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Posts Tagged ‘Hebrews 11:1’

The Truth About Trust

October 28th, 2015

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Proverbs 3:5 NIV.

Trust rests securely on God’s history of trustworthiness.

My thoughts and comments today are about “the truth about trust.”

There are times when trust is not easy for us, especially in bewildering circumstances when trust is absolutely required. Trust is essential. Trust is integral to the relationship between government and the governed, business dealings, personal relationships, successful marriages, healthy families, and your relationship with God. Trust is more about substance than supposition, more about faith than feelings, more volitional than emotional.

The Apostle Paul considered trust as fundamental, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NIV. Isn’t that what you desire? Every person yearns to be filled with joy and peace, while overflowing with hope. From the Scripture, the Source and process are clear. You experience those only, “. . as you trust in [the God of hope].”

Trust rests securely on God’s history of trustworthiness. God has been, is, and will forever remain absolutely trustworthy, “the same yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 NKJV. Trust provided the foundation for Paul’s confession of God’s nature and conviction of the truth of His Word. “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” 2 Timothy 1:12 NKJV. Read Romans 8:37-39 NKJV.

Without trust, faith is more imagined than real. Trust is the foundation for faith and, “faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen.” Hebrews 11:1 NKJV. With trust, it is all or nothing. By definition, trust that is conditional or partial includes a mixture of distrust. Solomon’s counsel is this: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV. In these Bible verses, I notice three practical truths about trust.

(1) There are two non-negotiables about trust. Be wholehearted in your trust of God, and make God your first and foremost consideration in everything you do, either great or small. Biblically, the Hebrew concept of trust means, “to lean one’s whole weight upon something in order to rest upon it and be strengthened by it.” Or more simply stated, trust is, “to rely entirely.” That is the truth about trust.

(2) There is one temptation you must avoid in all instances and at all costs. “I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.” Jeremiah 10:23 NIV. Refuse every enticement to trust yourself or others above and before God. There must be an entirety and exclusivity about trust. That is the truth about trust.

(3) Trust holds a glorious promise from God. Trust straightens the unforeseen twists and turns of life’s journey. “Trust in the Lord . . Delight yourself in the Lord . . Commit your way to the Lord . . Rest in the Lord.” Read Psalms 37:3-8 NKJV. That is the truth about trust.

Today, I pray for you to find God trustworthy in all things at all times.

EDL TRUST father and son

 

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Biblical Faith

July 22nd, 2015

“Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6 NIV.

Biblical faith is central and requisite to the Christian life.

My thoughts and comments today are about “Biblical faith.”

Life is difficult without a healthy measure of faith. Faith is natural unless compromised by opinions and circumstances. Disappointing experiences, damaged trust, and resultant doubts are usually the product of insincere promises or insufficient abilities to fulfill promises made. Yet your Christian life is completely dependent on faith. Paul reminded the Corinthian believers, “We walk by faith not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7.

Your life in Christ begins with the gift of faith, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9. Your spiritual life grows by faith’s increase, “. . if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the Gospel which you heard.” Colossians 1:22. Faith sustains you during and at the end of your journey, as faith did for “those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6:11-12.

And how is this journey of faith successfully accomplished? It’s simple really. “Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith . .” Hebrews 12:2. Faith is neither something you create of yourself nor can you sustain apart from Jesus, alive in your heart. “God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3 NKJV. “Faith is not a mere sterile, intellectual belief, but it is that which confirms the heart, clarifies the mind, and controls the affections.” (Barnes’ Notes).

(1) Biblical faith is central and requisite to every aspect of the Christian life. Citing the example of Enoch, “as one who pleased God,” the Bible says, “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 11:5-6 NIV. Faith is essential, not optional. Biblical faith is described best in Hebrews 11:1.

(2) Biblical faith is: “the substance of things hoped for.” English lacks the breadth and richness of the original Greek text, in which the New Testament was primarily written. As used in this verse, “Substance” is closest to our word, “foundation, that which stands underneath to provide support.” Biblical hope is not at all wishful thinking; it is a spiritual reality established upon the solid rock of God’s Word. Read Matthew 7:24-27. The “things hoped for” are as certain as the singular character, absolute authority, and unchanging reliability of God. If God said it, I believe it. And that settles it. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing [comes] by the Word of God.” Read Romans 10:17.

(3) Biblical faith is: “the evidence of things not seen.” As used in this verse, “Evidence” is “the irrefutable proof and unchangeable conviction.” The “things not [yet] seen” are envisioned in one’s heart and accompanied by unshakable conviction of their certainty. Read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV. Abraham is a great example of this principle. Read Romans 4:19-21 NIV. You don’t choose what you believe; you choose who you believe and that determines what you believe. Jesus said, “Have faith in God.” See Matthew 11:22-24. I believe God.

Jesus used the example of a tiny mustard seed to encourage faith and demonstrate its power, “the smallest seed, when planted it grows and becomes the largest of plants . . if you have faith as small as a mustard seed . . nothing will be impossible for you.” Read Mark 4:31 and Matthew 17:20 NIV.

