Shepastor: “You Are Surrounded…”
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12: 1-3, NIV
Today as I watched the news, I witnessed a strong, courageous and determined woman challenge her colleagues to stand up for what was right, even if it was unpopular. The vast majority of her colleagues have chosen to ignore what is blatantly wrong in order to keep their seats. It appears that she is alone. She literally is one of two individuals that had the courage to stand. Yet, she stood.
Sometimes people, due to fear of isolation, fear of being ostracized, fear of losing support, money, prestige, etc., will remain quiet or even defiant against what they know to be right. Young and older people are confronted by peer pressure. Employees fear retaliation from co-workers or even their bosses. Church people fear being frowned upon, cast out or called vicious names.
It is hard to stand alone! But we must remind ourselves that we ARE NOT alone. When we stand upon the Word of the Lord, when we stand for “doing justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with God,” we are not alone. When we are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, we are not alone. The majority is not always right. The crowd is not always right.
It may feel like we are standing alone; but we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. We are surrounded by the angels of the Lord. We are surrounded by the lives and the legacies of men and women who sacrificed positions in society, sacrificed pats on the back, sacrificed going along with the majority, sacrificed opportunities, sacrificed their lives, literally. We stand upon their shoulders.
The most important thing we need to remember when we feel that we are standing alone, is that we are surrounded by our great and awesome God. Romans 8:31 may have said it best, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” The love of God, the strength of God, the peace of God enables us to stand for just, holy and righteous causes, even if the world stands against us. You plus God is more than the world against you!
You are not alone – remember that the Lord and those who have gone before you are right by your side. Envision them cheering you on from the balcony of eternity and STAND!!!