Archive for January 2017

The life of Faith [1]   Leave a comment

Faith is believing what you cannot see

Faith is believing what you cannot see

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” Hebrews 12:1

God has often been using water to test the faith of men. By faith, Peter walked on the sea, by faith Moses led the people of Israel through the Red Sea, by faith Naaman received his healing, by faith Noah built an ark to save himself and his family from the flood, by faith Elisha healed the waters of Jericho and by faith the blind man received his sight by washing himself at Siloam. The perfector of our faith, Jesus, used water to do supernatural things like changing water to wine, walking on the water and calming the sea. The challenges brought by the waters always resulted to miracles and growth to the life of faith.  When the people of Israel reached the Red Sea, they saw an obstacle but Moses saw the Red Sea as the way out. How many of us when we see the obstacle from far, we give up and refuse to make a step closer? Faith is what makes you get closer to the obstacle when people are laughing at you. The people of Israel had to reach the Red Sea for it to open.

This is what the Lord said to Moses: “And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it.  Ex. 14:15

C.Cowman said: “God does not open paths for us in advance of our coming. He does not promise help before help is needed. He does not remove obstacles out of our way before we reach them. Yet when we are on the edge of our need, God’s hand is stretched out. Many people forget this, and are forever worrying about difficulties which they foresee in the future. They expect that God is going to make the way plain and open before them, miles and miles ahead; whereas He has promised to do it only step by step as they may need. You must get to the waters and into their floods before you can claim the promise.”

While it is true that the Israelites went through the Red Sea on dry ground, God’s promises still stand when the ground will not be dry.

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up;the flames will not consume you.” Isa. 43:2

Even if the waters do not open when you’re “going through the rivers of difficulty”, be sure of this: You will not drown for the Lord thy God is with you!

When you pray, do it with faith.  If the answer still tarries, do not pray for it in such a way that it is evident that you do not believe that God can do what you’re asking for.

If you’re not sincerely expecting that God will answer your prayers, then you do not believe in God’s abilities.

Jesus said:

Then Jesus said to the disciples, Have faith in God.  I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too” Mark 11:22-27

Jesus clearly said that what we ask for will happen and not might happen.

In this verse Jesus implicitly mentioned 2 reasons why people do not receive:

  1. People do not really believe that God can do what they are asking. In other words, they doubt.
  2. If you hold a grudge against someone and do not forgive, then God also will not forgive you of your sins. God does not tolerate this attitude (See Parable of the Unforgiving debtor) .

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”    Heb. 11:6

It is useless to pray for something you do not believe God can do. These are the kind of prayers God will not answer.

James said:

 When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.for you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing….But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” James 1:3-6

Here James explicitly explained one reason why people do not receive:

If your faith is not in God alone, i.e. you’re relying also on your strength or finance then you’re taking up the glory that should be to God alone. Either God has whole control or you take your destiny in your own hand. God will not answer prayers when you’ve one foot in the water and one foot in the sand. You’ve to take a decision.

James also mentioned in chapter 4:

Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure…”

C.Cowman said:

“You will never learn faith in comfortable surroundings. God gives us the promises in a quiet hour; God seals our covenants with great and gracious words, then He steps back and waits to see how much we believe; then He lets the tempter come, and the test seems to contradict all that He has spoken. It is then that faith wins its crown. That is the time to look up through the storm, and among the trembling, frightened seamen cry, “I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me.”

If God does not do the miracles of opening the waters before you or lead you to walk on the waters, remember that you’ll reach the shore safely. God is not limited in solutions, if He was able to transport disobedient Jonah to Niniveh through a big fish, what can’t He do to bring you safely to shore? Hebrews 11 tells us that all the men commended by God had something in common – faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God and the righteous shall live by faith.  How can you run with endurance the life of faith? Hebrews 12 says: We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus.

Whether we live by faith or not, the trials will be over. There will be joy if we persevere in our faith during the trial but regrets if we refuse to surrender and trust God. Living by faith is a decision that one takes because He knows God.

Posted January 7, 2017 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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