The Navy SEALs are known for their tenacity in accomplishing missions. They go through physical training, but also prepare mentally for the situations they face. They also know that you can’t prepare for every situation that arises, so they must be ready to tackle the unexpected.
As Christians, we never know what challenges we will face, but we need to be prepared to defend our faith, and be on the offense to present the Gospel of Christ. Developing mental toughness is so important to Christians. It goes way beyond our ability to hold to fast. It takes faith; a faith that is solid, grounded in knowing that no matter what happens, our goal, our purpose, our passion, our burning desire is to be with the Lord for eternity. Nothing can stop us or make us even think about failing to achieve this. As we “train” for this, the trick is to figure how we go about being able to hold close to God without becoming hard-hearted.
As we explore this, we want to prepare in a way that is real. What might we face as we see the world heading down a path of sin and corruption? We see persecution occurring in many Middle East and Communist countries, and we know it’s slowly creeping in to America. Bullying, intimidation, discrimination, and aggression.
We must look to the scriptures for inspiration and guidance as we prepare. We can prepare for intimidation by looking to Nehemiah. Tobiah had been hired to intimidate and discourage the work on the wall of Jerusalem. He and others did whatever they could to make sure Nehemiah and the Jews were not successful in this endeavor. However, through the blessing of God, and tenacity of the Nehemiah, they succeeded. (Nehemiah 6:13-19)
We can prepare for persecution, too. Jesus told us that we would be persecuted for our faith. In the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:3-9), Jesus tells of the seed being sown on the different soils, and what their outcomes were. In verses 20 and 21, He tells us the man who is represented by seed sown on rocky soil receives the word with joy, but when persecution comes, he quickly falls away. We must be like the man in verse 23, who, like seed sown on good soil, is firmly rooted and produces fruit.
How do we become good soil? God’s Word is our resources. Through reading, studying, and praying, we are able to know what God would have us do. In early November of 2013, German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that Christianity is “the most persecuted religion in the world.” What is most interesting is how Christians react to this persecution. Rather than retaliate, we pray.
As you prepare your heart and mind, study James 1:2-4, learning to consider these troubles with pure joy!