The human hand is truly unique. Its versatility is
unparalleled and its capabilities seem endless. The
hands can be so resourceful that they embody the
very essence of the term “multitasking.” Perhaps
you have never thought of your hands in quite this
way before. Maybe you are like so many of us who
(whether we mean to or not) take such things for
granted from time to time. Well, regardless, we need
to always remember that God designed our hands for
godly purposes; but the question is do we use them
in the ways He intended. As the old VBS song goes:
“Watch your hands, watch your hands, what they
do!” Good advice.
Solomon encourages us to use our hands for noble
and worthy things (Eccl. 9:10; cf. 1 Thess. 4:11-12;
Eph. 4:28); but he also cautions that much of what
we do will not last (Eccl. 2:11). We need to
remember that God has not only given us the ability
to work with our hands, but that those things we build
and accomplish will eventually perish, or else they
will belong to someone else when we die (2:18-23).
So don’t be too proud of your accomplishments.
With some, the works of their hands are an
abomination to the Lord (Rev. 9:20-21) because they
do evil things (Prov. 6:16-17; cf. Acts 2:23). Friends,
God did not create our hands for evil purposes!
Neither did He create them for nothing. The lazy
man is very displeasing to God (Prov. 6:6-11; Eccl.
10:18). Think of it, a godly person will always “do”
what makes God happy. But to all others He says,
“Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your
hearts, you double-minded” (Jas. 4:8). Can you
“grasp” what I’m saying?
I read a story of a woman whose fiancé was struggling
with the idea of marriage. She told a friend, “I just don’t
think he has the stomach for it.” Whether or not
someone has the stomach for something has to do with
whether or not they have the conviction to go through
with it. If a person is not fully convinced in what they
are doing, they will not be greatly motivated to do it.
The term “conviction” can convey at least two ideas.
First, it can mean “the state of being found or proven
guilty.” This concept is easily seen in the Bible with
regard to sin (cf. Jn. 8:9; Acts 2:37). Yet the word
“conviction” is sometimes used (at least, in our
vernacular) to mean “the act or process of convincing;
the state of being convinced; a strong belief.” When
someone says, “What does your gut tell you?” they are
really asking, “Deep down, what do you believe is
Yet the greater question is, “Who determines what is
right?” God does. You see biblical faith is not based
on what merely “feels right” to a person, it is based on
the evidence of divine truth (Heb. 11:1). “So then faith
comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”
(Rom. 10:17). Since we know it is impossible for God
to lie (Tit. 1:2; Heb. 6:18), we are able to have “full
assurance of faith…for He who promised is faithful”
(Heb. 10:22-23). It is no wonder that so many in the
Bible (such as Stephen, Paul, the other apostles, etc.)
suffered gladly for the cause of Christ (cf. Acts 5:41).
These ones not only believed the truth, they also had
the stomach to stand up for it; even to die for it, if need
be (cf. Dan. 3:13-23; Heb. 11:32-40).
To be sure, throughout history many people have died
for some religious belief, but the sad reality is that
unless that “belief” was according to the truth of God’s
word, they died for it in vain. Nevertheless, even they
put to shame those who have the truth yet will not stand
up for it. What a sad commentary that is. Friends, the
Scriptures reveal that not only must we believe, speak,
and practice the truth (1 Cor. 1:10); we must also be
willing to defend it (Jude 3; 2 Tim. 4:2; 1 Pet. 3:15).
This is what it means to be a New Testament
Christian. Do you have the stomach for it?
Have you ever heard a person refer to someone as
not having a backbone? Chances are they did not
mean so literally but figuratively (for it is typical that
humans have a spine). One who is deemed a coward
is often referred to as “spineless.” Thus, for one to
“have backbone” simply means that one has the
courage to face a very difficult or unnerving situation.
This is very important, for cowardice is sickening to
God (cf. Num. 13–14).
To be sure, we are not merely referring to a victim of
a kidnapping or hijacking, etc., but (more to the point)
the victim of persecution or oppression for the cause
of Christ (of truth and righteousness). While a
Christian may not face persecution every day or to
the degree that other Christians elsewhere may
experience, the simple fact remains that “all who
desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer
persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). At such times the
Christian must be courageous for the Lord has made
it clear that the cowardly will not go to heaven (Rev.
I realize that this may seem to be easier said than
done, but in Christ Jesus it can be done (Phil. 4:13).
One’s life may be threatened because he is a
Christian. One may be harassed because he stands
for the truth against popular sin (such as we see in
the “political correctness” and open endorsement of
sexual perversion in our society today). In the face of
persecution or ridicule one may be tempted to deny
his faith or even to deny Christ to save his own skin,
yet Jesus said, “whoever denies Me before men, him
I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven”
Friends, when it comes to godly living and standing
for the truth, do you have backbone? The Lord said,
‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may
boldly say: ‘The LORD is my helper; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?’” (Heb. 13:5-6).