Conviction and confidence are words that share a close friendship. We see the word, “confidence,” many times in the Bible, especially in Hebrews. Synonyms for the word “conviction” are: certainty, certitude, assurance, confidence, sureness, and phrases such as, “no shadow of a doubt.”
Hebrews 11:1 says; “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (ESV) God uses “assurance” and “conviction” to teach us what it means to live by faith. There is a great deal of uncertainty in life, so much so that at times its hard to even watch the news. All the negative projections for the future can overwhelm us at times. The new “super-bug” that has no cure, or the certain rogue country seeking nuclear material, or the next discovery that certain foods and products are killing us or talk of “financial cliffs.” The list keeps going.
So where is your anchor during these perilous times? Hebrews 6: 17 states; “God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath.” Do you hear what God is saying to you? HE desired to show you something more sure…something unchanging, after all, God is immutable. God desires you to be more convinced and more assured about what Christ has done for you, even more than what you think you need.
Hebrews 6:18 goes on to say, “it is impossible for God to lie.” Do you hear how important this is? The author continues writing: “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a a forerunner on our behalf…” God’s promises are sure and they should always bring conviction into your
heart about the future.
Don’t listen to the news reports that cause you to be double-minded. Listen and really hear what God’s Word is telling you about the future. Your past, present, and future belongs to Jesus. Your future is secure because Jesus has made it secure. Please remember; “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!” (Hebrews 13:8) He alone is your true security, both now and forever more.
There is much talk in Christian circles regarding God’s calling for one’s life. The last time I checked the average university student changes their major six times. I am not sure Christians are very different. What is the problem? Why so much debate and years of waiting to find one’s “calling” from God? The solution does not have to do with “career development skills,” or defining talents and personality through testing. Though these things can help, the true answer to God’s calling in one’s life has to do with conviction. God has designed man to live by conviction. Conviction is the foundation for all of life’s decisions. It is man’s privilege to be the priest of the home and set the convictions, the standards, for his wife, children, and society directly from God’s Word. The wife and children follow the man’s convictions and “calling,” its not the other way around. The most miserable man is the man who follows his wife’s convictions because he has none of his own. (1 Timothy 2: 12-15)
In Genesis 2 we see that Adam received the commandment in the garden not to eat the fruit from the tree of good and evil. Eve did not receive such commandment because she was not yet even created. It was Adam’s job to hear God’s Word, let God’s Word penetrate His heart, and let it breed conviction in order to obey. Sadly, Adam heard God’s Word but he did not allow it to form into conviction. The absence of conviction in Adam led him not to protect his wife from death and destruction. Not protecting his wife meant not protecting himself. Adam was to publicly rebuke the serpent and pull his wife away from speaking to the enemy, but as we know, he didn’t do either.
He was perfect, he had the divine revelation, he knew the truth, but where conviction is absent, sin of omission, letting Eve talk to the Serpent, leading to the sin of commission, eating the fruit, which led to eternal death. Men are you more worried about your career, your calling, your money, your image, your personal satisfaction, your portfolio? or are you more focused on developing God given convictions that penetrate to the core of your being?
Petra International Ministries Inc. Written by: Jared Cox
Real men are men of conviction and are willing to die for them. Real men are not worried about politics or status quo. Real men are solely concerned about getting the job done..fighting to the death for God, family, and country. Real men are men of conviction. “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified…” I Corinthians 2: 1-5
So be truly glad.There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. We all need to be tested, we all need to be refined, we all need to be pruned. It is a process that each believer must experience. Iron needs to be forged, gold needs to be purified by fire, and diamonds must be cut and hewn from cold stone. So it is with our souls and our convictions. The more God allows us to be “crucified,” in ourselves, the greater our convictions will grow, purpose clarified, and hope fortified.
Convictions are not automatic. We cannot receive them from our parents, they must be made our own and this process entails suffering. We may have received good doctrine as children but each child must “learn to bear the yoke while he is young” for convictions to be formed. There are fewer and fewer real men in Christianity, not because of some ineptness in sound doctrine but because men are following Christian culture instead of Christian conviction. There is no redemptive value in a culture.
