Suffering and Conviction
6In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. —1 Peter 1:6-9
Contrary to public opinion, there is no redemptive value in culture. Culture, by definition, is created by man—what man deems important. And what man sees as “truth” is many times in direct opposition to what the Bible teaches. Without biblical truth, everything is void of power; the divine unseen power that comes only with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Pastors cannot preach with power unless they are men of great biblical conviction. And how can fathers raise their children, (and sons in particular), if they lack true biblical convictions?
Convictions are not automatic. We cannot receive them from our parents. They must be made on our own. Keep in mind that this process usually involves suffering as seen in 1 Peter 1:7. We may have received sound doctrinal training as children, but each child must “learn to bear the yoke while he is young” for convictions to be formed. For many men, this process is missing for a variety of reasons. As a result, there are fewer male leaders in Christianity. Further, male leadership in the home is on the decline. This is not due to a lack of teaching in sound doctrine, but because men, (and those that parent them), are following culture instead of Christian conviction.
Convictions are more than affirming a doctrinal creed. Convictions are formed when you have bled the doctrine from your very heart and soul and cry out, “My hope is in Christ alone.” Convictions are formed when there is nothing left of self, no strength, no self-trust, no high ideals, or control of the situation. You simply come to the end of yourself knowing Christ must increase and you must decrease. Period. End of story. That kind of conviction is almost unshakeable.
Are you ready to let go of what you think is success or failure and give your whole life to Christ’s glory? Have you ever experienced a conviction that runs so deep in your veins you want to proclaim Christ by your actions and decisions without thought of consequence? It is when we have rock-solid biblical convictions that our lives can make a difference in the lives of our families, in the workplace, and the world in general. And if it takes suffering to get there, then so be it. That is why when we partake in the sufferings of Christ, we are blessed indeed.—Jared Cox
· Am I living based on solid biblical convictions or does culture dictate my life choices?
· How can I tell what is the biggest influence on how I live and the decisions I make?
Prayer – Heavenly Father, You created all things. You created men and women to be equal, but different in our roles. Yet our culture tries to blur the lines of what it means to be male and female. You created us to be very distinct from each other, and You called it “good.” Help me to be a person of biblical conviction and let that be what guides how I live. In Jesus’ name, Amen[mn1] .
[mn1]What do you think about this prayer? I am thinking it is too much about roles now that I took out the man-specific comments above. Maybe should focus of conviction and suffering.
Here’s an attempt:
Heavenly Father, help me to be a person of biblical conviction and let those convictions guide how I live. If standing for You involves suffering, help me to trust You as I suffer. I want to be unshakeable as I follow you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.