Travel to the moon is no longer a fantasy. Human beings have walked on its surface. But years ago when the Hayden Planetarium in New York advertised (merely in jest) that it would take reservations for that lunar trip of 240,000 miles, 18,000 people applied within a few days.
A psychologist who studied their letters concluded that most of them were eager to escape from their responsibilities and problems. One woman wrote, “It would be heaven to get away from this busy earth . . . and just go somewhere that’s nice and peaceful, good, safe, and secure.”
Many who don’t believe in Christ think of Christians as emotionally weak people who are looking for an escape from real life now and pie-in-the-sky later. But biblical faith is not an opiate that induces drug-like passivity. In Hebrews 11:32-38 we read about men and women who chose to endure torture rather than renounce their spiritual convictions. And today, bold missionaries throughout the world illustrate that following Christ is difficult.
As modern-day believers, we may not experience great persecution for our faith, but we do face hardships and trials. Our faith in Christ is not an escape; it gives us the strength to endure.
Against the foe in vales below
Let all our strength be hurled;
Faith is the victory, we know,
That overcomes the world. —Yates
Great faith is often built during great trials.