Monday, March 15, 2010
But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
The Bible defines faith this way: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Another translation puts it this way: "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see" (nlt).
The very existence of our faith, despite our circumstances, is a proof of God. We have the title deed. God has given us this proof, this confident assurance. It is instilled in us by God himself. And that is a powerful witness to a lost world that doesn't have faith.
We know from the stories of the early church how many of these courageous men and women, and sometimes even children, were martyred for their faith. Even as they were being executed, suffering horrible deaths, we read of them calling on the Lord and asking God to forgive the people who were doing this to them. And there are many accounts of their executioners coming to faith as a result of the Christians' faith in God as they went into His presence.
The story of Paul and Silas, who sang praises to God at midnight after being beaten and thrown into prison, is another evidence of faith. It resulted in the conversion of their jailers. Theirs wasn't a case of mind over matter. It was faith over circumstances. Paul and Silas didn't have the guaranteed assurance they ever would get out of that prison. But they were able to see things in perspective and have faith in the bleakest of circumstances.
So what does it mean when we say we should have faith? It means that we are hoping. We are trusting in God. In what circumstances do you need to exercise faith today?
Copyright © 2010 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked nlt are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
- This life will have its sorrows
- God loves us
- Jesus weeps in our times of pain
- God can be glorified through human suffering
Hope for Hurting Hearts, Pastor Greg Laurie's new book, examines these truths, revealing God's love and care for us, and shows how we can find hope, even in the midst of the most unbearable pain and sorrow.