Faith is Our Victory
1 John 5:4-14
July 2, 2017
Amen. All right. I love this last section because, in many ways, it's like a great book into how he begins this letter because he starts out by this invitation for us to experience God. He finishes the book by having us understand what it means to experience God in a bold kind of faith. He starts out by saying, "What we beheld, what we've seen, what we heard, what we handled, we proclaimed to you." this is John, right? He was with the Lord. He was like the last living apostle.
He saw the resurrected Christ and he says, "We share this with you, we proclaim it to you that you might have fellowship with us and with God, the Father through Jesus Christ to experience God." And then, as you get to the last section, he's calling us through experience God with a bold kind of confident faith. He's calling us to be overcomer’s, that's a very important word because it means, to finish victoriously, finish strongly.
In other words, it's way more than just surviving, it's way more than just barely making it because that's what I think a lot of people do in their spiritual life they barely make it. They're like just surviving, they're just barely getting by, spiritually. But he wants us to be more than that. When I think about barely getting by, I think about, a number of years ago, when I was in the restaurant business and our restaurant sponsored this race.
Somebody decided that, "Hey, if we're going to sponsor this race, somebody ought to run in the race."
And so, guess who they selected should run in the race? Yes, me. I wasn't a runner. I wasn't doing any running. I thought well, "I should get ready for this race." Two days before the race. [laughs] Exactly, exactly right. This was a 15K race, it was like I was 10 miles. Two days before I go, it was like five-mile run or set of mile run. I get to this race, I can barely walk. I was so sore. I mean, I just wanted to survive, I just wanted to finish, I just wanted to get across the finish line, I barely made it, right?
I. Faith Overcomes the World
Well, that's the way many are spiritually, like God wants more than that for us and He shows us what that looks like in these verses. Let's read it 1st John 5 beginning in verse 4, whatever is born of God overcomes. This is the word that he uses as the theme, "overcomes the world". This is the victory that has overcome the world; our faith.
Hey, underline that verse or something because it is really a key insight to the kind of faith that God wants us to have; not barely making it, to overcome the world by our faith and who was the one who overcomes the world? But He who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. This is a foundation key to that kind of faith. Everything that God has for you is through His Son. Then He moves into like, why, the substance, the reasons, for faith. Notice, what He says, verse 6, "This is the one who came by water and by blood; Jesus Christ."
Not by water only but by the water and the blood and it is the Spirit who bears witness because the Spirit is the truth. There are three that bear witness the Spirit, the water, and the blood and these three are in agreement. If we receive the witness of man, in other words, they will believe a person when they speak or make a promise or a statement but, the witness of God is greater.
For the witness of God is this; "That He has born witness concerning His Son, the one who believes in the Son of God has this witness in himself." Now, these next words, I got to tell you, this is John, this Son of Thunder, He's bold, He's right straight out and he says, listen, "The one who does not believe God, has made Him to be a liar." Now, that's a big statement but it's right, because what he's saying is this "God declared, God bore witness, this is My Son, every promise that I have for you comes through My Son and no one who doesn't believe it, is calling God a liar."
That's a pretty bold statement but it's right. And he goes on to say, "Because he's not believed in the witness that God has borne concerning His Son." The witness is this, "God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has that life. He who does not have the Son of God does not have that life." These things, I have written to you, who believe in the name of the Son of God in order that you may know that you have eternal life and this is the confidence.
A. Faith strengthens the soul
I love verse 14, this is the confidence which we have before Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. These are great verses, strengthening to our faith because what he's showing us is this; that faith overcomes the world.
Verse 4, "Whatever is Word of God overcomes the world and this is the victory that has overcome the world, it is our faith." It's a basis of that faith is believing that Jesus is the Son of God. This is My Son. Everything that God has for you is in His Son. The plan of the ages is through His Son. The Jews didn't believe Jesus was their son. In fact, that was the very reason that he was crucified.
"Tell us plainly are you the Messiah, the Son of God?" and Jesus said, "You have said it of your own mouth." They said, "What further need do we have a witness as He said it Himself. He's made himself out to be the Son of God is equal and they insisted he be crucified."
