Suppose the whole world (your world!) condemns you for believing what you see in the Bible. Suppose your convictions of truth force you to stand utterly alone. For example, suppose you are convinced in your soul that 2 + 2 = 4, but everybody around you ridicules you and says that it's 5--could you stand firm for what in your soul you believe is right?
(1) Your first prayer to God will be, "Lord, save me from being a fool, a fanatic." If you're the only one who can see something, Conventional Wisdom insists that you must be wrong. You will walk carefully, humbly, and you will study and persevere in prayer. It's probably easier to stand alone for political convictions in Congress or the Senate, than in your church for a religious issue.
(2) If it is really true that you are standing alone for Jesus, you will be patient and entrust your convictions to His leading. You will be sympathetic to those who believe what the Bible says, "In the multitude of counselors there is safety" (Prov. 11:14; 15:22; 24:6). Even if you find yourself condemned and ridiculed for the truth's sake, you will remain sweet and pleasant in the midst of contention. Why and how? Because you are in fellowship with the One who was "despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief" (Isa. 53:3). You will remember that there no such thing as truth except in agape (Eph. 4:15).
(3) You can't read the Bible and not see that a time of severe test is coming when the "mark of the beast" will be urged upon everyone. To receive the alternative, "the seal of God," will be immensely unpopular (Rev. 13:11-17). One of the surest evidences that the Lord loves you is to find yourself even now placed in situations where your conscience forces you to stand alone for truth--if that grace of Christ keeps you sweet and pleasant during your ordeal. The Holy Spirit is preparing you to meet future trials.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: July 27, 2002.
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