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Faith Really Is Confidence in God

{Faith.}
faith



n.
1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belieftrust.
3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
4. often Faith Christianity The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
5. A set of principles or beliefs.


Easy, Right? 
 You go to a good church with a knowledgeable pastor, you have your list of "go to" scripture for encouragement, and you diligently complete your daily and weekly devotionals. You have FAITH
...Right?

Well, it may come as a surprise, but it is not always so easy for me.   My religious stance is one of no question.  I am a believer; I love Jesus.  I have been going to church since I was swaddled, just as my children will do.  But I'd be lying if I said there aren't moments of doubt.  Moments where my Type A, black and white personality needs more convincing that this almighty power is real.  Sometimes Christianity is so unbelievably simple that it is complex.  Even in my extensive study of the bible per week, Satan still manages to cast doubt upon my beliefs.  

This week specifically, a few questions crept through my mind bringing that doubt again.

It's actually embarrassing to admit that as strong as I am in my faith, that I wonder sometimes.  For example, in last week's BSF lesson, we learned about a character in the Bible from the old testament that took on many characteristics of Jesus--but he was in the times of Abraham.  Much speculation surrounds if this man was foreshadowing Jesus's birth to the world.  It caused me to question quite frankly.  

Then this weekend, after speaking to a friend, I was reminded of the travesties and brutalities of this earth when she was telling me about visiting her husband's home country and how they had servants as young as SEVEN.  SEVEN!!!  She said it was so hard for her, but on the flip side, living in the slums was a worse alternative than being a servant with a roof over their head.  For me, this type of abuse makes me question why our LOVING God would allow this.  

Even through our pastor preaching Sunday morning on how Jesus was born into this world to bring light amongst the world's darkness, my thoughts of doubt were still with me.  I mean, if he was born to bring light, why were these CHILD servants suffering and living in the dark?  If Jesus manifests inside of us, why are they enduring such pain?  

We got out of church and our Sunday continued on as usual as I still thought about everything I had absorbed lately.  When Preslie went down, I threw myself into the Bible.  Why was Satan causing me to feel these ways?  I know God exists because LOOK AT WHAT HE HAS DONE FOR MY LIFE LATELY (and always)?  I have spoken so much of the LIGHT he has brought to me, how He has given me so much strength when weak, how we have had so many trials, even as we speak, that He has given me JOY despite of... 

WHY WAS I DOUBTING?  

Well, Sunday night, THE ANSWER to my DOUBT arrived
in the form of SCRIPTURE.  I was quickly reminded that The Truth is right there when you OPEN your Bible

The first verse I read when I opened my bible to start my study was, 
"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." 
-Hebrews 11:1

Seriously?!?!?!

God works in miraculous ways, 
as I soon discovered that this week's BSF lesson covers...  

1) Hebrews 11: Great Examples of Faith.
(click to read actual chapter)
This incredible chapter covers how all of the old testament bible heroes lived their lives blinded by faith specifically citing, "Their weakness was turned to strength.  They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight (Hebrews 11:34)" in the name of faith.  In finality, "All of these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised (Hebrews 11:40)." 

God provided me examples of GREAT faith as an answer.  He gave me proof of his existence.  How awe-inspiring is that? 

Through this next chapter, God reaffirmed His faithfulness to me by answering a prayer that I have prayed for the past MONTHS.  I've slowly gotten answers to this specific prayer, but none this clear. this obvious.  As I briefly called to mention the figurative loss in closeness of a dear friend, I have been faithfully praying that God lead me in which way to go--he answered me with this:

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips is up.  And let us run with endurance the race God has set up for us.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith." -Hebrews 12:1-2

The corresponding BSF question was in reference to what must we strip in our lives to keep our eyes on Jesus.  I've almost begun to obsess with the pity of losing this friend, and it's gotten in the way of Jesus. I was amazed in what scripture laid before my eyes.  

I've equally prayed for answers in why this relationship is crumbling--I've sought to know if it was my actions, the other party's actions, or anything else.  If it's me, I want to know my faults...my weaknesses.  I've felt like I can't move on if there is something that need to fix; I yearn for resolution and peace.  Our BSF lesson next had us evaluate the below verse: 

"Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.  Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God.  Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, causing trouble among fellow Christians." 
-Hebrews 12:14-15

WOW.  I fell speechless which is hard to come by with me.  My bible's study notes translate it as this: 




  I received an answer to my months of prayer and I have received evidence of God's faithfulness all in the matter of an hour. 

I have prayed since BSF began that I know and recognize when God is speaking to me.  

Today I knew.  
In the first revelation, He first revealed to me HOW and WHY to have faith just as the old testament heroes like Abraham, Noah, Enoch, Moses, etc, did.  As for the chapter 12, I know that my bitterness has been gone for the last few months, but I cannot control the bitterness of another.  First, he provided scripture to remind me that it is time to let go in order focus my eyes upon Him (Hebrews 12:1-2). Secondly, he let me know that no matter how hard I try, it's someone else who needs a heart change, AKA:  It's out of my control.  He also reminded me to continue loving this friendship, caring for it, and promoting peace, just to quit worrying--in a sense, idolizing.


God proved His faith to me, yet again. 
He knew I needed not only scriptural encouragement, but affirmation of how He is the light and the truth...how He is guiding me and working in my life. 

Today, was an absolute story to add to my journal of testaments. 
He is a Living God, and His is Living with me.
Would you like to join and live with us?

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