Tag

faith

If we knew what was going to happen, we would not need faith. We could plan for tomorrow and the next day and the next with confidence. But only God knows what tomorrow will bring into our lives. So, we need faith.

Faith enables us to live courageously, live life with confidence, and know that with God beside us, His Son within us, and the Holy Spirit to empower us, we can be filled with confidence and assurance that God will guide us and guard us.

Unfortunately, not all Christians walk by faith. Some squeak through life by sight. But, the two principles of action are exclusive of each other and contradictory.

One is sight. Sight is concerned with things that are material and visible. The other is faith. Faith is concerned with things that are invisible and spiritual. Each principle struggles to master the other. Christians must choose which one will be their master.

 If we walk by sight, we will encounter many things that will cause us to be filled with fear and frighten us. We see this in the lives of the people of Israel. When they left Israel, they were followed by the greatest army who had the best fighters in all of Egypt.

When they came to the Red Sea and saw the enemy about to destroy them, they were frightened. But despite their lack of faith, the Lord saved them. He caused the sea to divide and provided a dry road for their escape. God can and did great things for them.

“Then,” states the Psalmist, “they believed His words.” When? After they saw His miracle. They didn't need to experience such despair and the fear of destruction. Their lack of faith in His presence and power caused them to doubt His promises. God is constantly doing the impossible for us even when our faith is weak. Trust in His greatness.

PrayerThank you Lord for doing the impossible for us. Help us to take You at Your Word and trust in You to always protect us. Please increase our faith. Help us to believe in You for all things. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Then they believed his promises. Then they sang his praise. Psalm 106:12 

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Fear often leads to defeat and disaster. It is a friend of inertia and instability. It supports dependency and will keep the most competent individual from taking the first step to achieve a lifelong goal. Fear is real, and many will allow it to stifle and suffocate their dreams.
What, then, is there to replace fear? Is it education? Could it be moving from one address to another? Might it be new friends? Can a different job or title replace a lack of self-confidence? Do our self-imposed limits cause our inner-being to retreat? Is there a defense for fear?
A king was being pursued by his enemies. He was weak, but they were strong. He stood by himself, and their numbers were staggering. But, he had something, one thing that they did not have: Faith. It was the part of the equation that made the difference.
Listen to him describe his situation: “Though an army besieges me, my heart will not fear; though war breaks out against me, even then will I be confident.” Faith calls upon Him who is invisible to accomplish things that are visible for us, through us and with us. Faith will turn horrible situations into outstanding conditions.
Confronted by overwhelming odds, David prayed, “Do not turn me over to my enemies.” He knew that his life was in God’s hands and that God could do with him as He pleased. But, he did not lose faith in God. His trust was absolute. And in his darkest moment, his confidence shone brilliantly: “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart.” Anyone who trusts in Him, will always win.
Prayer: Lord, as we wait for Your strength, guard us; do not let fear control us or the size of the enemy defeat us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Psalm 27:3 Though an army besieges me, my heart will not fear; though war breaks out against me, even then will I be confident. 
“Life is Good” are the words beneath a happy face on a T-shirt. The moon-shaped circle with two slashes and a curvy mouth always seem to remind us of the importance of having fun and locking up moments of pleasure. We want to believe that “Life is Good!”
