are letting the light of Christ shine in our surroundings.
One way to do this is through regular self-reflection, prayer, and community with other believers. It can also be helpful to align ourselves with biblical principles and role models like the Waldensians, who remained steadfast in their faith despite significant challenges and persecutions.
In summary, we should all strive to deepen our relationship with Christ, let His light shine in our daily lives, and be guided by His love and example to have a positive and transformative influence in our surroundings.

Steadfastness in faith is the light that breaks through the darkness of ignorance and resistance.

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