Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"Journeys of Faith"

"Journeys Of Faith"                      
   Which is more important, to ask and trust the Lord for His provision, or to receive it?  The answer may surprise us.

   "Now faith is the substance of things hoped, the evidence of things not seen… the just shall live by faith" (Hebrews 11:1; Romans 1:17).   

   The writer of Hebrews reveals that in our present existence, faith is both "substance" and "evidence".  Without discounting or minimizing the blessedness of God's actions on our behalf, the more spiritually substantive aspect of our walk with Him involves His moving within our hearts to motivate our confidence.  "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23).  The challenge of walking with our Lord by faith offers to us the personal aspect of relationship with Him.  If God responded to all our prayers immediately with obvious answers, He would be little more than a bellhop whom we might tip, but with whom we would have no real fellowship.  Conversely, when life presents us with its needs, difficulties, and pains, and when we must trust the Lord with no outward evidence of His response, the challenges pave a pathway into the very heart of God.  We thereby discover who He is, as opposed to merely what He can do.  Faith becomes substance and evidence, the spiritually tangible reality of relationship with the Life of our lives.  As Job declared of the great challenge he experienced, and the greater glory he discovered therein, "I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee" (Job 42:5).

   There is nothing wrong with rejoicing when God answers our prayers and manifests His provision.  We raise our voices with the Psalmist on such blessed occasions: "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles" (Psalm 34:6).  However, we will one day look back on our earthly sojourn with the realization that the greater blessedness involved our journeys of faith.  We thereby most genuinely live because when we cannot see God's hand, we must trust His heart.  It is not an easy way, but it is the way.  Again, "the just shall live by faith."  Our Heavenly Father offers us much through Christ, and He faithfully delivers.  The greatest gift, however, is Himself.  Presently, His light shines most brilliantly in the darkness, revealing the wonder of His heart and the opportunity to know Him along the pathways of grace as known by faith.

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."
(Romans 5:1-5)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.
(Ephesians 1:3)

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