Faith in Turbulent Times
One of the great leaders of New Testament is the Apostle Paul and he gives us this exhortation in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1) Psalm 116:8-9 says, “For you O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 116:8-9)
A saint has been defined as “a man in whom Christ lives.” The real leader of the church preaches and lives in Christ. Men are captivated by Christians who live out what they believe. Mankind will not necessarily agree with what a man preaches, but they will take note of how he lives.
Around this time of the year, one should consider the life of St. Patrick, especially since there is a day dedicated in his honor.
St. Patrick said “Am I willing to draw closer to God in turbulent times.” It was during St. Patrick’s time in slavery that he grew to have faith in prayer. He wrote, “I would pray constantly during the daylight hours… and faith grew… During the day I would say as many as 100 prayers and at night only slightly less.” God helped St. Patrick find his freedom from six years of slavery. St. Patrick writes, “I use to pasture the flock each day. Praying in the icy coldness, in rain… And it was there of course that one night in my sleep I heard a voice saying to me, ‘You do well to fast; soon you will depart for your home country.’ …a short time later there was a voice prophesying, ‘Behold, your ship is ready’ And it is not close… two hundred miles away… …Shortly thereafter I turned and fled… …by the power of God who directed my route until I reached that ship.”
Mark Driscoll wrote about St. Patrick’s faith in troubled times, Patrick’s unorthodox ministry methods, which had brought so much fruit among the Irish, also brought much opposition from the Roman Catholic Church. Because Patrick was so far removed from Roman civilization and church [body politics] he was seen by some as an instigator of unwelcome changes. This led to great conflicts between the Roman and Celtic Christians.
The Romans considered these and other variations by the Celtic Christian leaders to be acts of insubordination. In the end, the Roman Church should have learned from Patrick, who is one of the greatest missionaries who has ever lived. (These truths are substantiated in Patrick’s Biography; Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; Times Herald; Mark Driscroll, Church History; The quote above was taken from a message I read years ago, the preacher was unknown to me)
Perhaps St. Patrick knew Luke 18:6, “…And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly…” (Luke 18:6)