You’ve probably noticed we devote most of our magazine to true stories, well told – especially stories that reminds us God is watching and working in our day-to-day lives. It’s encouraging to know we aren’t alone in our struggles, our battles, and our victories. We are part of a larger body of believers that laughs, and cries, and celebrates with us.
Since our magazine celebrates contemporary heroes (whether they are well known or not), I’d like to celebrate heroes of the faith from history in this blog – in no particular order. I hope you will find their stories of faithfulness, even in harrowing circumstances, both encouraging and challenging.
They were just like you and me; battling sin, at odds with the culture, and easily derailed by obstacles – but supernaturally gifted and empowered by their Savior and Lord.
They were not extraordinary people. What set them apart was their extraordinary commitment to their God-given calling, to obedience to God at all costs, to living their lives set apart for God’s glory.
We are all capable of radical obedience to God, and therefore capable of astounding feats to His glory – whether large or small in human terms, whether widely recognized or never recognized at all on this side of heaven. Our earthly calling is not to rest in God’s grace and mercy, but to work diligently for His kingdom. He calls us to be His ambassadors, followers, and servants; all things that will cost something along the way.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.(Matthew 16:24-25)
Have you seen those little gift books with a collection of promises from Jesus? Here’s one that never seems to make the cut: “In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33) We don’t like trouble. We prefer it when life sails smoothly along, though that has not been God’s intent since sin entered this world. Ho knows trouble humbles us, molds us, and keeps us looking forward to what lies ahead in eternity.
That’s why, in John 16:33, Jesus continues, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Our time to rest will come when we are with our Savior in eternity, when we will fully know what Christ gained for those who believe when He overcame death.
Until then, let’s work diligently at the tasks God has called us to. Let’s continue the tasks undertaken by men and women of faith who have gone before us.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”(Matthew 6:19-21)
Next week we’ll begin by looking at the life of Johann Sebastian Bach.