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Soundness, not turmoil



How can you have inner soundness in the midst of outer turmoil?

The straightforward answer is this: find a role model in the Bible and declare, "I want to get on what he's on!"


The Bible calls us to adopt role models. The Psalmist for example says,

Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; For the future of that man is peace.

Psalm 37:37 - NKJV


In this scripture the absolute fulfilment of the one we're called to look towards is Jesus Christ. However, multitudes of other men and women of God - what the Bible calls a great cloud of witnesses (Heb.12:1) - provide a interim or 'work in progress'.

What exhortation therefore do we hear in the voice of the Psalmist? It is for us to note the role models among God's men and women of faith, to see how they are acting and speaking in life and to recognise that their way of dealing with life leads them into a future of peace.


In the New Testament we also have a call to find and note role models. It is found in the letter to the Hebrews. There we are told to consider those in the church who live in faith and preach God's word. We are called to see what their conduct in Christ has brought them into. Here is that verse,

Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.

Hebrews 13:7 - NKJV


Who might you choose as your Biblical role model? You want one you can connect with. One you feel has been through it in ways you can relate to in your life. One who has lived through trying times and turbulent times that make you think about the times you feel you going through or have been through. For this purpose I suggest the apostle Paul.

The apostle Paul provides us with an excellent role model as we stand as Christians in trying and turbulent times. As we read the way he handled the adversities of his life we should be able to say, "I want to get on what he was on!"


As an example let's take the testimony which he shared with Timothy of how they were managing under the conditions of adversity in their lives. We find a detailed account of this in their letter to the Corinthians,

We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

2 Corinthians 4:8 - 9 - NKJV


What are we hearing in that? We're hearing that they were living through great adversity, tribulation and trial and yet, through it all, they were not falling apart. What was it that enabled Paul to do that? He provides the answer for us in the passage,

Since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed and therefore I spoke," we also believe and therefore speak.

2 Corinthians 4:13 - NKJV


Do you catch from that what they were doing, what it was that they were doing to not fall apart in the face of extreme adversity, tribulation and trial?

They were speaking out what they believed. The manifestation of the spirit of faith was their speaking out of the word of faith. In the spirit of faith they kept speaking the words of faith that they knew from scripture and which covered their situation. In other words, they had precious promises from God and they not only believed them but they also spoke them out. They declared the precious promises of the covenants given to them as people of God both to themselves and over the situations and conditions they faced.


I'll show you something of how that works. Let's look at each set of conditions they told us they'd been facing and then I'll give you the words of faith, the precious promises, that they might well have been speaking out in the spirit of faith during those times.

Set of Conditions they'd been facing:

We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed.

2 Corinthians 4:8a - NKJV


Precious Promise they might have been speaking:

When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him. "The Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob," Says the LORD.

Isaiah 59:19b-20 - NKJV


Set of Conditions they'd been facing:

We are perplexed, but not in despair.

2 Corinthians 4:8b - NKJV


Precious Promise they might have been speaking:

Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us." He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The LORD shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion."

Psalm 2:1 - 6 - NKJV


Set of Conditions they'd been facing:

Persecuted, but not forsaken.

2 Corinthians 4:9a - NKJV


Precious Promise they might have been speaking:

He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"

Hebrews 13:5b - 6 - NKJV


Set of Conditions they'd been facing:

Struck down, but not destroyed.

2 Corinthians 4:9b - NKJV


Precious Promise they might have been speaking:

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.

Psalm 37:23-24 - NKJV


Later in Paul's second letter to the Corinthians (which he opened by saying it was written both from him and Timothy) he tells us more of their continuing, enduring inner condition. He declares,

We do not lose heart.

2 Corinthians 4:16 - NKJV


How about that? You want to get in on that, don't you? To get in on Paul's blessed inner condition you've got to follow his lead, you've got to get on what he was on! So how was he keeping heart? That is to say, how was he keeping himself in a zone of positiveness and encouragement?

Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16 - 18 - NKJV


Now you can miss what he is revealing to you there unless you pick out the phrase that is central to those verses. The phrase at the centre of those verses and linking the whole concept together is, "while we do not look at..but at.." The keeping heart, the renewing, the glorious condition arises "while we." While we what? While we do not look at physically apparent things but at things not seen, namely, the unseen eternal things of God.

Manifesting the spirit of faith by speaking out what you believe is a powerfully effective way of getting your eyes to leave off gazing at circumstances and to instead behold God and the things of God which have precedence and power over those circumstances. Live in the blessed state Paul lived in by getting on what he was on!

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