| What is Faith? Do you have it?|
Isa 30:20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: affliction: or, oppression
Isa 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
In verse 20 it states that the Lord has given the bread of adversity and the waters of affliction. This reminded me of the bread and water that prisoners used to get . Bread and water are synonymous with the basics. If one is on bread and water then they are in a bad place and barely surviving.
Maybe many of you feel like your on bread and water? Maybe you are barely surviving and just holding on? When one is in that place, all of a sudden life becomes very simple.
When there is nothing much going on in our lives there are many things that we fret about. We have the luxury of thinking about things that we would otherwise not . Small things become big things.We long for God to use us, and we can secretly be discontent. It is sad that when things are quiet and we should be doing nothing more than being joyful and thinking on Him, we seem to do the opposite. And it seems that we always live to regret it. Something happens and suddenly we long to be back in a time and place where life was just "normal."
Most of us are either living in and for the future, or living in the past. Everything we do is touched by our thoughts that have went before us or our fears and hopes for tomorrow. This living one day at a time seems so remote to so many of us.
We cannot change the past and we do not know how much future lies ahead of us. It seems pretty clear that God, if we know anything, is the God of the now. The past is gone and the future is yet to come but we know that we are here now. It is now that we should worship. It is now that we should walk in His presence. It is now that we should exercise grace. Most of us also take what has happened in the past and use that as a measuring stick as to what will happen in the future.
Yet we know that God stands outside of time and space in eternity. In timeless eternity there is no past or future, only the eternal now, the eternal reality of His presence.So, when we use the past as a measuring stick for the future, it is not an act of faith, it is an act of the intellect. God cannot be known by our intellect.
May the tyranny of time not be found amongst us. May its constant demand be set aside, yet to do that we will have to set aside our fears and insecurities. If we fail to live in the now, then when calamity or trial or test comes upon us, we have to scramble to come into that place with Him.
What if one of your children becomes very ill? What if one of your loved ones is diagnosed with cancer? All of a sudden, what seemed like a complicated life, suddenly becomes very simple, we now focus like a laser, on what really matters. Things that seemed important the day before, now are no longer afforded even a thought as we cry out to God for that which presses on our souls and that which has consumed us.
What a thousand excellent teachers and preachers could not convey, circumstances, affliction, adversity suddenly become our teachers and our perspective is quite dramatically brought into focus as we realize what is really important in life, and, by the same token, what is not.
It is true, according to the Scriptures that we can lie down in green pastures and rest besides the still waters even as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Even in dire times of life He will be with us and His Rod and His Staff will comfort us. And we will fear no evil for He will never leave us nor forsake us. And we know that the steps of a righteous man and woman are ordered of God and that even in the presence of our enemies, even in the very midst of our trials that He prepares a table before us and we can feast on His presence.
For He anoints us the Holy Spirit, and we are filled to overflowing. And because this happens in the darkest valleys of our lives, we can certainly know for sure that goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives, on the mountain tops and in the deepest valleys and no matter what, we shall dwell in the presence of the Lord forever more.
If, in these times, we follow our Lord Jesus and trust in Him, not because of our faith, but because circumstances have backed us into a corner where we have nothing to hold on to except what we hear from Jesus, we will hear these words "This is the way, walk in it." All of our idols, everything that seemed important, our money, our jobs,our stuff, all of a sudden start to fall away as chaff, and are blown away with the wind of the Spirit.
Then Isaiah, using the exact same illustration, says that He will give rain for your seed. What seed is he talking about? Well, Jesus told us that if we had faith, even the size of a mustard seed, then we could remove mountains. Jesus likens faith to a seed. Through the trials and adversities, as we hang onto Jesus, then faith is born.
The faith that we learn in these trials are then watered and the ground gives forth a supply of bread that is beyond imagination. These seeds can only be sown in the grounds of trial and adversity, this is the good ground, where clods are broken and the hard ground of our hearts open up to receive the seed of faith.
So, where once the bread and water represented adversity and affliction, those who endure and continue to lift Him up, even in the very midst of affliction, will themselves be lifted up out of their situation. No longer surviving on a meager ration of bread and water, but will thrive on every high hill where the waters now represent life and that more abundantly.
The light of Christ will now shine brightly through those who have patiently endured and walk with a quiet confidence, a confidence that comes from knowing that God is a God of His word. Trials and afflictions do not prove our faith, they prove that He is faithful . Our faith, the faith that pleases Him, is in knowing that and trusting in that.
These people begin to walk in victory, regardless of the season. They have walked through the heat of summer, where rivers have dried up and the humidity has sapped their soul, but they did not faint, they were weary and fell but they rose up again and kept on walking. They walked into the Fall of life, where their storehouses were filled.They have reaped an abundance from the harvest of seed sown in the adversities of life.
It has produced a bountiful supply of faith that will see them through even the darkest of times. They are sustained in the winter where all is frozen and there is no food supply, but they are prepared. And they know in their hearts, that this winter will come to pass, and that the rivers of life will swell as winter passes into Spring and life is all around them, bursting into splendor, to the Glory of Christ the King.
If you are in the place of trial and affliction, focus on Him, let the faith of necessity take a hold of you and change you and know that the bread that now threatens to choke you, and the waters that now threatens to overwhelm you will be turned around by the Lord and He will feed you like a king.And the waters will not overcome you but bring life to a dry and thirsty land where all things will blossom in the light of His mercy and Grace.
You will feed others with the comfort of faith, for you yourself witnessed that no matter what, He is faithful. You can be a witness to the Faithfulness of our Lord and master, that even when we were not faithful, He was.
2Th 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you and guard you from the evil.
2Ti 2:13 If we do not believe Him, yet He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering (for He is faithful who promised),
Heb 11:11 By faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged Him who had promised to be faithful.
1Pe 4:19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls in well-doing, as to a faithful Creator.
Rev 1:5 even from Jesus Christ the faithful Witness
Rev 19:11 And I saw Heaven opened. And behold, a white horse! And He sitting on him was called Faithful and True.
| 2008/4/22 20:44|
| Re: What is Faith? Do you have it?|
11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.
3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.
5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
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 comes by faith.
8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
11 By faith Abraham, even though he was past age-and Sarah herself was barren-was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country-a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.
23 By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict.
24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.
29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.
31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37 They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated- 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
[b]Faith has words, legs, arms and a heart. Faith is produced and stems directly from grace and mercy.[/b]
26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
[b]46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.[/b]
48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
| 2008/4/22 21:31|
My Faith is His Faith.
Galatians 2:16-21 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Phl 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Gal 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. Law
Is He come? Is the Faith of Him come?
Praise God, Yes and we are in Him by His Faith.
| 2008/4/23 0:45||Profile|