Sustaining Our Faith

Key Verses: “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
—Jude 1:20,21, New King James Version

Selected Scripture:
Jude 1:17-25

OUR KEY VERSES offer timely encouragement for God’s people. Modern society is not only becoming increasingly secular, but actively opposing the Christian faith. Apostle Paul reminded us of this situation that would challenge Christian belief and practice. “Know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”—II Tim. 3:1-5, NKJV

The power and providence of God will preserve his people in these times. Our lesson reminds us of three effective practices that sustain our spiritual vitality. First, “build yourselves up on your most holy faith.” This begins with daily reading the Scriptures, not in a cursory manner, but with thoughtful and reverent attention. Our Lord Jesus’ words are full of meaning in this sense, “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63, NKJV) His words are indeed the bread of life for Christian people. All of Scripture, from Genesis through Revelation, is life-giving. “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”—Matt. 4:4, NKJV

The second daily practice is to “pray in the Holy Spirit.” It is often said that prayer is the vital breath of the Christian. It was Jesus’ deep communication with his Father that strengthened and refreshed him. Luke relates, “Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12, NKJV) We likewise are encouraged to rely on prayer. “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.”—Col. 4:2, NKJV

The third practice is to keep ourselves in the love of God. His love for us is unfailing, “For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5, NKJV) We are compelled to do our part in maintaining this holy relationship. Proverbs tells us how. “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.”—Prov. 4:20-23, NKJV

When others mock us, let them do so. If someone blind from birth told us that rainbows do not exist, would we believe them? Would we not rather believe what we have seen? They do not see what we see. Those who are deaf do not hear what we hear. Our eyes and ears are blessed for they do see and hear. (Matt. 13:16) Let us, then, as our Key Verses state, continue to look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, which will lead us to eternal life. These scriptural admonitions are a vital aid in sustaining our faith!