Keeping The Faith

Faith Happens

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Bonnie at Faith Barista has us jamming, about faith, today.
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Keeping the faith. Clinging to faith. Renewing our faith. The Bible has much to say about faith. It is no small thing. As a matter of fact it is a huge deal. God tells us in Hebrews 11:6, that it is impossible to please Him if we do not have faith. Impossible.

God expects us to have faith….it is mandatory if we are going to live a life pleasing to the One that it matters to the most.

God never says that being faithful will be easy. Quite the contrary. But we must not give up. Or give in.

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I turned to chapter 11 in the book of Hebrews. The chapter known as the “faith chapter”. Well, before I begin, let me start with a verse in chapter 10 (v.23).

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” (God is faithful. Always. He cannot go against His own nature. We never have to worry if God will follow through on His promises. He will. We might not always understand, but God does.)

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (v.1) (People of faith have to look at the bigger picture. Faith is not a quick fix, nor is it a universal lottery. Faith is a sure thing….but, sometimes God calls us to trust and wait. That is difficult, but absolutely worth it.)

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (v. 6)  (This verse is self explanatory.)

“By faith he (Moses) left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” (v.27) (He saw him who is invisible. God walks with His children.)

Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets…..they conquered kingdoms, administered justice, gained what was promised, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of flames, escaped the edge of the sword….weakness was turned to strength, had power in battle, and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, others were tortured, flogged, and imprisoned. Some were stoned, sawed in two, and were put to death by the sword. Many were destitute, persecuted, and mistreated—–the world was not worthy of them. (v.17-38)

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. (v.39-40)

A former pastor of mine said, “faith is the gaze of a soul on a Living God“.  I think that sums it up.

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Photos Tell The Story

Bonnie, at Faith Barista, asked her readers to tell what brings us joy. She wanted us to use photos to tell our joy story. I am all over this assignment!

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Family and friends bring me the most joy. Hands down, no doubt about it. I didn’t think the people in my life would want their  pictures posted on my blog for the entire world to see, so I’m just saying it…instead of showing it.


Warm light. It makes me feel cozy.

The eucharisteo board that I have in the kitchen.

It reminds me to be thankful in all things.

When I look at the board I feel blessed.

Lonnie, the terrier extraordinaire, makes me happy. I just love him.

This is the kitchen door, that I refused to part with, when we moved. It has the heights of the children marked on it. It is a time capsule, and I enjoy looking at it (and also still marking the heights of my teenagers). It is currently an “objet d’ art” setting in the entry way at our new house.

This is my Bible. I’ve had this particular one for 15 years. It’s filled with notes and highlights. I refuse to quit using it, even though it is falling apart. I will just continue to tuck in the books of James and Hebrews that have come loose. I need to look into book binding.

Umm……Just a few of the books in my library. Books bring me a great deal of joy. I should have been a librarian. 🙂

Aaahhhh….bed. Comfort. Cozy. Vintage linens. Rest.

Yes, those are dandelions in our yard. I couldn’t help but feel joyful when I pulled into the driveway this morning. The green spring grass with the pops of yellow. It just looked pretty…even if they are weeds.

This was my view this afternoon. It is a joy to live in the country. I get to appreciate God‘s handiwork up close.

For A Season

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Ecclesiastes 3

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens

. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

I became comfortable in my life. There was a certain predictability, that brought not boredom to me, but security. I grasped hard. I wanted to hold on to what is…scared of what might be.

Fear does horrible things to a human heart.

It paralyzes. It cowers. It handicaps.

The grip of fear made me timid. It limited me.

Instead of stepping out into God’s plan, in confidence, I stayed back in the shadows. Unsure.

I needed to loosen my grip…and let it go.

My husband lost his job of nearly 23 years. It was no fault of his own. That is what made the news so much more difficult. I hated the economy. I hated the company’s decision, handed down my executives that didn’t even know us. I hated the change that swept over us like a dark wave of the ocean…we were drowning.

My grip tightened. My knuckles were white from the death grip I had placed on my life.

NO, God! NO!

I resorted to begging. Crying. Pleading.

Fear, it is a terrible thing. It preyed on me, like a wild animal. It wanted to devour me, to destroy me…..and I was letting it.

I’m not exactly sure when the change happened. I’m sure it was months into the unemployment, my working part time substitute teaching, with the help of family and friends. Never once did we miss a bill. We finished building the house we were right in the middle of constructing, when my husband lost his job.

I realized that things did work out for us. Life was not what it had been, but we were (and are) okay.

It might not have.

God spoke to my heart. No, not in an audible voice. And no, I was not having a break down. His Word echoed over the waves of the ocean, that were crashing all around me.

God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7)

God did not want me to have fear of the unknown…He wanted me to trust. Trust Him. Trust Him and let it go. Let go of the fear.

5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)

My security never came from things. Never from a steady paycheck. Never from money in the bank. Never from paying bills. Or being able to go out to eat on a whim. Never from knowing what each day held on the calendar.

My security was, and is, always in HIM. I had known this….but, it took a job loss…the strain…..the not knowing…..to be reminded.

Phil 4:19………”And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Mt 6:8…………”your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”

Ps 34:10……….”…those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.”

I continue to stumble, but I am learning to let go…..

 

This week we are discussing “Letting Go” over at, A Holy Experience. Click on the WALK WITH HIM WEDNESDAY graphic on my right side bar, to read more!