1 Corinthians 9:2
“If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.”
Paul said to the Corinthian church that they were the “seal” of his apostleship. This phrase does not mean that he wasn’t an apostle before the Corinthian church became his seal, but he was saying that they legitimized his apostleship. Paul was telling this church that he was an apostle whether or not they did right, but he was also telling them that they helped to legitimize or seal the fact that he was an apostle by doing right.
Many people want the respect of others without earning it, but validating your faith and testimony never comes without testing. It is the time of testing that proves you to yourself and to others. Your faith in Christ is dead without testing. I am not talking about the faith needed for salvation, but I am talking about legitimizing your faith to others so that they see it is real and worth having for themselves. Sadly, many want nothing to do with Christ because of believers who don’t legitimize their faith with their lifestyle; instead, they legitimize the world with their lifestyle. There are several things you are going to have to do to validate and legitimize that you are real to others.
First, having the right spirit in hard times legitimizes your faith to others. If you allow hard times to get you down, you will tell others that your faith is not bigger than the troubles of life. What amazes those who watch you is how you can be on top side in hard times. When tragedy strikes, you must get control of your spirit and not live under the cloud of tragedy, but live above the clouds of life and show that God is still in control. Your spirit in the toughest times of life absolutely legitimizes or disapproves your faith to others.
Second, responding properly in adversity legitimizes your faith. Adversity comes, and if you quit when times get tough, you are saying that what you were doing is not real. What proves to others that what you believe and live in the good times is real is not changing course when adversity strikes. My friend, stay faithful in times of adversity. Don’t change your routines or quit your responsibilities in times of adversity. When adversity strikes is when people watch you to determine if what you have been saying is real.
Third, your response in the battle legitimizes your faith. Battles are going to come to the believer, and if you run and hide from the battle, you are telling others that God is not big enough to overcome that which is trying to defeat you. It was David’s charging towards Goliath that legitimized what He said about God being able to help him to defeat the giant. The three Hebrew children legitimized their faith in God when they stood when facing the fiery furnace. Daniel legitimized his faith in God when he prayed as he did aforetime in spite of hearing the roar of the hungry lions. Anybody can talk big about what they would do when the battle comes, but only those who stand in the battle are those who legitimize the worthiness of serving God.
Fourth, your fruit legitimizes your faith. Many talk about what they can do, but your fruit validates your ability to produce. Instead of putting your resume out and telling others what you can do, let the testimony of your fruit be your resume. Your fruit speaks more volumes about you than anything else. My advice is to stop bragging on yourself, and simply let your fruit legitimize your faith and abilities.