Thursday, April 21, 2011

Faith: Believing God is in Control Part 1

Faith. There is so much to say on this topic. Far too much to type in a blog post.

I guess I always viewed Faith as something that people (myself included) had when they gave their lives to Christ. I knew faith was something you had when someone got very ill, or someone was in a car accident BUT I never imagined faith was something you had on a moment to moment basis.

It's not as though I have not had my share of hard times in life, my parents getting divorced, my dad moving away, my cousin dying in a car accident at a young age, and suffering through a miscarriage and surgery, being some of my hard times. It's just I guess through all of these things, I had to rely on God but not to the extent I have lately. Or better said, maybe each of these things that happened to me led me to a deeper place of putting my faith in God. I guess each time a situation came up where I wanted to freak out and rely on my emotions and circumstances, I could recall that the Lord had been with me the through the last difficult time and that He was able to provide me the strength to get through this situation like He had before.

Maybe, my problem is that I never called this Faith and that is why I am so blown away by this topic right now. Faith is what I had in each of these times in life even if I didn't say it. Faith, it says is Hebrews 11:1 is "the assurance of things hoped for, and the confidence of things not seen." Today, I am in a new place of faith because of all of the instances where I know that God has been faithful to me.

Maybe, none of this makes sense to anyone. I don't know. I was listening to Beth Moore radio yesterday and she said that when something means a whole lot to you it really is hard to articulate. This is how I feel about the topic of faith right now.

Like I have mentioned several times before, I am reading the book, "Calm My Anxious Heart" by Linda Dillow. Last week's chapter was on Faith and I just cannot get it out of my head! PTL! So, instead of me trying to make sense of things, I am going to type out some things I have learned from this chapter on Faith.

"Contentment flourishes faith. Contentment is a soul sufficiency available to each of us, a peace that is separate from our circumstances."

"Faith raises above our circumstances. Faith enables us to be content even when life doesn't make sense."

"God does not demand that you have blind faith, but abandoned faith, a faith that trusts Him fully."

What is ironic about this statement is that the chapter before "Faith" was "Worry" where we learned that it is impossible to have both. They cannot exist together in the same place. And it says in the bible that "Without Faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6). That presents us with a choice to make each moment of the worry, or have faith. What a challenge.

We discussed in bible study how different we as Christians would look if we did not worry. We think of "being different from the world" as all of these huge big "no, nos" but I believe that if we were faithful to God not to worry but to have faith we would stick out like a sore thumb in the world.

Think about it, the world has nothing to put it's faith in except self and false gods. What if we showed the world what faith really was, not by what we say, not even by how we handle hard circumstances when we are forced to trust God, but in day to day life, in the little things. I believe people would be led straight to the cross of Jesus because Christ would be shining through us pointing the way.

Let me put this in day to day terms. Adam called me the other day with that voice. You know what I'm talking about. The voice that screams, something is wrong!! Adam is so very mellow, so when something bothers him I know it must be a big deal. So, he says, "Ashley, I have to talk to you, but I cannot do it right now. I am going to come home." I hung up and instantly began to think of all of the things that could be wrong. Did He lose His job? Is he sick? Did someone die? Did someone steal his identity? After about 30 seconds of thinking crazy thoughts about all that could be wrong. The thought came into my head, "Ok, now it's time to practice faith." I wanted so badly to then pick up the phone and text 5 people saying, "Please pray for me" or call someone just to talk, but God told me no, just pray. Just have faith.

I went through some scripture in my head and heart, Phil 4:4-8. They say, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

I did feel a peace and was able to listen to Adam when He got home about what was going on with a calm heart which was a real blessing to him. I realized in that moment that you don't know if you truly have faith until it is time to use it. Linda Dillow says, "Faith is rooted in God's character. Faith is based on God's word and not our feelings."Feelings wanted me to freak out and turn to people instead of God but God's character because of his word and the history we have in life so far told me that I could rely on Him, even if one or all of the "what if's" were true. be continued

1 comment:

Ben and Audrey said...

you are such an encouragement, love you!!