By Faith, Not Foolishness!

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is the what the ancients were commended for. 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.” (Hebrews 11:1-3 NIV)

Many people have varying opinions about what faith is and how it should operate in our lives, but this particular passage of scripture reminds us how God defines faith. Having faith is being confident about those things we hope to see and the assurance about what we do not see.

By faith, we sit on chairs we did not see built, expecting them to support us without collapsing.

By faith, we live in our houses made from the wood of trees we did not grow and most of us–unless we built from the ground up–did not see the framework built, the foundation poured, or the roof installed, yet we expect the house to withstand the elements and we rest with assurance that it will keep us safe–every time we go to sleep.

By faith, we eat food in restaurants we did not cook, expecting not to become ill and the food will nourish us.

By faith, we walk outside expecting to breathe in oxygen, even though we cannot see it–we never challenge it is there.

By faith, we start up cars–expecting them to get us from one point to the other and we have no idea whether the car was built correctly or even if those responsible for inspecting the finished product, even knew how to do their jobs. We keep buying cars and driving them with assurance–until there is a mechanical problem.

By faith, we buy produce and other products from supermarkets–expecting them to be good even though we did not have a hand in growing anything or manufacturing anything we purchase.

By faith, we bring children into an uncertain world–confident that we will see them survive and thrive beyond the uncertainties and we do what we can–without being able to see into the future–to make sure they have a good life.

By faith, we teach our children to be careful when crossing streets, confident that when we have taught them, they will not foolishly walk in front of moving traffic.

By faith, when we know that all the utilities have been paid, we turn on water and light switches without checking to see if the pipes and wires are working. We simply expect them to be.

There are so many things we do by faith (not feelings–for feelings are fickle) without even thing about it, but when it comes to the things of God–our faith–confidence in Him–wavers because we listen to the naysayers and doubt.

Jesus said, “When we pray, we must believe we receive” that for which we have asked so if we have received, why ask for it again? Faith–to receive what we have asked for is demonstrated in our thanksgiving until it manifests itself–not in constantly asking for the same thing.

On the other hand, those who deliberately do dumb things and expect God to save them are not acting in faith, but foolishly. We can expect God to save us from situations we did not create or know about, but to do things foolishly in anticipation of Him being a magician–is foolish.

Now–is the time–we must have faith in God with complete confidence that all He has promised–He will provide and all we have to do is–believe it will come to pass.

Why Faith in God? Part 1

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 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.” (Hebrews 11:1,6 NIV)

Many people have hope in many things–people, things, animals, but for those of us who have hope in God, total confidence and assurance that He is and will do, our hope is not in vain. We know that without faith–the total assurance and confidence that He is and will do, we cannot possibly please Him.  If we don’t please Him, why would we expect Him to do anything for us?

If a parent consistently tells a child they will do something for the child and never does it—sooner or later that child will stop believing the parent and nothing they say will matter. This is a loss of hope and confidence. But for the parent who consistently does what they say they will do–reward or punish–that child develops complete confidence in the parent–knowing they will either be rewarded or punished. If we can believe this analogy about our natural parents, why can’t we believe it about God?

I have come to the conclusion that many people distrust God because they believe He has failed them in some way or another. The evidence for this conclusion is clear–when God is blamed for all the things in the world that go wrong or people feel He has not answered their prayers, they can angry with God, doubt His existence and then try to convince others that God does not care.

The answer to prayers are sometimes not evident because people “pray amiss,” praying for things instead of direction and wisdom, praying for God to hurt others. When we pray, we must pray–according to The Word–believe we receive, and we shall have what we pray for. However, since God knows so much than we do, when prayers have been answered, some may not recognize it. For instance–prayers for healing can manifest in a number of ways. A person’s body can be totally healed if that is God’s plan for them (because He knows the future), or healing can come in the form of death–the person suffering no longer suffers.

Sometimes, people don’t recognize that if a person is destined to prolonged suffering, death really is the answer to prayer for those who understand how God works. When my mother was dying of cancer, she had lost all muscle control, could not eat or swallow. I prayed for God to take His child home and He did the very next morning. I was holding her hand when she made the transition. As much I loved my mother, I didn’t want her to suffer.

When I pray, since my abilities are limited, I pray for Holy Spirit to interact with people and for hearts to be willing to hear. I pray for wisdom and guidance and when a situation is really serious, I connect with prayer warriors to be in agreement with solution. No matter how God responds, I believe He will answer every prayer.

Part 2 tomorrow

He Will Take Care Of Us!

“Give your burdens to the LORD,
and he will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” (Psalm 55:22 NLT)
 

He will take care of us when we allow Him to do so. How do we know? Do we believe His Word?

Whatever is burdening us down–sickness, disease, mental oppression and depression, apathy, financial insecurity, feelings of loneliness or being unloved–whatever it is–we must learn to give it all to Him and He will take care of us!

The biggest obstacle in our lives in receiving all that God has for us–is us! As long as we think we can “do everything on our own” without His guidance, we will be burdened with those things that we do not have to hold onto. His love and compassion, grace and mercy are more than enough to handle whatever problems we think we have. We must develop uncompromising faith in Him to know that He will do all He says He will do.

Father, in the name of Jesus, we willingly give all of our burdens to You this day. We acknowledge that we can do nothing without You and we know that Your Word is true and everything You say You’ll do, You will do because You are not a man who should lie. Help us to develop the kind of trust and faith in You that we know we have nothing to fear or to worry about with You handling all of our affairs. Now, help us to hear You and immediately obey so we can have all of the many benefits that You have in store for us. 

We give You our finances, our health, our children, our spouses, our loved ones, our concerns about worldly affairs and peace, and anything else that would keep us from being distracted and our focus off You. Thank You, Lord, for hearing and responding to every one of our needs as only You can, to Your glory. Amen!