Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ—His death and resurrection—is our only means of salvation. Our faith must always be a working faith, an active faith and not a dead faith, because a dead or inactive faith is not faith at all. If anyone claims to have faith, that faith will be manifested through visible acts of serving, witnessing, and giving. True faith will be expressed in love.
Authentic Christian love is exhibited through labor. What kind of labor? The labor of sacrificing. The labor of forgiving. The labor of persevering. The labor of stretching oneself out to the very limits of endurance in service to God and others. Any so-called "love" that does not labor is mere sentimentality.
Faith will be manifested through visible acts of serving, witnessing, and giving. True faith will be expressed in love.
True hope waits patiently, and it works as it waits. Authentic Christian hope is not demonstrated by putting on white robes, climbing to a mountaintop, and saying, "Take me away, Lord!" An authentic Christian hope is not expressed by hunkering down in a bunker and doing nothing. Hope is involved with the sufferings of humanity. Hope rolls up its sleeves and gets its hands dirty. Hope is continually lighting candles of faith in the hearts of others.
In times of persecution and oppression, hope endures. Hope perseveres. Hope brings us peace in the midst of trouble. The serene and confident expectation of the return of Jesus Christ, whether His return takes place in the next instant or ten thousand years from now, fills us with a peace that no persecutor can take away.
Prayer: Father, I long to experience the depth of faith that produces laboring love and enduring, peaceful hope. Draw me ever closer to You to deepen my faith as I experience the wonder of Your love displayed on the cross and Your power to save. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead" (James 2:17).
*Excerpt adapted from Fearless Living in Troubled Times by Michael Youssef © 2017. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.