[notice]A new, monthly column by Vivienne Solomons who is a legal consultant who passionately believes that God wants His people to make a difference right where they are and to stand up for what is true and just. She is also passionate about encouraging young women to walk victoriously with God and she is engaged in a challenging faith journey as a parent of a child with special needs.[/notice]
We live in a time of political upheaval and economic uncertainty, which is playing itself out not only in South Africa but all over the world. Added to this are the high rates of violent crime and frequent episodes of civil unrest that we as South Africans are all too familiar with. Under such circumstances, it is little wonder then that fear continuously threatens to well up in our hearts. Every kind of fear. Fear of the future. Fear for our physical safety. Fear for our financial stability, and on and on it goes. But as children of God, the good news is that we can choose to live life from a very different vantage point, which is the Divine Perspective.
To be able to continue to stand in such times of uncertainty, we need to have both vision and insight. When we allow ourselves to be tossed to and fro, according to what we see on the news or hear from our colleagues and friends or, even what we experience firsthand, in our own lives, we can easily become overwhelmed and discouraged. We therefore need to arm ourselves with the type of knowledge that cannot be found in a three-day conference or within the pages of a self-help book, although there is much to be gleaned from such pursuits, which is useful and of tremendous value and support. The knowledge that we need can only be found in the pages of the Holy Bible.
In addition, we need Faith, Hope and Love to help us on our journey:
Faith. Faith that the current circumstances can and will change, for the better, despite the realities of today. This is the kind of faith that prevents us from just sitting back and watching from the sidelines.
Hope. This is the ‘hope against hope’ kind of hope. A hope that defies explanation. The kind of hope that says that while it may appear to get worse before it gets better, it will certainly get better.
Love. A love for South Africa and its diverse people groups. A love that is patient, kind and longsuffering. A love that is willing to sacrifice for the common good. A love that compels me to do something to make a difference, no matter how small.
If we are honest, we would have to say that we require a measure of faith, a measure of hope and a measure of love each and every day in order to walk the paths that have been set before us, and even more so when it is neither comfortable nor easy.
A heavenly perspective
There is therefore a tension that we as Christians are to hold – the tension between being in the world yet not belonging to it. The reality is that the things of this world, for example wars, drought, famine, suffering, poverty (and the list goes on), impact Christians and non — Christians alike, without discriminating. As Christians, we need to view the horrors and the tragedies that beset us from a heavenly perspective, for this is not where we belong, and it is not our final resting place. So, why then bother to stand up and fight for what is true and just? Why bother to take an interest in current affairs? There are two main reasons:
Firstly, we have been given the Dominion Mandate. This Mandate was originally given to the first Adam and was subsequently lost to Satan before being redeemed by Jesus at Calvary. It is now the Mandate of the Body of Christ. As the Church, we have been given the assurance that whatever we bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven. That is, we have been given the authority to change the status quo in the earth.
Secondly, we are called to be both salt and light to the world. While there are different theories as to the meaning of salt in the Scriptures, one of its purposes is to prevent decay. That is, we as believers are to serve as preservatives, halting the moral decay of a sin affected world.
We are also referred to as the light of the world, as well as a town built on a hill. Neither can be hidden from plain sight and both are highly visible. In other words, our lives are to be an ongoing witness to the reality of God’s presence in our lives. In everything we do. Every day.
Certainly then, my life is not just about me. It is about bringing Heaven’s reality to earth. And we each have a unique role to play in the achievement of this. It is also why I have chosen to give the column the title “Out Loud”: Each of our lives tells a story and it takes courage to live it with the whole world watching. Over the next few months I look forward to sharing with you my thoughts on what it means to stand firm in our faith while going about the business of our daily lives.