Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 89:15-17’

How would you finish the title-statement above?

The writer of Hebrews described faith like this:

 

il_570xN.189993668

(“Faith is being sure of what we hope for

and certain of what we do not see.”

–Hebrews 11:1, NIV)

 

Other commentators and authors have added the following:

  • “Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.” – St. Augustine
  • “Faith is believing that Christ is what He is said to be, and that He will do what He has promised to do, and then to expect this of Him.” – Charles Spurgeon
  • “Faith is the belief that God is real and that God is good…Faith is the belief that God will do what is right.” – Max Lucado (1)

 

02eda6889115e500dfd208b0af671e31

 

  • “Faith is more than a feeling; it is acting on our belief that God is able to bring a redeeming value to any situation.” – Carole Ladd (2)

And my personal favorite:

  • “Faith is expectancy.” – Selwyn Hughes (3).

Now if true expectancy characterizes my faith, it’s going to be evident in the way I live.

That evidence will no doubt include:

 

  • Optimism and hope, not pessimism and despair.

 

9

 

Scripture provides numerous statements that generate a positive outlook.   One of my favorites:

 

“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,

who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord. They rejoice in your name all day long;

they exult in your righteousness.

For you are their glory and strength.”

–Psalm 89:15-17a)

 

Collecting faith-building quotes can also contribute to a positive outlook. For example:

 

“He is beneath me as my foundation, beside me as my friend,

within me as my life. There’s no need to worry about limited visibility.”

–Barbara Johnson

 

  • Gratitude, not grievances.

 

gratitude

 

“Our words are the evidence of the state of our hearts

as surely as the taste of the water

is an evidence of the state of the spring.”

– J. C. Ryle (3)

 

That includes the words I speak only in my mind. Silent prayers of gratitude to God will bolster my faith; rehashing the challenges I face will weaken it.

 

  • Affirmation of truth, not doubts.

 

Isaiah 41:10 might be a good place to begin.

 

924735.large

 

Am I feeling afraid and alone? God says, “Do not fear; I am with you.”

Am I plagued by worries and what-ifs? God says, “Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.”

Do I feel weak and helpless? God says, “I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

 

  • Pressing on, not giving up.

 

c5ea0099d8e0e24f258e811759f8dd33

 

Exercising my faith will move me forward; giving in to despair will bring me to a dead stop.

But just how do I move forward by faith? Philip Yancey says, simply respond to the next task that lies before me (4)—in a faith-directed manner. That might include making the bed while humming a praise song, sending the kids to school with hugs and a prayer, entering the office with cheerful greetings and a smile.

That monstrous problem may not be solved yet, but positive action while I wait will affirm my faith: God is at work; I can rest in his supreme competency. (That’s easier-said-than-done for me. I must continually reset my mind and spirit on him and the truth of his Word.)

 

  • Confidence, not discouragement.

ac60e76d12fa3e46123f68f314337e5d

 

Yes, I may be stymied by the circumstances facing me now. And who knows what will happen tomorrow? But you and I do know the One in charge!

He is:

Almighty (Revelation 11:17)

All-wise (Romans 11:33)

An immovable pillar of strength (Psalm 46:1-2)

Rich in love (Psalm 103:6)

Sovereign (Psalm 22:28)

Gracious (Exodus 34:6)

Trustworthy (2 Samuel 7:28)

Our Provider (Philippians 4:19)

Our Protector (Psalm 32:7)*

Our Guide (Psalm 48:14)

Perhaps our exercise of faith should begin with attribute stretches—stretching the mind and spirit with a character-review of the One in whom we trust, to build our muscles of confidence and strength.

_________________________

*Protection sometimes comes through trouble rather than from trouble. If God chooses to bring us through, he provides the wisdom and fortitude necessary.   Either way, the outcome is always for his glory.

 

Notes:

  1. Grace for the Moment, p70.
  2. Thrive, Don’t Simply Survive, p93
  3. Same as above, p. 130
  4. Every Day Light , p. 253.
  5. Grace Notes, p233.