The Muslims most certainly do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God. They're offended at the very thought of it, the very suggestion of it, it's a very key and foundation to faith. At one point, Jesus asked the disciples, "Who did the people say that I am?" I mean, there were different opinions they were saying different things. Well, some say the prophets, some say Elijah etcetera. It's like that today, if you were to go out and do a poll and ask people, "Who do you think Jesus is?" you'd get all kinds of answers.
Some would say, "Oh, He's a good teacher, He was a moral man, He was an example of living a moral life." but Jesus made it personal, but "Who do you say I am?" Now, that's a great question. And frankly, there is no more important question that a man will ever answer. "Who do you say that I am?" Peter is the one who answered and he said this is Matthew 16:16, "You are the Christ, You are the Messiah, You are the Anointed One, You are the long-awaited one." He said, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God."
Jesus highly commended him for this. "Flesh and blood didn't reveal this to you Peter, my father in heaven revealed this to you." See, because the entire plan of God for the ages, everything God has for you comes through His Son. In fact, Jesus said, John 14 verses 6 to 7, Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me. If you've known me you have known the Father also." This is the foundation He says that overcomes the world.
This is the key, our faith. Because faith strengthens the soul. We're in a battle. We're in a battle. It's a spiritual battle for the soul and therefore, we need to recognize that God wants us to be overcomers. Now, the word "overcome" uses it a lot, it's the theme here. The word, overcome, in the Greek, is the word you all know. You're very, very familiar with this word in the Greek. It's the word "Nike" or literally "Nikeo". It means, of course, to do more than just barely make it by barely surviving through-- No, it's finishing strong to finish victoriously, that's the word.
Paul even takes it up a notch and brings it even to a higher place of victory. Not just Nike or Nikeo, he adds the word hyper to it. We know that word too, right? "Hyper Nikeo", which means, overwhelming conquerors. That's way better, right? There's like, barely surviving and is barely making it through and then there's victory and then there's overwhelming victory. That's what he says in Romans Chapter 8 verses 37 to 39, in all of these things--
What things? Tribulation, peril, distress, persecution. In all of these things, we overwhelmingly conquer, Hyper Nikeo. We are overwhelming conquerors through Him, who loved us, for I am convinced. See, "I'm convinced" is like a statement of believing faith. I am convinced, I am persuaded, I know this. This is settled with me. I am convinced that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God which is found in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
We are in Spiritual battle, there is much against us. He's calling us to overcome the world, because the world's influence is strong, the flesh is very strong. Our flesh is attracted to things in the world and yet, those things are destructive. If you allow the flesh to have its way, the result is pain, the result is shame and destruction in a person's life.
He says, "Overcome. Be overcomers by this because faith strengthens the soul." They have an influence on one another. If you allow the flesh to have its way, pain, shame and destruction, yes. But also, there's a weakened state, spiritually, it weakens you. But in contrast to that, when your Spirit is strengthened, because faith strengthens us all.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ. When the passion of the Lord is strong. When you're moving in Spiritual strength, it has an influence on the flesh. You become an overwhelming conqueror because your Soul is strengthened and He's showing us this as contrast that we need to understand it. We need to understand it. We need to grasp the fact that God has given us the provision and what we need to do more than just barely survive.
Notice what he says in 1st John Chapter 4 verse 4, "You are from God little children, you are from God little children and have overcome them because Greater is He who is in you than He is who in the world. You have the very presence of the Living God within you. God's giving you the provision of strength. God's giving you the provision to be overwhelming and in victory."
It's faith that sees that, the flesh doesn't see it. The flesh is blind. The flesh is quite blind, it sees nothing, it sees no consequences, it sees nothing of the future. It has no concern about the pain that's going to come into your life. There's no concern at all about the fact that this is going to shame you terribly. This has no concern at all about the fact that this is going to weaken you spiritually, it’s blind it doesn't care.
