Archives for posts with tag: Faith

Click on the website below. This blessed me beyond measure. Hope it blesses you too.

 

http://www.godvine.com/10-Year-Old-Boy-with-Autism-Sings-Open-the-Eyes-of-My-Heart-1041.html

 

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While pain is always pain and by very definition hurts, I am so glad that there is no road so painful that God won’t walk it with me. One of my favorite passages is Psalm 139. Of course, I love the standard, (vs. 13), “For you formed my inward parts; You wove me in mother’s womb.”, but my favorite part of the passage is one I feel is overlooked.

Psalm 139: 7-12 says, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Youar e there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night, ” Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.”

I, for one, am so grateful that God can see through the darkness. As strange as it sounds, going through what is now my second miscarriage, is less daunting because I know the God of the universe is in complete control. Perhaps it is my personality, but I can’t help but look at how things could be worse. Maybe God is sparing me some future pain, perhaps the loss of the child in my womb is actually sparing the child of something, who knows? Only God. I have come to the hard conclusion that I would rather never know my babies than to birth them and have them never know Jesus. To lose a child to this world is a pain I hope and pray that I never have to bare. That might not make sense to some, but I assure you that living without Jesus isn’t living at all. I know, because I’ve done it. I take great comfort in knowing that when I leave this world, the children I’ve never known in this life, will be standing beside Jesus waiting to meet and greet me when I get to my eternal home.

 

This is by far one of my favorite songs. It reminds me of the amazingness of God’s grace and forgiveness. Praise God that I don’t have to be enough to be a child of God. He loves me just the way that I am, but loves me too much to leave me that way. We never have to be enough with God, because Jesus was Enough for us.

My past is kept in little boxes that I take out from time to time.

Ribbons and bows wrapping them up do little to show what’s inside.

You’d never know the valleys I’ve seen or the mountains I’ve had to climb.

I’ve been in the valley, buried in mud and nearly drowned in the waves of a storm.

Lightning has struck, my heart frozen through and my soul been numb to the core.

You’d think with all of the life that I lived the boxes would be tattered and worn.

Some time ago, they were as you’d think and nothing I wanted to store.

But God had a plan, He is wiser than I and took those things off the shelf.

He covered them up with His grace and His mercy and threw them to the Sea of No More.

“Seeing isn’t believing. Believing is seeing.” ~ Judy the elf from The Santa Clause movie.

Hopefully, I don’t lose credibility for quoting a children’s Christmas movie, but this line has always been one of my favorites and has always stuck with me since I first saw the movie. That is the perfect definition of faith. Granted, she was talking about faith in believing in Santa, but I am going to use it as it relates to faith in God.

1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. 2Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.

3 By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.” Hebrews 11: 1-3

Whether you believe in evolution or creation, you are believing it in faith. The same science that one might use to defend evolution is the same science that affirms to me that we are here by Intelligent Design. Even the mathematics of it all swing to the favor of a Creator God. Personally, I believe that it takes more faith to believe in evolution and that we are here by accident than it does to believe that there is a God who sculpted and formed every being on earth with the care, passion and finesse of the Greatest Master Artist.

The kind of faith I want to talk about is the beyond the faith in Christ and salvation. It’s the faith that we as Christians live day in and day out. The faith I’m talking about is the faith that God is always working on our behalf, for our good, our betterment and His glory. That doesn’t mean that things are always perfect in our lives – far from it. What I am talking about is seeing through the fog of our circumstances both good and bad and knowing that no matter what the outcome, whether we like it or not, whether or not it is the outcome we desire, that God is doing a great work and that His way is best.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes that is hard. I am definitely a ‘glass half-full’ person. However, just because I am an optimist doesn’t mean that sometimes I don’t find it difficult to be positive, because I certainly do. There are so many things in my past and even in my presence that I have failed and still fail to believe and have faith that God will provide. Despite the countless examples of God’s incredible faithfulness in my life, so often I find myself back in the wilderness of doubt, fear, anxiety and despair.

1Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also (A)lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us (B)run with (C)endurance the race that is set before us,

2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the (D)author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him (E)endured the cross, (F)despising the shame, and has (G)sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3For (H)consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary (I)and lose heart.”

Hebrews 12: 1-3

Our gaze has to be eternal. Every day faith is simply believing that God is in fact working on our behalf. It’s believing that God will provide the house you hope to have someday, the place to stay when the bank has foreclosed, the baby that you desire to have, the strength to make it through a rough day, week or year. Faith is also believing that should God choose not to provide one or any of those things that He will grant you the grace to accept that His answer just might be no. That isn’t to say that we shouldn’t wait in great expectation for God. God can and does and will continue to do great things. Faith is simply believing and desiring God’s Best rather than our own will and way.

Trust me, it isn’t easy and it never will be, but that is just where faith steps in.

As Easter Sunday draws near and we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, I can’t help but wonder and think back about all the days leading up to the moment that Jesus sacrificially died on the cross and then redemptively rose again. So what happened today some 2,000 years ago. What were Jesus thoughts and words? Well, we don’t know them all, but this is one small portion of what we do know about that day:

Matthew 21: 18-22

18   Now in the morning, when He was returning to the city, He became hungry.

19   Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He said to it, “No longer shall there be any fruit from you.” And at once the fig tree withered.

20  Seeing this, the disciples were amazed and asked, “How did the fig tree wither all at once?”

21  And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen.

22  And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.

For me personally, I tend to get hung up on verse 22. Why? Well, because I’m human. I always think of how great it sounds that if I just ask and believe that I will receive it. God will be like my own personal genie in a bottle.

Yeah, you see it too. PROBLEM!!! The biggest is that by isolating that one verse out of that passage I am completely missing the point. God is also not some genie in a bottle waiting around to do my bidding. If prayer happened in such a way that everything I asked of God were given to me EXACTLY how I asked for it then that would make me god not Him.

I know that by saying that it might seem as though I am contradicting Scripture, but I assure you I am not. The whole point of this passage is faith. Of course, I need to ask things in prayer and believe that God will grant it, but it’s so much more than that. I also need to be sure that I am praying in line with the Word and Will of God. I believe that there is no problem, sin, person or circumstance in my life that God isn’t bigger than. He can move any mountain in my life whenever He pleases, but the fact is how am I praying?

So often when I pray and ask God for things, I am asking Him for things that are self-serving. Prayer isn’t like a Christmas list or at least it shouldn’t be. Often times, our prayer shouldn’t be about what we want God to do about it, but more about how He wants us to be through it. By asking God for strength, wisdom and perseverance He will help us to be a fruitful tree. His point was not only about moving mountains and faith, but it was also about that tree.

To wither fig trees – rid ourselves of the useless in our lives- and move mountains – overcome the people and problems that are against us – we need to have a heart that is sensitive and leaned towards the things of God. We need to ask and believe knowing that God is faithful and will give us the strength to overcome those things. God is a God of fulfilled promises. Faith requires that we believe even when we can’t see or ‘feel’ that God is with us – because He is.