Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Faith: Part Two

Steven Curtis Chapman recently wrote a song that talks about real faith. It's called "Believe Me Now," and it tells us how God views faith. The entire song consists of God insisting that we look upon His faithfulness to us in the past and believe Him now as we face challenges in our lives.
Real faith doesn't happen tomorrow, wasn't only for yesterday, but is for right now. If we really have faith in God then we will count on Him for what He has promised today.

SCC also wrote another song called "Be Still": it tells us to wait for the Lord to move us, "Be still and know that He is God." It tells us to reflect upon His love in the past and to look to Him for the answers now instead of running about in a panic. It tells us that He knows ours pains, and that He is powerful enough to overcome them--and that He is actually inclined to do so. (For many people love us and want to see us do well in life; but how many of them actually know what is best for us and are willing and able to, with all their might, move our circumstances around to truly help us?)

The Scriptural foundation for both of these songs can be found in Exodus 14 where we read in the History of the nation of Israel how God rescued them from the hand of the mightiest army on earth at the time. Looking across the Red Sea, with the revenge-minded Egyptians fast approaching, Israel seemingly had a reason to panic. But Moses said, "Fear ye not." How could Moses say such a thing? Because he believed the word which the Lord had spoken concerning His chosen people, saying that He would surely bring them out of Egypt to the Land which He had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exodus 2:7-8; cf. Gen 15:18-21; 26:3-4; 35:11-12). No matter the obstacle present, God could not fail to keep His promise.

And so it is with us today. God has made us who are His children (for qualifications, see John 1:12 and John 3:3) certain promises, with both definitions of certain being included: certain, as in specific; and certain, as in sure. God is not ambiguous about His promises so that we have to wonder what He means and so that any little thing can be taken as a fulfillment. God is very specific about what He desires to do in our lives: He desires to bring men, women, boys, and girls to the hope and peace with God that can only be found in Christ Jesus our Lord (John 12:32; Luke 19:10; Romans 5:1; II Peter 3:9) and has sent us into all the world to preach that Gospel to all nations (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15).

He has told us how to do it (Matt. 5:16) and He has told us what the results will be. These results included receptiveness, shallow/feigned belief, apathy/indifference, and persecution (Matt. 13:3-23; John 15:17-25; II Timothy 3:12; I Peter 3:8-17; etc.). He has also told us that He will never leave us or forsake us, as both the songs attest (cf. Hebrews 13:5, Matt. 28:20). And He has promised to provide for us all that we need to accomplish His will (Matt. 6:33 and Philippians 4:13,19). Finally, He has promised to reward us for faithfully following His orders in belief of His promises (Matt. 5:12; 7:7-11; 25:31-40; Luke 6:35), for we know that true faith produces good works (James 2:14-26; Matt. 7:15-20).

So as you go through this life and you face obstacles, and people around you start telling you what to expect and what to fear, the question God is asking you is, "Do you believe Me now?"
Will you act in faith to follow the commands of God even when everything around you is telling you that it doesn't make sense? Will you be a man or woman of (the) Faith?

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