It's the Spirit that sees it, by faith we recognize it and we say, "Wait just a minute, I don't want that, the price is too high. It's not worth it. I don't want that. I want joy. That's what I want. I want peace, real peace. Peace that passes understanding. I want to love that's an authentic love that ignites the soul. I don't want the shame, the turbulent mass that comes from living by that. I don't want that. I want the reality of the joy, the Spirit life within me. I want that love I want the peace, that's what I want." It's like the difference between the fruit of the Spirit and the fruit loops of the world. Do you know, there is no fruit in fruit loops?
Sometimes kids will say, "Well, which do you like better or do you like the orange fruit loops? Do you like the yellow fruit loops? Do you like the green fruit loop? Which tastes better to you?" Guess what? They're all exactly the same. It's just sugar and chemicals and puffed air. You could eat a whole bowl of fruit loops and never have to swallow because there's nothing in it. It's like, the difference between cheese puffs and cheese. There's no cheese in those puffs. See, I want the reality of real joy. I want the reality of real peace. I want the reality of a love that's authentic.
Therefore, he goes on from that to say, "Look, this is the faith that overcomes the world. Now, here's the reason for your faith," they're like substance through it faith is not blind. He says, "God bears witness to His Son." God bears witness. See verse 8, there are three that bear witness the Spirit, the water, and the blood and they are in agreement. Now, there's some different thoughts as to what He means. Surely, the readers understood and I think we can make good assumptions.
All through the ministry of Jesus, all through His life, God has been bearing witness. This is My Son. He starts out by saying verse 6, "This is the one who came by water." When Jesus began His ministry, He began by the baptizing of John in the Jordan River. When He tells us in Matthew 3 verses 16 and 17, "After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water. Behold, the heavens were open. He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove lightly on Him and behold a voice out of heaven said, 'This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.'"
B. God bears witness to His Son
God has been bearing witness all through the ministry of Jesus. When He was doing the miracles of healing the blind, casting out demons, healing the sick, causing the lame to walk, raising the dead, all of these things. He says, "Declare that that is the witness, the testimony of the Father. Notice John 5 verse 36, "The works which the Father has given me to do to accomplish the very works that I do. These testify about me that the Father has sent me" and then He says, "And this is the one who came by blood."
When Jesus was being crucified, God was bearing witness this is my son. Now, for example, in Matthew 27, it gives the account of Jesus dying on the cross. What is important to recognize that along with that there were all of these things that happened, so much so that the Roman Centurion said, "Surely, this was a sign of God." This is verses 50 to 54, "Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up His Spirit."
He is on the cross, this is the moment He dies. But it says, "and then behold the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom and the earth shook and the rocks were split," but listen to this, "The tombs were opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection, they entered the Holy City and appeared to many." Can you just imagine that for a minute? Like people coming out of the cemetery and walking through town? What a witness of God, the Father, that what just happened on Golgotha, "This is my beloved Son."
Now, the Centurion, the Roman, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus when they saw these things, when they saw the earthquake and these things, they became very frightened, and they said, "Surely, truly, this was the Son of God." The resurrection itself is proof and evidence in fact, would you read Acts 17 verses 30 to 31? Love these verses, I quote them often because they are so, so powerful.
It says. "Looketh, having overlooked times of ignorance, God is now declaring that all people everywhere should repent because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising him from the dead."
Then He continues on to say, "And even within your own soul, the Spirit bears witness within your own soul." Notice what he says in verse 10. "The one who believes in the Son of God has this witness in himself." You don't like what we're worshiping today.
The spirit moves. God inhabits the praises of His people and something stirs in the heart. Something happens in the heart where you go, "God's in this place. God is moving. God stirring me up." There's just like this testimony that you are a child of God and that there is a relationship that you are experiencing that the Holy Spirit testifies that you are a child of God.
Romans Chapter 8 verses 15 to 16, "You have received a spirit of adoption as sons--" We love this verse because it says, "It is by that which we cry out Abba or Daddy, Father," but it goes on, "The Spirit Himself testifies with our Spirit that we're children of God." Now, all of that to build up to something. We are overcomers, we are overcomers, the victory that overcomes is our faith. That's why He then calls us to bold faith-- have bold faith.
