Do you want to be a stubborn Christian?
Think carefully before you answer that question because your answer is going to determine how you are going to live the rest of your Christian life.
Most people attach a negative connotation to the word “stubborn”, equating it with an insistent refusal to listen to good advice or instruction (most likely yours). The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines “stubborn” as:
b : suggestive or typical of a strong stubborn nature <a stubborn jaw>
As you can see from the above, the definitions are mostly negative, except for definition 1a(2): justifiably unyielding : resolute
This is actually what I mean: Do you want to be a resolute Christian, to the point of stubborness?
Early this year, Pastor Joseph Prince has shared with the church (ie. New Creation Church, just in case you are not aware) that 2014 is going to be the Year of Greater Glory for the church. However, have you noticed something? From my personal experience and anecdotal sharing from some friends, it seems that instead of experiencing great blessings, some (if not many) of us are actually facing some really tough challenges in our lives right now, whether in our relationships, our health, our finances or our career.
What do you do in such trying times? Do you give up on God and stop coming to church because it seems that this God whom you have been worshipping is powerless or not real or simply doesn’t care? Do you stop believing that the Bible is the Word of God? Or… Do you want to be a stubborn Christian?
Do you want to stubbornly believe, despite the tough times you are going through right now, that God is good and wants only good for you?
Do you want to stubbornly believe, despite what your eyes are seeing, that God will turn everything around for your good?
Do you want to stubbornly believe that God will walk with you through the fire of your current trials? In fact, God literally did that with three young Jewish men who were captured and transported to Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These three men were thrown into a fiery furnace after they refused to bow down to the golden image set up by their king, King Nebuchadnezzar; they stubbornly believed in their almighty God, that He will be with them and deliver them from their powerful king: “Your threat means nothing to us. If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king. But even if he doesn’t, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, O king. We still wouldn’t serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.” (Daniel 3: 16-18)
In the end, God walked with them inside the fire and the three men walked out of the fire with not even the smell of fire on them (Daniel 3: 25-27). The three young men’s stubborness not only brought great glory to God but also got them promoted by the king:
Daniel 3: 28-30
28 Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel and rescued his servants who trusted in him! They ignored the king’s orders and laid their bodies on the line rather than serve or worship any god but their own.
29 “Therefore I issue this decree: Anyone anywhere, of any race, color, or creed, who says anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will be ripped to pieces, limb from limb, and their houses torn down. There has never been a god who can pull off a rescue like this.”
30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.
As a young boy, Joseph received dreams which prophecied that he would rule over his parents and brothers despite the fact that he was not the eldest son. However, he did not rise straight to the top but instead descended into the pits. He was almost killed by his brothers and ended up being sold as a slave in Egypt.
Even though he was now a slave, Joseph stubbornly believed that God was with him and he honoured God by refusing to sleep with his master’s wife – “There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Gen 39:9)
Because of that, Joseph was framed by his master’s wife and thrown into prison. Despite being in prison, Joseph stubbornly believed that God was with him; but it was in prison that God first laid the foundations of his rise to power by helping him to interpret the dreams of two of his fellow prisoners, and one of them will lead him to an audience with Pharoah some years later which eventually led him to be appointed to the highest office in the land of Egypt, second only to Pharoah (Gen 40-41).
David was anointed by the prophet, Samuel to be the next king of Israel after King Saul when he was just a young shepherd boy. However, his ascension to the throne was anything but smooth sailing. David had to live the life of a fugitive for years as he was pursued by King Saul; hiding out in caves and moving around all over the country to escape detection and even had to feign insanity at one point when he hid out in Philistine territory.
As you read through the book of Psalms, you will find many instances of David ranting at God for the tribulations he was suffering but after a while, David will “Selah” and return to praising God and professing his faith in his faithful God because deep, deep down in his heart, David still stubbornly believes that his God is good and His grace lasts forever.
1 Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!) O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!
Because of the situation you are in, you might feel like screaming at God right now… it is ok, do it but after you “Selah”, answer this question:
Do I Want To Be A Stubborn Christian?