I’m fortunate to have guest blogger, Bryan Ridenour. Bryan wrote a three part series on Faith In Captivity on his blog, brvan.com . Bryan is a Christian, a husband, a father of four, and a music/youth pastor. He writes his blog, “as the opportunity presents itself,” he says. “I enjoy writing short stories, poetry, and biblical studies, genres that I hope God uses to encourage other believers. ”
Please find below Part I of Faith In Captivity. Enjoy.
Faith in Captivity: Part One
(As a youth pastor, I prepare studies for the teens of our church on a regular basis. This post resembles a Bible Study format. I’d love your feedback!!!!)
Sprinkled throughout the Bible, readers discover accounts of people exhibiting great faith. One such example in the Old Testament provided Jesus an illustration of an individual who truly believed in the power of God.
A nugget tucked away in Luke 4:27, shares the following teaching of Jesus: “And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.” Once Elijah passed down the prophetic mantle to Elisha, God planned to perform great works through his ministry, but in this verse Jesus assumes His listeners know the rest of the story. For those who casually skip over this verse, it’s possible to forget the significant faith exhibited, prompting Naaman to seek out the prophet in Israel.
In II Kings 5, God permits a peek into the life of a valiant warrior, Naaman. The decorated hero earned respect for his actions on the battlefield. At home he fought a personal battle as well. Leprosy. Death and disease respect no person, but his prestigious position opened avenues to medical care not available to the average person. Unfortunately, no cure existed.
In this account, readers often focus on Naaman or the prophet Elisha; however, the servant girl in the household of Naaman exemplifies true faith in God.
Faith Propels People to Action
Consider for a moment the servant girl’s situation. Invading Syrians snatched her from her homeland of Israel. Once free, she now lives as a servant in the household of a war hero, an individual directly responsible for her captivity. Now in a strange land, held against her will, certainly she misses her home, family and friends. However, the spiritual principles instilled in her life as a youngster strengthened her resolve to live for God and lean on Him for strength in a culture dedicated to idol worship.
She witnesses the suffering of her master and she expresses compassion, displaying a spiritual maturity reserved for giants of the faith. She could have remained quiet, harboring a bitter spirit; after all, she lived in captivity, forced to serve enemies of her nation. Instead, she chose mercy and grace and shared her faith in the ability of the God of Israel.
Question to ponder: Are we willing to share God’s love with those we dislike?
To give Bryan feedback, follow this link.
Do you have faith in God? Would you like to know more about Jesus and the grace and salvation He offers any and everyone who will believe in Him and claim Him as Savior? If you would, just Follow this link to learn more about Jesus and discover the awesome, unconditional love He has waiting for you.