We've seen earlier how having a passion and a heart for our faith will drive us to spread our witness to others. Today we go further by looking at determined faith. Determination is the mindset that nothing is going to stop you from completing your goal. You've decided within yourself that your pursuit is right and worthy. Whatever it takes to achieve that goal, you are willing to do. Having this mindset and persistence with our faith will make us into the most effective witness we can be. Here's how:
Determination Doesn't Accept Rejection (Acts 18)
Paul was in Corinth, what would become one of the most successful churches in his ministry. The church didn't start that way, though. Paul had a great team put together (vv.2-5). However, even with the best and the brightest behind him, He discovered that spreading the gospel wasn't going to be easy in this city (vv.6). While he had failed with the majority of the Jews, he ended up finding those who would receive his message along with the Gentiles (vv.7-8). Paul didn't give up, and his persistence resulted in the spread of the gospel in Corinth.
When we decide to be witnesses for God, we will face rejection. Some will say they are too busy or uninterested in hearing what we have to say about God and our testimony. Others will tell us that they already have a relationship with God and thus don't need us to witness to them. We can't allow these rejections, whatever there reasons, to hinder our witness. When we are rejected, that doesn't make us a failure. If Christ had that mindset, he would have quit before Calvary (John 15:18). We only fail if we quit because of rejection.
Determination Leads to Encouragement
Continuing through Acts 18, we discover that once Paul broke through rejection, God encouraged Him to continue (vv.9-10). God is going to encourage us when we determine within ourselves to spread the gospel. When we have such faith in God and the message He has given us that no rejection or obstacle can stop us, God draws nearer to us and relates to us more deeply. Why? Because he rewards the efforts of our faith (Hebrews 11:6).
Encouragement Guides Us Through Trouble and Trials
God's encouragement saw Paul through some dark times as he established the church in Corinth (vv. 11-17). When we decide to get persistent in our faith and witness, the world will turn its attention to defeat us. We must hold steady to all of those things God has revealed and spoken into our lives. Our determined faith will then not only help us in our witness, but it will also help us to sustain ourselves as we serve the Kingdom.
Coming Through Leads To Further Opportunity
Paul's perseverance and determination would eventually offer him the opportunity to spread the gospel to other lands (vv.18-23). This all came about because Paul didn't let people's rejection hinder his faith and witness. When we serve God with determined faith, He will lead us to places and people we never thought possible. Doors which never seemed to be there will open and opportunities that seemed like a dream will become a reality. It all comes from determination in our faith.
My Story Of Determination:
I found myself discouraged a couple of years ago when I set out to witness in my community. I kept getting rejections from saints and sinners alike when I offered Bible Studies, testimony and invitations to church. I tried all kinds of tactics and approaches, but couldn't seem to break through. There were times where I felt like quitting, but I refused to let my witness be silenced by the rejection of others. Even if nobody heard or listened to me, I was going to tell people about what God did for me and how great He was and is. I never found a magic formula for 100% response to my witness, but I did find people would listen. Eventually, somebody who was hurting was willing to hear my testimony and I was able to help them get closer to Christ. Today, I have several Bible Studies I run in my community and have several contacts who I interact with and talk about God on a regular basis. I've had the opportunity to go as far as Hawaii to bring the gospel to others and have reached into every level of my own community to spread the Name of Jesus. This came from having a determined faith like Paul at Corinth. If God can do it through me, He can do it through you. Determine within yourself to spread your faith no matter the cost.
We'd love to hear your story of how you remained determined in your faith, whether it relates to witnessing or any other topic. Tell your story in the comments and be an encouragement to all of our readers.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.