Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Benefits of Faith

I recently watched a video of an eagle soaring up in the sky on a beautiful sunny day. He effortlessly took flight and gracefully glided over a calm ocean. What an inspiring image of confidence!

In direct contrast, as I contemplated the struggles of fellow Christians, I imagined a person sinking in a turbulent sea of violent waves. With chaos all around, it appeared the end of life approached until the drowning individual looked up and the Son’s rays touched her. She kept her eyes on her Savior, trusting Him completely.

Remembering the vision of the confident nature of the eagle in flight, I thought of how we must look as we walk in the conviction of our faith. Our lives should display total trust in our Savior Jesus Christ, no matter what is happening around us. The strength that exuded from the sight of the eagle’s flight caused me to remember a Scripture verse from Isaiah 40:21-31 (below are only verses 27-31).

Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD,
And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”?
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
Striving and struggling creates chaos and confusion, which in turn, causes exhaustion. Life seems dreary and we become weary. Depression tries to take hold as we desire to just sleep our existence away. Satan and his minions gain ground as one less person stands up and fights for the cause of Christ. Is that the way a Christian is meant to live? Where is the faith that we once had? How do we persevere joyfully through the trials of life?
We must choose to believe, even with only a little faith, and obey God. By His Word He will see us through our circumstances. Hear what God has to say to us:
When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”
“O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.
Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:14-20 (NIV)

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. Colossians 1:21-23 (NIV)
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Hebrews 11:1-3 (NIV)

Continue reading about the faith of all the ancients in chapter 11 of Hebrews. God certainly renewed their strength like that of youths as they walked to the end of their lives, some receiving the benefits of faith while others hoped to see it eternally. All of the ancient leaders in the Bible struggled as we do today, yet they chose to obey the faithful God even among sorrowful circumstances. It’s a choice we too should make.

Together let’s give praise with a psalm of David to God for all His benefits of a faith obeyed.

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
Psalm 103:1-5 (NASB)
Please read all of Psalm 103 and “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7), “obeying the voice of His Word...doing His will” (Psalm 103:20-21). Stay tuned for more benefits of faith next week.

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