Thursday, July 19, 2012

Doubt works to help our faith!

Romans 4: 20, 21

"Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promiseIn facthis faith grew strongerand in this he brought glory to God21He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises."

All of us go through times of doubt. We wonder if God is going to come through. Abraham was given a promise of a child and had to wait over a decade for that promise to come true. The same was true for David, Joseph, and many of the other great men and women in the Bible. 

Doubt is a crushing thing. If we give in to it, we lose hope. As a Christian, if we have it regarding God, we feel guilty. We only lose if we if we stay in that place. Doubt happens, but a mature believer will recognize it for what it is and choose to cry out to God or press into Him then by faith, simply ask Him to get us through. Faith isn't easy if it was we wouldn't need it. We would very simply be able to handle everything life throws our way. Growth and maturity happen as we come up against something we have never been through before, and we learn to trust God through it.

What are you facing today? I know if you look hard enough you will find a promise in the Word regarding your situation. Our peace, joy, and real love come from knowing the Lord better. We gain knowledge and understanding of who God is and how much He loves us by going through these doubting times. What may seem impossible to you now is only the Lord allowing you to grow to learn to trust Him more. He will not let you down! He is always faithful!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Can you stand a bit of testing?

I have been reading through the book of Acts during my devotional time. In case you are wondering, I do as I preach; I read my Bible everyday, some times many times a day, I pray every day, I fast often and I tithe, give offerings, and alms. I won't tell you to do something that I wouldn't do. This is kind of my point from Acts. While we want the power and anointing that the disciples carried with them are we willing to pay the price they paid?

In our culture, we have come to believe that anything bad that happens to us must be the Devil or our flesh. In my understanding that would be the truth, however if we believe that our lives are in God's hands then for anything to happen to us He must allow it to take place. Testing of our faith is what helps mold us into the image of Christ and fulfill our destiny. James 1:3 and Hebrews 11 specifically and most of the Bible generally. The book of Acts gives us living examples of how that works.

Let me give you two quick examples:

Acts 3 and 4 Peter and John moving in the grace the Lord had given them brought healing to a lame man. For this miracle, they are through into jail. Remember these are not nice jails like we have now, no TV, air conditioning, sewage system, only raw sewage flowing, rat and lice infested cells and no fresh air. they are then brought out of their cell, given the opportunity to preach to the religious leaders the salvation of Christ. For this they are threatened and then released. What would you have done? Would you have cried out to God for protection? Would you have asked the Lord for vengeance on your attackers? Would you have become afraid? Peter and John passed the test! They looked at it as an opportunity the Lord gave them to share their faith and testify of Jesus. They cried out to the Lord in Acts 4 that he would give them even more power to be His witnesses. Guess what happened? God gave them renewed power and they changed their world.

Acts 16 Paul and Silas are having such an amazing impact in the city of Philippi that even the demons are proclaiming the goodness of God. When Paul sets the young girl free her owners are so angry they are beaten and then thrown into prison in stocks. Paul and Silas unfazed by the situation begin worship the Lord through singing, God sends and earthquake which sets them free. Rather than fleeing they wait, the result to their imprisonment, the warden of the jail and his entire family come to Christ and the city of Philippi is shaken with the Gospel.

We are God's workmanship, we are His Children, we are His chosen, if we learn to trust Him in all things, great things will result. Bad things will happen to good people, if we trust Him with our lives and our future. He will always use them to advance the Kingdom and fulfill our destiny.

Is the testing worth it? The apostle's example shows us how we can trust the Lord, grow in power and might and fulfill God's plan for us. Yes, our growth, power, and destiny depend upon our really seeing who God is through us and to us, that is really what the testing does.