II. Have Bold Faith
This is the confidence that we have before Him and He says-- Now, there is a faith that simply believes. There is a faith that believes. It's like a theology of faith, "What do you believe about God?" See, but there is a faith that is deeper. There is a faith that is greater. There is a faith that just believes and then there is the faith that lives. It takes its faith and it begins to move it into life. The righteous will live according to their faith. That's what He's talking about. A bold kind of living.
Do you want an example of that in the Bible there are many, but perhaps the greatest has to be David who later became King David because we see this in His life in a very, very young age. He understood that faith is more than just the theology, it's more than just what you believe about God, it is how you live before God. When you take your faith and you bring it into your everyday living.
Remember the story? He's a young man and his father sends him to go check on the brothers who are in a war. The Jews are in a battle against the Philistines. He arrives at the camp, and he is shocked, chagrined to find that there is a stalemate because the Philistines had put forth the giant who is taunting the people every day, "Send out a man to fight, one on one, hand to hand combat, send a man to fight" and the Jews are cowering in fear and David is incensed, "What? Is there not one man?", "Is there not one man who has the faith to believe that God is able?".#
So David, as we know the story, David faces himself. When Goliath sees him, he's like taunting him, "What? You sent a boy? You sent a boy?" and then he says, "What am I? A dog? You come to me with sticks?" Now, we know David had a pouch and he had stones in the pouch, he had a sling. But what Goliath knows, it was a stick. Because he's a Shepherd, right?
So he said, "What? Am I dog? You come to me with a stick?" He said, "Come here boy." He's just like taunting him, "Come here boy, I'll take your flesh and I'll feed it to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field, come here" So David answers-- Now, this speech that David gives- I love this speech, because it is as of a reflection of faith that does way more than just theology.
I'll tell you what, it's not theology that caused David to face that giant that day. It was a faith that lived and so, this is his speech 1st Samuel 17 David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword, a spear and javelin," now, remember, he's answering, Philistine said, "What? Am I dog? You come with sticks?" So he said, "You come to me with a sword, a spear and javelin-" but listen to this, "I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have just taunted." I love that speech right there.
And you can just imagine the Jewish army behind him going, "Wow, that is an amazing man. That is an amazing man. That is amazing faith." See, David is inspiring all of them because he's going to lead them. His faith is causing him to arise because he has way more than theology in his life, he's got a living faith and he says, "This God of the armies of Israel is the God that you just taunted. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands that all of this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear for the Bible is the Lord's and He will give you into our hands."
That's faith, that's a confident faith. Notice what he writes in Psalms 71:5, "You are my hope, oh Lord God, you are my confidence since my youth."
A. Know that you have eternal life
That's a whole another thing there. There's a theology, faith that just believes, there's a faith that takes that into it's life to such a degree that it says, "God, you are my confidence. I believe that when you put your hand on my life, it results in the favor of God."
What does that look like? He tells us what it looks like starting in verse 13, he's telling us to know, let's start with this, he says, "Know that you have eternal life" know this. It's a foundation of bold faith it's called the assurance of salvation, it's the key.
Your assurance of salvation is a key to bold faith because some people are very tentative like, "I don't know, am I saved or am I not saved? I don't know if I'm saved, you know, I think I'm saved but I'm not really sure because sometimes I think I love Him and sometimes I think He's angry with me and I don't know. I don't know, I'm kind of tentative, I'm not really sure, you know, I wish I knew but I'm not really sure."
What happens if you have tentative faith you're certainly not going to live bold, because you don't even know if you're saved. You have this assurance, here's why, here's why you have this assurance because you understand. That you're standing before God has everything to do what He has done and not what anything to do with what you've done. If your confidence before the Lord is based on what you've done, you don't have confidence. If you do, it's arrogance. Your confidence is based on what He has done for you and that's what you're standing on. I believe in what He has done.
Let me give you Romans Chapter 8, memorize Roman 8 sometime it is so good. Romans 8 verses 32 to 34 it gives us the substance of that kind of faith. He says, "He who did not spare His own Son but delivered Him for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?" If God didn't withhold His own Son from us, "I give you my Son and every blessing that I have for you comes through my Son."