But is it? And when it isn’t, what are we to do?
Imagine a day that begins with a beautiful sunrise and soon after breakfast dark clouds filled with dreadful news bring some of life’s realities into sharp focus. Imagine a conversation with God that goes something like this: “You know, God, I do trust You and believe that You are concerned about me but that phone call informed me that I lost my job.” Or “My daughter has just confessed to being addicted to crack cocaine.” Or “My son got his girlfriend pregnant and they are juniors in high school.” Or “God my spouse left me for someone else!” Life happens. It did to David. It does to us.
God was David’s “rock,” his “strong fortress” and his “refuge.” Suddenly, life changed. He was “afflicted,” in “anguish” and about to be “ensnared by a trap that was set” for him by his friends. His “eyes and bones were weak,” he was a “dread to his friends” and his “name was being slandered.” Where’s your God, David?
Give up? No. He challenged the goodness of God and reminded Him that “I trust in You, O Lord. You are my God. Deliver me!” And God did. David challenges us to “Love the Lord because the Lord preserves the faithful. Be strong, take heart, and hope in the Lord!”
Prayer: Lord, give us a faith to exceed the obstacles of life that challenge Your goodness, greatness and grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 31:14 But I trust in you, LORD; I say, “You are my God.” 
Walking in “paths of righteousness” does not protect us from the “valleys” of life, but we can be sure that the Lord Himself is with us and will protect us. Though we may be surrounded by what may seem to be the ultimate darkness brought about by evil, we can rest in confidence because we know that God’s presence guarantees His protection.
“Your rod and your staff, they comfort me,” wrote David. These two powerful words, rod and staff were not meaningless words – but words that describe the ways that the shepherds guarded and protected their sheep.
The rod was used by shepherds to beat away any external enemy that might harm his sheep. The “crooked” staff was used by shepherds to snatch his sheep from getting in harm’s way. So, here we have a picture of how our Shepherd watches over us. He guards us from any external enemy that would attack, defeat or destroy us. He makes certain that they will not come near us nor harm us because His arm is around us. Nor will he allow internal enemies – thoughts or ideas – that would cause us to doubt His love, mercy, grace or salvation to destroy the peace His presence brings us.
Our Shepherd’s rod and staff summarize His role and describe the ways He will care for us if we allow Him. And when we allow Him to become our Shepherd we can say with David, “I will walk through valleys and fear no evil! They will not overcome me.”
Prayer: Lord, give us faith to believe in the facts of Your Word that in Your strength we need fear no evil. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
A group of men was preparing to climb Mount Everest. As the final pieces of their plan fell into place, a psychologist asked if he could interview them. They agreed and he met with them at their camp.
He looked at each one very carefully. Then, after a moment of reflection he asked, “Tell me, will you get to the top?”
The first answered, “I certainly hope so.” The second responded, “I’ll do my best.” The third, “I’m going to give it all I’ve got.” And the fourth said, “Yes, I will.” And he did – and he was the only one!
Our body can achieve what our hearts believe and our hearts believe what comes from our minds. A lack of faith enlarges our fears and turns them into facts. The shadows that our minds create become so dreadful that we are afraid to face them. Our worries eventually become walls that we cannot climb over or around.
Often when we are asked to do “something” for the Lord our minds create fears that are not based on facts or shadows that have no substance or windows of opportunity that become walls without ends.
Isaiah the Prophet boldly declared, “See, God has come to save me, I will trust in Him and not be afraid! The Lord God is my strength and my song, he has become my salvation!” 
If we truly trust God, all things are possible.