Today, I pray for you that your faith grows strong and rests fully upon God and His Word.

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Simple Faith

March 17th, 2014

“Your faith and hope can be placed confidently in God.” 1 Peter 1:21 NLT.

The truest expression of your faith is obedience.

My thoughts and comments today are about “simple faith.”

By some, faith is considered intangible, maybe less than real somehow. According to the Bible, faith is tangible, and very real. It touches God; it releases God’s power to accomplish what He wills to do. Real faith is simple, not complicated. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 NKJV.  Substance and evidence are tangible. And those are what faith produces. Jesus observed of some, “You have little faith,” and asked others, “Where is your faith?” Matthew 8:26/Luke 8:25. Faith is essential for God to work as He wills.

God looks for faith where He desires to work powerfully. It is not a question of whether or not you have faith. “God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” Romans 12:33 NASB. Everyone has and expresses faith daily in the most ordinary and common ways. The issue is, do you have faith in God and His Word? Peter, who had a few struggles of his own, later wrote, “Through Christ, you have come to trust in God. And because God raised Christ from the dead . . your faith and hope can be placed confidently in God.” 1 Peter 1:21 NLT. Faith is confidently placed upon the truth and power of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. If your faith is placed in someone or something that can change, your faith is misplaced and will fail. Your assurance can be that, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”  Hebrews 13:8 NIV.

Jesus warned people who build their life “on sand” the instability of opinions that change, easily affected by circumstances. Read Matthew 7:24-27 NIV. The result is disastrous, leaving in shambles everything that person works to achieve. Jesus compared that to hearing the Word of God, but not building your life upon its sure and strong foundation. The Bible teaches, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing [comes] by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17 NKJV. Be diligent; give time each day for God’s Word. It is essential to a living and growing faith.

You have faith; God has given you faith. Trusting God does not take a lot of faith, just all the faith you have. “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed . . nothing will be impossible for you” Matthew 17:20 NIV. See also Matthew 13:31-32 NIV. Your faith can lay dormant and unused, or can be active and applied. You choose. Real faith is believing that in any situation God will do what He said He would do when you rest all your faith in His character and Word.

Obedience is the truest expression of your faith. “[Abraham] was trusting God so much that he was willing to do whatever God told him to do. His faith was made complete by what he did – by his actions.” James 2:22 NLT. Obedience, to simply do what God says, is the simple expression of faith. Faith cannot be described more clear or sure than this, “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4-5 NIV.

My prayer for you today is that God finds confident faith in your heart.

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Sincere Faith

June 18th, 2013

“Your faith has made you whole.” Luke 17:19 NKJV.

Faith in God changes what now is and shapes what will be.

My thoughts and comments today are about “sincere faith.”

Faith is not complicated until you make it so. Life requires faith. Faith is simply the capacity to believe in something that you have not yet seen and may not yet understand or be able to explain.“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 NKJV. You evidence a measure of faith in the most natural way every day.

I am typing on a wireless keyboard but have faith that when I do so it will accurately convey my typed thoughts expressed in words to the screen in front of me, storing them in memory by processes I neither understand nor could explain. When finished, I will copy these comments into a mailing program that will send it to readers in varying locations nationally and internationally, in just a matter of seconds. I fully expect that to happen. That is faith.

You have faith in people, even though you are occasionally disappointed by some. I would rather have faith and be disappointed occasionally than not to have faith in anyone any time. You have faith in a person you have never met when you give your credit card numbers for a purchase over the phone or Internet. You have faith every time you sit in a chair, never considering if it will safely support you, faith every time you mail an insurance check that the financially safety you paid for will be provided as mutually agreed.

Faith for some people seems to become mysterious and questionable only when God asks you to have faith in Him. Yet, faith is essential. Jesus said, “According to your faith, let it be to you . . [who] does not doubt in his heart . . without faith it is impossible to please God.” Matthew 9:29/Mark 11:23/Hebrews 11:6.

Jesus encountered ten lepers; all were healed; one was pronounced whole. Read Luke 17:12-19 NKJV. It could be that all were healed by Jesus’ power, but to the one who returned to give thanks Jesus said, “Your faith has made you whole.” Luke 17:19 NKJV. I would suggest that as wonderful as it is, healing is less than it could be until it results in wholeness and somehow, by a process I cannot explain, the wholeness he experienced was born out of the genuineness of his faith.

Faith is not something you think. Faith is something you do. A leper had to appear before a priest to be pronounced clean of this dreaded and destructive disease. The Bible says, “As they went [to show themselves to the priest], they were cleansed.” Real faith has to be “walked out.” You don’t think it; you do it! Walk steadfastly in your faith, grounded in the established Word of God and your assurance of His character. You never know which step of faith ultimately releases the victory already given in Heaven into the very real, practical arena of your everyday life.

Keep walking in faith and watching for victory. Faith in God is powerful, changing what now is and shaping what will be. Make sure that thanksgiving and praise accompany your walk of faith.

My prayer for you today is that your faith be simple and sincere.

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