If God didn't withhold His Son, would He withhold any good thing? But He goes on, He says, "Who will bring a charge against God's elect?" Who's going to bring a charge against you? He says, "Because God is the one who justifies." Hey, if "God is the one who justifies" he says, then you tell me, "Who's going to be the one who condemns?" God justified me, is anybody going to condemn if God justified? I don't think so.
See the strength of his faith, see the assurance that he has? He knows in whom he's believed he is very sure of who God is in his life and it's the substance of that, that he says, "Christ Jesus, is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us."
If God is sitting on the throne with Jesus, next to Him, interceding for us in our behalf, have some confidence in that. That's the bold kind of faith and then I love this idea, he tells us that God has adopted us as sons and daughters. I love that picture because that's a legal matter settled in heaven. When someone is adopted, a Judge declares the adoption and it is settled. It's a picture that means a lot to us, I mentioned this on Wednesday because we adopted, right? We adopted our two boys from Russia, it's a great picture of salvation.
So, we go, pursue them, "We want you to be our sons." so we stand before the Judge. The Judge hears our statement, our heart, our intent, we're inviting them and then the boys stand up before the Judge and they say, "We want that too, we receive that invitation, we want to be their sons." and then the Judge makes the declaration, "Done", "You are the parents, you are the son" finished.
That is done by the authority of that court, by that Judge, and unless someone has more authority than that Judge, that is standing right there. To me, that's important, because we go home and then we have a little turbulence, "Oh, the Dad and the Mom have rules, and those rules are new." and there's some resisting to this, to the point where the youngest one, in particular, would sometimes say, "I want to go home to Russia, you're not my father anymore. I want to go back"
To which I would respond, "Well unless you've got more authority than the Judge, you're not going anywhere and you don't have more authority than the Judge and you're not going anywhere. Here's the deal I'm your father and you're my son and that is the way it is and I will love-- and tell you what, you can't stop me from loving you. I will keep pursuing you as you're father and the sooner you recognize that the more that we can have a relationship as father and son, because there's a lot of blessings that comes in that relationship and if you'll just go with that and stop resisting that and just roll with it you would understand some huge blessings because this matter is settled in heaven."
There was this one time when Mom decided to teach him a lesson. It went like this, it's early morning and he's in his jammies and he starts doing a little resistant thing, "I want to go home to Russia" I should say, by the way, when this happened, I was travelling, I was at Africa or something like this. I want to state that for the record, for you to know that I had nothing to do with this.
So, he does this little thing, "I want to go home to Russia," so Mom says, "Oh really? get in the car." he gets in the car, he's in his jammies-- He gets in the car and then he says, "Where are we going?" and she says, "We're going to the airport" and he says, "Really? You're taking me back to Russia?"
And she chooses her words very carefully. She says, "Do you really want to go?", "Yes I want--" he said with a Russian accent, "Yes, I want to go back to Russia.", "Then we have to go to the airport" A little bit later, "Really?, are you taking me to the airport?", "Do you really want to go?", "Yes, I want to go to the air-- I want to go to Russia.", "Then we're going to the airport." A little bit later, "Really? Are you taking me to Russia?", "Do you really want to go?", "No. No, actually, I don't. I want to go back. I want to be in-- the family, I want to be here.", "Well then, great. Let's go home." They've been gone about five minutes.
As they're turning around-- I just love this. I love this one. As they're turning around, then he says, "I know what let's do. I know what let's do. Let's play a joke, Okay, you go in the house and then you pretend that I am on the plane going to Russia. Then I'll be hiding outside and then a few minutes I jump out, 'I am here!' like that, okay?" Then she says, "Okay, fine. Sure." They get on and she walks in through the door and the kids say, "Well, where is Missha?", "He's on the plane to Russia.", "Oh, okay. Yes."
He's waiting outside, right? Then a few minutes later, he pops in, "I'm here! I never left, I'm here!" and they totally ignored him. [laughs] I had to teach him a lesson, I tell you. But here's the point, this matter is settled in heaven, that is the point that we need to grasp.
There is a boldness of faith when you recognize that that love is going nowhere. That's why He says with that kind of boldness, it says in the next verse, that you can ask anything according to His will, such confidence we have. Now, it's perfectly clear that God wants us to ask. Jesus told us to ask.