 

What evidence of faith have you witnessed in others or recognized in yourself? Please share in the Comments section below!

 

(Art & photo credits:  www.etsy.com; http://www.pinterest.com; http://www.allpoetry.com; http://www.turnbacktogod.com; http://www.godinterest.com; http://www.pinterest.com (2).

Read Full Post »

2008_003703

 

We sat on the runway, awaiting take-off clearance for our flight. Low, thick clouds hung above us, shrouding the area in gloom. Folks in the plane sat quietly in their seats. Really quiet. Not very many smiles either. The oppressive bleakness outside seemed to cause a depressive state inside.

Finally we felt the plane move, pick up speed, and lift off the ground. In seconds the view out our windows was obliterated by the gray-white clouds. We could see absolutely nothing, as if curtains had been drawn outside the windows. Was the plane even moving? There was no way to tell, except for the loud drone of the engines and the upward angle of the plane.

Suddenly we escaped the cloud bank and were almost blinded by the brilliant sun. Some people turned off the overhead lights, others closed their window blinds against the glare.

As a result of the bright light, the atmosphere changed inside the plane. The dark mood of moments before turned to cheer. Some passengers shifted in their seats, sitting up a bit straighter. Soft chatter, even a few chuckles, peppered the air.

What a difference sunlight makes.

The physiological connection between sunlight and mood has been studied by scientists. They’ve determined that sunlight increases the production of serotonin in the brain, which is tied to wakefulness and feeling happy.

Those of us who know God can experience another source of light – his light — even when the dark clouds of trouble roll in (Psalm 18:28).  The benefits are incredible.

1.  “In [his] light we see light” (Psalm 36:9b). As we practice God’s presence and live according to the directions of his Word, we see the wisdom of his ways. We also become more aware of God’s glorious attributes shining into our lives—his power, loving kindness, grace, and more.

2.  “Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord. They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness. For you are their glory and strength” (Psalm 89:15-17a).

Take note. God is righteous. Everything he does is good and right, absolutely perfect.

Did you catch that amazing statement at the end?  Our God of Light is our glory. He is magnificent, full of splendor, and grandeur, yet he is our Heavenly Father!  Could any state of circumstances be more incredible?

God is the source of all strength. Think of it. The all-powerful, all-knowing, sovereign God of the universe is on our side—all the time. He is completely, forever committed to us, until that day we see him in all his glory, our King of kings!

3.  “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear” (Psalm 27:1)?

Consider what dark clouds might symbolize in our circumstances: stress, problems, fear, and sorrow.

Now consider what the Lord of Light brings to us: guidance, wisdom, joy, provision, comfort, grace, and peace.

He is light within us and around us.

Sometimes when a thick cloud bank of difficulty settles over our lives, we think God has abandoned us. But take note of these wise words:

 

“Measure not God’s love and favor by your own feeling.

The sun shines as clearly on the darkest day as it does in the brightest.

The difference is not in the sun,

but in some clouds which hinder the manifestation of the light thereof”

– Richard Sibbes (Anglican theologian, 1577-1635).

 

Praise God for his glorious constancy!

 

 

(Photo credit:  www.vision.cs.uiuc.edu.)

Read Full Post »

Living Our Days

Gaining a heart of wisdom

A Season to Share

Because Life is a Journey Shared

Laurie Klein, Scribe

immerse in God, emerge refreshed

Strength Renewed

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

Colleen Scheid

Writing, Acting, Living the Grace of God

Walking Well With God

Impressions Becoming Expressions

Shelly Miller

Impressions Becoming Expressions

Mitch Teemley

The Power of Story

Wings of the Dawn

even there Your hand will lead me ~ poems and devotions by Heidi Viars

Holley Gerth

Empowering You To Become All You're Created To Be

Healthy Spirituality

Nurturing Hearts Closer to God

Just Wondering

Impressions Becoming Expressions

(in)courage

Impressions Becoming Expressions