Courage, conviction, compassion. These are the words that come to mind as I think about biblical ministry in this age. We live in a day that is increasingly hostile to the authority of Scripture, a time in which speaking God’s truth on any given subject requires courage. However, this is not new. Throughout the Old Testament, God, through His prophets, called His people to be courageous. Christians in the early New Testament church needed courage too. As the cultural norms and governing authorities threatened to silence the first followers of the risen Christ, they continued in the boldness of the Spirit (Acts 4, for example).
We also live in a day in which truth is treated as if it were fluid, not fixed. Therefore, those who trust God must also be men and women of conviction. A conviction is a firmly held belief. The lack of conviction among so many churches has resulted in the loss of a moral compass in our society. This compels us to rely on the Spirit’s wisdom to examine all things and hold fast to what is good (1 Thess. 5:21).
As a result, this loss of our moral compass has resulted in multitudes being shipwrecked on a sea of confusion and hurt. Therefore, we must have the same compassion that Jesus showed in his relationship to others. This is where hope shines into our broken world! Jesus did not come to save the righteous, but sinners—confused, broken sinners like each of us. He was meek and humble in heart and, therefore, we are called to be gentle when instructing others and correcting those in error (2 Tim. 2:25), and to let our gentleness be evident to all (Phil. 4:5).
Biblical courage, conviction, and compassion. That’s what we need. Let us pray the Lord cultivates these qualities in our hearts and ministries.