This is Matthew chapter 7 verses 7 to 11. Jesus said, "Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be open to you for everyone who asks; receives, and he who seeks; finds, and to he who knocks; it will be opened." What is there among you who when his son asked for a loaf would give him a stone? Or if he asked for fish, he's not going to give them a snake, would he? If you then, being evil or being of the world know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father, who is in heaven, give what is good to those who ask? James Chapter 4 verse 2 adds, you don't have, because you don't ask.
Doesn't that make you want to ask? Doesn't that just inspire you to want to pray? Ask, that you don't have because you are not asking. Ask, I'm telling you ask. Seek, knock. Now, He does tell us that we ask. He says, according to His will. If it is not according to His will it's not good, it's not edifying, it's not a blessing. And he is not going to give that which is harmful, right?
James 4:3 says, "You ask and don't receive because you ask with wrong motives. That you may spend it on your pleasures." Reminds me of a song out of the 60s by Janis Joplin and I know this song. I read about the song in history books and it goes like this, "Oh Lord, won't you buy me a--"
C. Be confident that He gives what is good
You know the song. "Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz. My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends. Worked hard all my life, no help from my friends. Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz." To which the Lord says, "Uh uh, not good for you, not edifying, not right, not blessing." He only gives what's good. He's going to give what edifies you. Here's the point, there is that confidence and a boldness in the Lord.
He says, "Be confident that He gives what's good. Be confident in asking, be bold in asking and to know that He's going to give what's good. There's a victorious faith in believing." We know He hears us. We know that He takes our prayers seriously but have confidence to know that He's going to give what's going and right.
There is a principle that has helped me tremendously in my prayers and in my relationship to the Lord and it's this, "I only want what He gives permission for me to have. If He doesn't give permission for me to have it, then I don't want it. Without His blessing, it won't be good. It will not end well. I only want what He gives permission for me to have."
It's a very important principle because I want that blessing. I don't want anything outside of that blessing. I want to live in that place where His glory is pouring forth his favor in my life. He says, "Ask," but He says, "I want you to also learn to persist in your asking." Knowing that God hears us, trusting and believing that even there is a purpose in the waiting. In fact, interestingly, Jesus connects it to faith.
Would you notice that Luke 18, these are verses 1 and 8 where he says, "He was telling them a parable to show that, at all times, they ought to pray and not lose heart," Then Jesus adds, "When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" There's a faithfulness in the steadfastness of believing even in the waiting. God will give what's good and even there's a purpose in the waiting, because the timing of the Lord is good.
Here's another verse that is so good, I love Psalm 127. but listen Psalm verse 127 verse 2 is just plain, straight, awesome. It says, "It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors for it is, He, who gives to His beloved even while He sleeps. You could be sleeping and the blessing of God is being poured out of your life. And it all comes through His Son. That's why Paul says, "In all of these things, whether it be tribulation or despair or peril, we can overwhelmingly conquer because we believe. We believe that God will pour out through His Son that which is good and right and the blessings of God come from it."
I remember reading a book by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, that talked about the years he spent in the Soviet gulags, the prisons. He said, "The suffering was so great that it reduced him to a state of despair." Finally, he gave it up. He decided there was no reason to continue the struggle. There is no reason to keep on living. He dropped his shovel and he sat down waiting for a guard to come and beat him to death knowing that he would.
As he waited, head down, he felt a presence. He looked up and he saw an old frail prisoner who knelt down beside him. The man said nothing but he took a stick and he traced in the dirt, a cross. Then the man got up and returned to work. Solzhenitsyn stared at that cross drawn in the dirt. And as he stared at it, he began to sob. His entire perspective changed.
He knew that he was only one man against the all-powerful Soviet empire, yet he knew that there was something greater than the evil he saw in that prison camp. That there was something greater than the Soviet Union. He knew that a hope for all people was represented by that simple cross. Through the power of the cross, anything was possible. Solzhenitsyn slowly rose to his feet, picked up a shovel and went back to work. Outwardly, nothing had changed. Inwardly, everything had changed. There is a faith that just believes, and there is a faith that lives.