Saturday, May 26, 2007

Faith That Builds

Recently I have received requests for prayer by several who are going through some really tough times, especially with serious illness. It is heartbreaking to hear of how some have to suffer in this world. We have just completed our Sunday School lessons this quarter that was based on Tony Evans book "Life Essentials." The gist of the book is growing spiritually and maturing to the point where our faith is strong and able to withstand life's hard bumps in the road.

We need to know the basic essentials of what we believe in order to withstand life's troubles. We grow spirtually strong by growing in our knowledge of who our God is through his written Word, the Bible. We also grow through prayer, our communication with God and His Spirit communing with our spirit to direct us. Lastly and probably the greatest means of growth is our life experiences. As we see God work to get us through the small things of life, our faith grows little by little until we can trust God with the larger trials that may come along. Life on this earth will never be without trials. "In this world, you WILL have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

Trials are a means by which our faith shines the brightest. As we lean on God for strength, comfort, courage and boldness, He proves Himself faithful. Our faith grows as we see Him work to bring us through our trials victoriously. That doesn't mean that He erases the trial, or the consequences of some trials completely disappear. It means that His promise to never leave us or forsake us through the trial is constant and we can rest assured we are not alone!! We come out on the other side of the trial stronger with our faith deepened, and our resolve more solid.

Daniel, the prophet, is a great example of how faith grows and matures to the point of strong commitment no matter what the circumstance. As a young lad, great responsibility was placed upon him by the pagan authorities, and he fulfilled each responsibility with great aptitude and wisdom. As the authorities recognized his great skill, they placed more and more responsibility upon him. He came to the place as an older man that others wanted to destroy his reputation in the eyes of the king, so they made up lies about him. Daniel continued to obey and act upon his faith in the Lord to do what was right even though he was thrown into the lions' den, a place of sure immediate death. God was faithful to Daniel and his strong faith in Him. He protected him from harm throughout the whole ordeal and Daniel's faith never faltered or failed in the trustworthiness of his Almighty God.

We can have the faith of Daniel and be just as strong and mature in the knowledge of who God is for us as we go through hard times. God makes himself responsible to get us through the worst of times if we but surrender our all to him. "With God, nothing is impossible." If we know God in such an intimate, personal way, our faith will grow rock solid and nothing can penetrate it to destroy us--nothing! Faith is the opposite of fear, worry and doubt. You cannot have faith and doubt at the same time. Grow to know God in such a way that all fear, worry and doubt is wiped away from your life for good!

"And we know that all things work together for good to those that love the Lord.....if God is for us, who can be against us?"
Romans 8:28-31

Keep your faith strong!


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