What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Romans 8:31-32 (NIV, 1984)
Some of the most gratifying, yet challenging, conversations I have as President of Adult and Teen Challenge are those I have with our men and women who are wanting to be baptized during the twelve months they are with us. Believer’s baptism is something that is made available to our students that is above and beyond what is part of their studies and actual program expectations. A generous donor blessed us with a portable baptistery for our campus not long after I arrived, and it has been used quite frequently!
One young lady, in recently expressing her desire to be baptized, confessed that her greatest fear was that the spiritual battles she had been waging would only become worse if she “took a public stand for Jesus.” I shared with her the words of Paul above where he reminds Christians that difficulties come to all people regardless of their relationship with God, but that He always uses our troubles as well as our blessings to help develop our faith in Him.
When someone has lived his or her life in addiction and chaos for so long, it can be difficult to trust what many of us consider a simple truth—God is bigger than all our problems. For them, the question is simple, “How can I know that He is big enough?” Paul knew that question was coming when he responded, “If God would give up Jesus for our sins, don’t you think He will stand by you once you are His?” In other words, faith that is strong enough to cause us to believe will be strong enough for the fight which will eventually come—and will reveal that we are “more than conquerors!”