Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“For we walk by faith, we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor.”
2 Corinthians 5: 7
“Faith is the key that unlocks the cabinet of the promises, and empties out their treasures into the soul.”
Faith is Truer Than Doubt
“When the anchors that faith has cast
Are dragging in the gale,
I am quietly holding fast
To the things that cannot fail;
I know that right is right,
That it is not good to lie,
That love is better than spite,
And a neighbor than a spy;
I know that passion needs
The leash of a sober mind,
I know that generous deeds
Some sure reward will find;
In the darkest night of the year,
When the stars have all gone out,
That courage is better than fear,
That faith is truer than doubt;
And fierce though the fiends may fight,
And long though the angels hide,
I know that Truth and Right
Have the universe on their side;
And that somewhere, beyond the stars,
Is a Love that is better than fate;
When the night unlocks her bars
I shall see Him, and I will wait.”
Today’s Study Text:
“’ Why are you afraid?’ – ‘Have you still no faith?’”
Mark 4: 40
Goodspeed New Testament
“Don’t you have any faith at all?”
Mark 4: 40
The Message Bible
“The Prince of Peace” – Part 10
“Don’t You Trust Me?”
“Great faith is not the faith that walks always in the light and knows no darkness, but the faith that perseveres in spite of God’s seeming silences, and that faith will most certainly and surely get its reward.”
How would I personally define the word faith?
What do the words of Jesus mean to me, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could move mountains, and nothing will be impossible to you?”
Matthew 17: 20
“In our darkest times, we must proclaim Jesus as the One who is powerful enough to heal and merciful enough to rescue. But all the time, underneath must be a conviction that even if for some reason we are not relieved of our struggle, our worship will not falter.”
Matt and Beth Redman
Blessed Be Your Name
“We may have faith to believe in God as Lord of the calm – but do we also have faith to believe in Him as Lord of the storm?”
Matt and Beth Redman
Blessed Be Your Name
In her teaching series, “Who Do You Trust?” – author and speaker Beth Moore notes that, “I don’t want any of those things I fear to happen, but this I know, if they do, my God will take care of me, my God will take care of me!” Seems that Jesus’ disciples could have benefitted from Moore’s words! Especially when she underscores that even in the worst of times, “God will take care of me!”
However, before I target the disciples with my arrow of condemnation, I need to look deep within my self and quietly reflect on the many times when Jesus could just as easily have turned to me and asked, “Dorothy, don’t you have any faith at all?” Just this past week as Jim and I were desperately trying to get our house ready for another “potential buyer” I looked at my dear husband hobbling around trying to get everything just so in the bedroom while I worked to get the kitchen looking like no one lives in the house. For those of you who have had a home for sale for a long time, as many of you have told me is the case in your own life, you are able to understand the stress and strain of continually having people tramp throughout your home.
Each one of us faces a different type of storm, and for those closest to Jesus, on that stormy night so long ago, the imminent threat of death had them wondering if Jesus really understood their plight for if He did, then why was He apparently leaving them to the capricious whim of the wind and waves.
I expect that today there are many in our Garden family who feel that the storm that you face, along with the dense darkness of your pathway, is just too much for you to handle.
Many years ago, the prolific writer Pastor Charles Spurgeon, offered this interesting perspective on the word “faith”: “The Puritan’s were accustomed to explain faith by the word ‘recumbency.’ It meant to lean upon a thing. Lean with all your weight upon Christ.” In the rocky mountainous region where Jim and I live, there are often several individuals who choose to ride on recumbent bicycles as they are almost lying flat on the bike frame as they peddle through the mountain roads. However, Pastor Spurgeon does not stop by painting only one picture of what the word “recumbent” means. He also observed that, “it would be a better illustration still if I said, ‘fall at full length, and lie on the Rock of Ages.’”
In 1832, composer of Christian music, Lowell Mason ran into 24-year-old Ray Palmer, a teacher and writer who was also studying for the ministry. Mr. Mason asked the young man to write some words for him and Palmer showed him a poem he had written two years before. As Robert J. Morgan relates the story in Then Sings My Soul, Volume 1, Ray Palmer said that, “I recall that I wrote the verses with tender emotion. There was not the slightest thought of writing for another eye, least of all writing a hymn for Christian worship.”
However, Mr. Mason, who composed the music later told Ray Palmer that, “You may live many years and do many good things, but I think you will be best known to posterity as the author of “My Faith Looks Up To Thee.” It is the third verse of this favorite hymn which sends down heavenly dew upon my heart today:
“While life’s dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread
Be Thou my Guide.
Bid darkness turn to day;
Wipe sorrow’s tears away;
Nor let me ever stray
From Thee aside.”
In the words penned by Andrew Murray in 1901, “Faith opens the eyes to see the blessedness of God’s service, the sufficiency of the strength provided, and the rich reward.” May these words describe the “faith” we place in Jesus Christ our Lord.
“I will not doubt, though all my ships at sea
Came drifting home with broken masts and sails;
I shall believe the Hand which never fails,
From seeming evil worketh good to me;
And, though I weep because these sails are battered,
Still will I cry, while my best hopes lie shattered,
‘I trust in Thee.’
I will not doubt, though all my prayers return
Unanswered from the still, white realm above;
I shall believe it is an all-wise Love
Which has refused those things for which I yearn;
And though, at times, I cannot keep from grieving,
Undimmed shall burn.
I will not doubt, though sorrows fall like rain,
And troubles swarm like bees about a hive;
I shall believe the heights for which I strive,
Are only reached by anguish and by pain;
And though I groan and tremble with my crosses,
I yet shall see, through my severest losses,
The greater gain.
I will not doubt; well anchored in the faith,
Like some staunch ship, my soul braves every gale,
So strong its courage that it will not fail
To breast the mighty, unknown sea of death.
Oh, may I cry when body parts with spirit,
‘I do not doubt,’ so listening worlds may hear it.
With my last breath.”
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Faith and Sight
“So I go on, not knowing,
I would not, if I might –
I would rather walk in the dark with God
Than go alone in the light;
I would rather walk with Him by faith
Than walk alone by sight.”
Mary Gardner Brainard
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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