It is by the grace of God
“I am Persuaded”
By Michael Zaucha
Fight the Good Fight of Faith. In our fight of faith, there are times when the fighting takes a toll on the fighters, when the victory is not as clearly in view as other times, when it will take all of our strength to "stand in the midst of our ground" (II Sam. 23:12). And also, there are times when we are near-fainting, and still other times when our brethren's heart faint as well as our heart (Deut. 20:8).
It is at these times that the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ become so much more precious to such ones. Jesus said: "Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me" (Jn. 14:1). Believe in our God and Father; believe in His Beloved Son who shall accomplish all of God's good pleasure, for our God is He that "giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might, He increaseth strength" (Isa. 40:29) And God is doing so by Jesus Christ our Lord.
One manner of God's working in giving power and increasing strength to the fighters in the warfare of faith is in the matter of persuasion. For this is God's working in us that we would hold fast and endure to the end. Our Heavenly Father shall empower and increase our strength by persuading us in the truth of who He is, through the knowledge of what He has purposed, and that He is able to perform all that He has purposed – “I have purposed it, I will also do it” (Isa. 46:11) is the sound of increase to the believer. The gospel reveals that God our Father is doing this mighty work through Christ Jesus our Lord, who shall not fail nor be discouraged (Isa. 42:4).
He is Faithful that Promised. Our God and Heavenly Father has already demonstrated His faithful working to them which believe in Him, and has given us a record of it for our learning, in order for our being persuaded of Him as well. To Abraham, God gave a promise of not only seed more numerous than the stars of heaven (Gen. 15:5) or the sand on the seashore (Gen. 22:17), but also of The Promised Seed - which is Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:16) - through whom all families of the earth should be blessed (Gen. 12:3).
God affected this work of persuasion in Abraham for him to believe in God Almighty (Gen. 17:1), and in that which He had promised He was able to perform. God affected this persuasion through a continued fellowship with him, and it is the Apostle Paul who declared the good news of God's effectual working in Abraham to us - "who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: he staggered not at the promises of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness" (Rom. 4:17-22).
The Apostle Paul himself was affected in like manner by God's working of persuasion, but in a far greater sense, for now, Jesus had truly put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Heb. 9:26), and rose from the dead, and being exalted to the right hand of the throne of God, the Lord would open up the Scriptures and His exceeding great and precious promises to Paul. And being persuaded of the truth as it is in Christ Jesus, this is his confession made to the saints at Rome, not only to the giving of glory to God for His faithfulness but also in edifying the church in that truth: "In all things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:37-39).
In his persuasion of God, the Apostle would announce its glorious effect in him to endure: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing” (II Tim. 4:7-8).
The work of persuasion in the people of God is absolutely vital to their enduring to the end and receiving their crown of righteousness. Therefore the Paul would continue to minister this truth unto the people of God, even in the midst of his suffering, for his suffering would not diminish the persuasion of his faith in God. “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day” (II Tim. 1:12).
Even to Us-Ward who Believe. The good news of the gospel declares that God’s faithfulness and manner of working hasn’t changed for “these things were not written for (their) sake alone, but for us also who believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead” (Rom. 4:23-24).
The Apostle wrote a commentary about all them that endure to the end – and that includes all the saints that endure to the end even now - being fully persuaded of God and of His Son Jesus Christ and by that which is promised still yet to come: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city” (Heb. 11:13-16).
There is a soon coming day, when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then ye also shall appear with Him in glory (Col. 3:4), and all the saints of the Most High God shall come with singing into that city which God hath prepared for them and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and mourning shall flee away (Isa. 51:11).
Conclusion. Let us heed the exhortation of the Apostle to us: “Fight the good fight of faith; lay hold on eternal life” (I Tim. 6:12), being persuaded of this very thing: our Heavenly Father giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might, He increaseth strength.