Prayer: Lord, in Your grace You bring so many opportunities and challenges into our lives that allow us to honor You. Help us to trust in You and be victorious. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid;‘ For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’”
A well-recognized inventor called his closest friends together to unveil the new electric motor he had just finished. He stood in front of the group with his new product displayed on an elegant black velvet tablecloth highlighted by a spot light.
“Gentlemen,” he said in a voice that exposed his pride, “this is my most recent invention – a newly designed electric motor. What do you think of it?”
“Put it to work,” said one of the engineers, “I can’t tell a thing about it until I see it in action.”
If we say that we are Christ’s disciples then others will recognize us as His disciples when they see us “in action.” In writing to the Ephesians, Paul said that we are to be “careful how you live...Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Do not act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what God wants you to do.”
When Paul referred to “these evil days” he was emphasizing the urgency of presenting the Gospel message. Then, as now, “evil” has penetrated society in such a powerful manner that it is difficult to see good or goodness in the way so many Christians behave. What was once avoided as “unbecoming for Christians” has now become accepted as appropriate by many who consider themselves as His disciples.
As the engineer said, “Put it” (our faith) “to work.”
Prayer: Help us, Heavenly Father, to be aware of our witness in this world and to “understand” how we ought to live as Your disciples in this fallen, sin-filled world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Ephesians 5:15-20 Be very careful, then, how you live…be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Danny was kneeling next to his bed saying his prayers. Hands folded, eyes shut, his mother heard him praying: “Lord, my brother still doesn’t have a job and he sure needs one. And my sister, Ruth, she hasn’t had a date for a long time and she’s getting pretty old. And you know about Mon – she’s no better and may have to go back to the hospital. And Dad hasn’t gotten the promotion his boss promised him. You know, God, I’m really getting tired of praying for my family and not getting any results. Have you quit listening to me?”
Ever feel like Danny? No doubt most of us have.
Thank God for John’s insight: “And we can be confident that He will listen to us whenever we ask Him for anything in line with His will. And if we know He is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that He will give us what we ask for.”
John’s emphasis here is on God’s will – not our wants. And there is a dramatic difference between the two. Too often when we take our requests to the Lord they do not fit His will for our lives. We ask selfishly and do not take into consideration how what we want may differ from what we need to be and what He has designed for us to do. We need to align our requests with His will. The ultimate test of any prayer is: Lord, give me this for Your sake in Your name for Your will.
Prayer: Lord, help us to understand how to pray and what to pray for. May we accept the delays knowing that Your will is much better than our wants. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 2 Corinthians 9:7 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
SLIPPERY ROADS
Driving through a fierce snow storm Greg lost control of his car and it slipped into a deep ditch. A truck stopped and the driver got out and surveyed the situation. After a few moments he yelled at Greg and said, “Hey, you, let me tell you how to drive on slippery roads.”
“Forget it!” said Greg. “I don’t need advice, I need help.”
David knew what it was to need help. On one occasion he cried out, “I entrust my spirit into your hand. Rescue me, Lord, for You are a faithful God.”
David demonstrated his complete faith in God when he proclaimed these words. And Jesus, when He was dying on the cross, showed His absolute confidence in God when He uttered this same phrase. And Stephen repeated these identical words when he was being stoned to death, confidently expressing his Hope in God as he was passing into eternity.
How blest we are to be able to join David, Jesus and Stephen in knowing that we can say with no hesitation, “I entrust my spirit into your hand, Lord.” It does not matter what we have or what we do, whether we live alone or have large families, whether we manage great corporations or work alone and unnoticed. We have the same opportunity as they did to entrust ourselves and all that we have or ever will have to Him.
Prayer: How grateful we are, Heavenly Father, to know that we can – if we choose – trust You to care for and be with us in and through all the dangers of life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 31 …Into your hand I entrust my life; you will rescue me, O LORD, the faithful God…
One warm summer day a snail began climbing an apple tree. As he moved upward he heard a voice calling, “There’s no reason for you to climb this tree. There are no apples up there.” Looking around he saw a worm basking in the warmth of the sun.
Returning his attention to the task before him, the snail shouted back, “There will be when I get up there.”
A great example of positive thinking was Noah. If you recall, “God warned him about something that had never happened before…and by faith…he built an ark to save his family.” 
Perhaps no one in history experienced more ridicule and rejection for being different from his neighbors than Noah. God commanded him to build a huge boat in the middle of dry land. This certainly made no sense to him when he got his instructions from God. But it didn’t matter. He did what he was asked to do. And although his behavior seemed strange to his neighbors, it made no difference to him. Being obedient to God with what mattered. 
God often asks Christians to do things that seem strange to those who do not know Him. So, our being obedient to God often makes what we do look odd, perhaps even weird, to those who do not know the Lord. But remember, whenever God asks us to do something He also gives us the courage to overcome the skeptics and succeed.
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to keep our eyes on You and on what You call us to do. Give us faith and persistence to do what You call us to do and never waver. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Hebrews 11:7  By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
Shortly after a new nightclub was opened near a church, the members decided to call an all night prayer meeting. While they were praying a powerful thunderstorm engulfed the city and lightning struck the club and burned it to the ground.
The owner became angry and decided to sue the church. At the hearing, however, the church denied any and all responsibility for the destruction of the club.
Confused, the judge exclaimed, “I’m not sure where the guilt may lie. On one hand the nightclub owner believes in prayer but the members of the church don’t.”
On one occasion when Jesus was teaching His followers and disciples about eternal life someone asked, “But who can be saved?” He replied, “Humanly speaking, it is something man cannot do. But with God, all things are possible.”
Prayer is asking and receiving. It is not hoping or wishing or wondering. It is receiving. Yet, it is not unusual for Christians to be amazed, even surprised, when God answers a prayer that exceeds their faith. How interesting.
Perhaps that’s why Jesus made that statement when talking about salvation. Consider this: if God can redeem us from our sinful state and grant us eternal life, can He not do anything we ask in His name and for His glory?
Prayer: Help us, Father, to have a faith that is bigger than our problems, stronger than the attacks of Satan and larger than any doubt that would ever defeat us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Mark 10:27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
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