Day 109: Seeking God’s Praise

John 12:42-43 : Nevertheless even of the rulers many believed in him, but because of the Pharisees they didn’t confess it, so that they wouldn’t be put out of the synagogue, for they loved men’s praise more than God’s praise.

Isn’t it interesting how this world makes it seem like standing up for the truth will make you less popular. The problem with this idea, is that everyone is thinking it! When someone does stand up, people appreciate it (even though they won’t do it). The real issue is that we could get in trouble for speaking the truth.

This demonstrates the problem with our world and reveals that Satan is still acting as prince. It may seem like talking to someone about God isn’t a good idea but to God it is, and isn’t that all that matters? It is true that we may not have a warm reception, but what good is what we believe if we won’t stand up for it?

I’m not saying that we should charge off and do things without first trusting in the power of God. If we do that, we will only be working out of our flesh and will do more harm than good.

Here we see that the Light of the World was there to trust and people were actually believing in Jesus, however, they didn’t want to be kicked out of the synagogue by the Pharisees. See how frail this is? They were willing to let Jesus go in and fight for Israel, but they were unwilling to simply get kicked out of the synagogue for something they believed in. Perhaps it was because they were “rulers” and they didn’t want their public image to be affected. In their weakness they fed Jesus to the Romans alone! (although, as we have discussed, Jesus also willingly offered Himself)

Our faith can be weak like that. We can say we believe but not allow any indication of it to be seen by those around us. This is not a sign of God’s power working in us. If we are living like that, we need to confess that we are and ask God to help us to walk in His power so that others may know that we are the Christians that we are. Some of those around us may be those that God wants us to influence so that they will become Christians too.

It also doesn’t make sense for us to complain about the evil in the world around us if we are not willing to take a simple stand for the truth that we profess to believe. It isn’t likely that we will turn the tide of evil by ourselves, but if we stand up for what we believe, we can know that we have done what we could. It’s not just a matter of what happens here, God sees what we do and He does reward Christians for their service in Heaven.

In saying this I realize that some are in situations where your lives or the lives of others are in danger simply by standing up. I am not talking about that specific situation. I know that if you take a stand that you will be richly rewarded in Heaven like others who have, but this is not the situation that I see here. These were “rulers” who would lose “men’s praise.” If all we risk is popularity, then we see here that we should go ahead and take that risk, and only if we know that we will gain the praise of God.