Paul was to suffer greatly, Acts 9:16, because he was to preach greatly. You cannot preach with power unless you are a man of great conviction. You may have good lessons but they will be without power, divine power, I Cor 2:1-5. The reason there are so few true leaders and so many followers is because men are being raised without conviction. Christian men are following the latest evangelical emergent church fad but they are men I would not trust in a battle with me in Afghanistan.
Petra International Ministries Inc. Written by: Jared Cox
Convictions are more than affirming a doctrinal creed. Convictions are form when you have bled the doctrine from your very heart and soul and cry out “My hope alone is in Christ.” It’s when there is nothing left of you, no whims, no self-trust, no high ideals. You simply come to the end of yourself knowing Christ must increase and you must decrease. The is the end goal of any and all biblical conviction.
Men, are you ready to let go of success or failure and give your whole life to Christ’s glory?
Do you really know what it means to have conviction run so deep in your veins you want to proclaim Christ without though of consequence? Or is it hard enough for you just to get out of bed to go to church?
If so, chances are you have not partaken in the sufferings of Christ, and for those who have and are…you are blessed indeed, Matthew 5: 3-11.
“It is a fact of Christian experience that life is a series of troughs and peaks. In his efforts to get permanent possession of a soul, God relies on the troughs more than the peaks. And some of his special favorites have gone through longer and deeper troughs than anyone else.” PETER MARSHALL
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
The Apple dictionary defines conviction by: “The quality of showing that one is firmly convinced of what one believes or says.” Isaiah 53:5 clearly teaches that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross heals our wounds. Christ’s pain heal our pain. Christ perfect blood heals our poisoned blood. Christ’s weakness gives us our strength. Christ’s surrendering to the Father allows us to surrender to the Father. Christ learning obedience through suffering opens a way for us to learn obedience through suffering. (Hebrews 5:8) Suffering is part and parcel of the Christian life.
Godly suffering breeds conviction. One may ask; “Are these deeper convictions even necessary?” Can’t I just live my Christian life where I am at? after all I already believe in Christ, the Bible, and in God’s redemptive power. It is one thing for someone to go into great length describing the taste and texture of honey but unless I experience and taste honey myself I will never truly be able to say; “I have eaten and experienced the sweetness and the overwhelming smooth texture of honey.” I must as the Apostle Paul states…fill up what is lacking in Christ afflictions, Colossians 1:24.
Those who have never truly mourned have never truly laughed. Why is this? Are Christians a bunch of masochist who love to suffer? No, we certainly do not want to suffer but we know we must. Suffering for the Christian brings healing to our souls and what could be more important than that? The redemption of Christ through his beatings and torture brings eternal healing to our souls. We believe this is true. Our convictions grow deeper as we suffer as Christ suffered. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:5 ESV) The more we fill up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ the greater the healing of our hearts. We are all born with empty and fatally bruised hearts until Christ comes and heals us. Together with Paul’s conversion came the words from Christ; “I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”(Acts 7: 16, ESV)
Petra International Ministries Inc. Written by: Jared Cox
The Apostle Paul died a healed man. Remember the words of James 1:2-4. “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (NLT)
What you lack in life is not more money, better health, a better spouse, a better city, but rather suffering that buries the convictions of Christ death, burial, and resurrection deep within the recesses of your soul to the point where you can say; “It is well with my soul.”
We want to thank each of you for all your prayers and the support to our family to make this trip possible, We are very grateful.
A lot was accomplished in a short amount of time through preaching, teaching, discipleship, leadership meetings, short-term team plans, and 2017 ministry planning. The Lord confirmed in many ways, how necessary this trip was for our church members, the leaders, and for our own family. Please remember that PETRA U.S. is new and we need a lot of new prayer partners and financial supporters to join us and help fulfill the vision 2025. Tanya and I simply cannot do it alone. Will you consider supporting this ministry through prayer and finanzas and talking with others who may want to be part of this life giving ministry?
“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but lacked opportunity.” (Phil. 4:10) Now is the opportunity and we need your faithful support as we are working hard to build God’s kingdom by His grace and mercy and God is bringing the fruit! To Him be the glory and honor!
Please keep following us during the week, we will sending you more pictures about our latest trip to Nicaragua! Also please note that the web-page for Petra U.S. www.petramissions.org and www.churchdiscipleship.com is still in the process of being built. Thank you for your patience.