Everyday Faith

Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for, the evidence of things not seen.
                                                                                                 Hebrews 11:1

What promise(s) has God made to you, deep in your heart, that you have not yet seen come to completion?

If you’re not sure, I encourage you to spend some concentrated time with the Lord over the next few days, asking Him to identify the desires in your heart that He has planted there. We’ll talk more about that process later this week.

Today as I contemplate Hebrews 11:1 I am reminded that God develops our faith as much in the everyday ordinariness of life as in those crisis, on our knees, face to the floor times. At least He desires to, if we allow it.

As we read on through Hebrews chapter 11 we are presented with a list of a few of God’s faithful servants. This is sometimes referred to as the “Hall of Faith”. A pattern emerges as the list unfolds. In the lives of many of these saints God made a promise but the fulfillment of the promise was a long ways off. For some their promise wasn’t even fulfilled in the his or her lifetime, but each continued to be faithful, seeking God’s direction for every step they took towards the fulfillment of the promise.

Consider Joseph. God gave him dreams as a young boy where he ruled over his family, each member bowing down to him. Joseph believed these dreams/visions were from God and yet the road his life took did not appear to be taking him toward the fulfillment of the vision. Sold as a slave by his own brothers and taken to another country, Joseph was tested, lied about and thrown in prison. But he remained faithful to the vision God gave him, trusting the path God laid out for him. Years later Joseph saw his dreams become reality as God blessed him in ways he couldn’t have imagined. (See Genesis Chapter 37 & 39-50)

tulip potential

When God plants a desire in our heart or gives us a vision He often needs time to prepare us for the reality of that promise. Rarely are we instantly ready, and were God to bring the vision to completion before we are prepared it would certainly fail. We may also be tempted to think we have reached the vision in our own abilities instead of relying on God’s strength and direction. When we trust God to lead us where He wills, looking back we will see how we have grown and developed both spiritually and practically, watching each piece falling in place.

Walking through these times is not always easy. We can be tempted to lose faith or turn from God’s path toward what seems to be an immediate reward. At times we may even question the vision God gave us, wondering if the desire is ours alone and not one planted by God. It is during those times of unrest we need to run to the scriptures and fall to our knees. As we pour our hearts, our doubts and questions out to God He will point us to scriptures that will encourage us, build us up and replace our anxiousness with His peace.

Trust Him. He is faithful to bloom in us what He has planted.

tulip potential blooming

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:6

Blessings and peace as you watch God’s visions develop in you.

Paula

 

 

Week #6 ~ Words Worth Remembering

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
                                                                                                      Romans 12:12

Hope is easy when  you are certain of the outcome. 

But what about hope when all seems hopeless? That can be very difficult. And then God tells us to be JOYFUL as we hope. Joy comes naturally when good things we are hoping for get closer to becoming reality. It can be very difficult to remain joyful as we hope for something that is uncertain. Especially when it takes a long time for that hope to become reality.

Patience is simple when we can see the end.

A man I admire once told me that we can get through anything when we know there is an end. Even something hard or painful can be endured when we know that one day it will stop. When we are afflicted with physical pain, emotional distress or mental anguish and we don’t know when or if it will end most of us can easily slip into despair. Patience does not come easily.

Prayer comes naturally when we know what to pray for.

There are people and circumstances all around us that obviously need prayer. Sickness, struggles and sadness abound. Sending a prayer heavenward when we see someone suffering is natural. But there are times our prayers aren’t answered right away. We pray and have faith but don’t hear God’s voice or sense His direction. Being faithful as we wait for the outcome is God’s desire.

While each portion of this verse can be a challenge they each come with a reward.

Being joyful as we hope for something makes the waiting much easier, and the journey less stressful.

Being patient in the midst of affliction allows us to see the progress even if it is slow, and provides a witness to others of how God cares for us and walks with us through our trials.

Being faithful in prayer draws us closer to God so that even when the answers don’t come we are secure in His love and faithfulness.

And I am certain that through obedience to this verse we will find God’s peace in the puzzle of our lives.

blessings and peace to you!
Paula