Friday, April 22, 2016

Because you've gotta have FAITH!

Hello Friday!

Well I am returning with some of my famous artwork again! Please forgive me now haha!

I opened to Hebrews last night and found myself diving into Hebrews 11. This was all about great examples of faith.  First lets define faith: Faith is the conviction based on past experience that God's new and fresh surprises will be ours. Complete trust or confidence. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.
Do you remember when you were little and you were so anxious and excited as your birthday approached? You were sure you'd receive gifts and maybe other special treats, but some things were going to be a surprise. It combined assurance and anticipation. This is exactly what we experience with faith. Of course as you get older it seems our birthdays get a tad more boring lol, but it's all in what you make it! As we get older our faith becomes more vast. We are pushed in ways we never even knew of when we were little. This is why it becomes so pivotal in being able to cope with the struggles of life.

So as I was reading, it just named off so many people in the bible that relied on their faith. (Noah, Sarah, Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, Moses...)It is what got them through, it's what helped create the amazing example we have of them to live by.
Hebrews 11:6 "So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and he rewards those who sincerely seek him."

But what about those who haven't heard of Christ and have not been given a bible to read?! What about their fate? God assures us that all who honestly seek him, who act in faith on the knowledge of God they possess will be rewarded. When we share the message with others it gives them an opportunity to make that choice. To honestly and sincerely seek out more. I also feel that people in desolate places of the earth, that may not have access to the bible or others that can share the good news, I pray and feel that God has inserted a desire within them, a natural instinct to know there is a creator. That is why it is also so very important to have missionaries and speak the truth to others. 

Throughout Hebrews it does talk about the people of faith that died without receiving all that God had promised here on earth. But they never lost their vision of heaven and eternal life. 
That is tough sometimes as sinners. We become expectant sometimes that what we ask for and pray for has to happen. We put our stock into earthly possessions and temporary feelings. But sometimes we feel that God is not answering these things for us. That does not mean he has abandoned us. We may want to get impatient and want to quit, but these recounts of the people in the bible that may have felt the same way should give us hope. Take courage that these heroes of faith, who lived and died without seeing the fruit of their faith in earth, yet they continued to believe. They lived their faith!
"It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red sea as though they were on dry ground." Hebrews 11:29

I don't know about you, but can you say you would have conquered that so bravely?
Talk about faith that God was not going to let you down and you'd die by drowning in the Red Sea. 

Life is tough. But so is the God we worship. He is tougher! Having a steadfast faith in God does not guarantee a happy, carefree life. Actually, our faith almost guarantees us some sort of abuse from the world. While we are here we may not see the purpose of our suffering. That makes this so much more difficult. But we know that God will keep his promises to us. Do you have faith in that?

When we face hardship, it is easy to get discouraged and lose sight of the big picture. But we are not alone. Many have already made it through this life enduring far more difficult circumstances than we have experienced. Suffering is the training for Christian maturity. It's what makes our final victory so sweet. 

I will leave you with one last thing I read and sat with. 
The beginning point of faith is believing in God's character. He IS who he says. the end point is believing in God's promises. He will DO what he says. When we believe that even though we may not see those promises materializing yet, we demonstrate true faith. 

I hope you have a BLESSED and FAITHFUL weekend! 

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