Week of July 21
"We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." ~ I Thessalonians 1:3
Faith is critical to bringing to fruition the hopes, desires and dreams that God places within us. It is the fuel that propels us to act, to work and to persevere through challenging assignments. Without faith, we could not overcome obstacles and finish the race victoriously.
Throughout the Bible, we see people of great faith and little faith. Yet, God blessed both. Consider Abraham. He stepped into a journey that was unknown to him by choosing to exercise his faith and trust God's plan of greater inheritance. Even Gideon, the slightest member of his clan, took courage, exercised his faith, trusted God and proclaimed victory over his enemies.
Moreover, the gospels are full of miracles Jesus did for people who did not know him. They had no New Testament to build their faith. Yet their mustard seed faith helped facilitate healing miracles.
Hebrews 11:1 says "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." And Romans 1:5 tells us that "obedience comes from faith." Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6).
Fortunately, God, through His sufficient grace and tender mercy, helps us build faith, the purpose being to serve Him and others. I have a friend who exercised her faith to be healed from cancer as well as painful neck injuries that she suffered in an auto wreck. God completely healed her from each affliction through a process that involved prayer and believing. What the enemy meant for destruction, God turned around for good. He gave her a new career, after loosing her former one due to ailments. And now she reaches out to others through prayer, sharing her healing testimonies and writing inspirational songs that have climbed the charts.
It is faith that enables us to receive the higher ways of God when we do not understand where He is leading us, especially when circumstances get tough. When faith prevails over fear persistently, we become victorious.
Moreover, fear is the opposite of faith. Irrational fear can paralyzes us or cause us to run in the opposite direction from where God wants us to go. Obedience to the bondage of fear is idolatry and rebellion in the face of God. Fear limits us under a ceiling. Faith facilitates promotion, turning our ceiling into our floor.
Hebrews 11:13 tells us that the great people of the Bible "were still living by faith when they died" and that they did not see the promises of God come to pass. They were on a sacrificial journey of faith that was bigger than they for a higher purpose. They laid down self-centered comforts and willingly pursued the path that brought glory to God. In short, they left a legacy of faith.
What faith journey does God have you on? Are you allowing Him to build your faith to accomplish greater things? Which areas in your life do you need more faith?
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ.