Practical Faith in God

Posted: August 28, 2019 in Uncategorized

practical

Practical Faith in God

My childhood autumns in Florida hold precious memories — believe it or not, taking out warmer clothing, hot cocoa, harvest moons, cool crisp air, bon fires, a well-stocked pantry, and best of all—FOOTBALL! I love it.

The autumn of life is a strange mixture of nostalgia, blessings, and potential. It yields the harvest of seeds we’ve sown throughout life and braces us for colder days to come. When life’s autumn arrives, we look back and better understand the way God led us; but we still have work to do—the best and fullest. It’s a good transition time.

“Autumn” occurs only once in the Bible. In Jude 1:12, where false teachers are compared to “trees in autumn that are doubly dead, for they bear no fruit and have been pulled up by the roots,”  implying that the true teaching of God’s Word must be fruitful, and autumn should be a fruitful season, the most abundant of the year. How can we take advantage of our autumn?

The seasons come and go, and our focus is to be on the God who remains unchanged and unchanging. “LORD, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” (Psalm 90:1-2)

There’s a lot of unwelcome change in our world. Moral and societal changes brother us most when we turn on our television, the internet, or look at the newspapers. We’re painfully aware that our kids are growing up in a world far different from the one we knew as children.

I remember living in Arizona, especially the valley of the sun – Phoenix; the surround vistas are awe-inspiring.  The plants are so green, the cactus thrives, and you can see for miles (when there is no pollution alert).  The time of year I’m remembering is autumn, if you want to call it that, the air can be crisp and cold.  The evening dew bursts forth and slaps your face with the fresh scent of the moist ground.  Then, before you know it, the green desert starts to turn yellow, and withers to brown when the first 100-degree day hits. Everything, including humans look for shade and relief from the heat of the sun.

When things get hot for us, when things start to wither around us and turn bad where do we go for relief?  What is one to do?

We are to turn to God and trust in Him. Why is that?  The reason is that even if we have family, friends, or co-workers to share our problems with, we still must rely totally on God. Everything we experience, we experience on our own. If you think about it closely, at the end of the day, we don’t have family, we don’t have friends, and all we have is God. It is you and God. Faith in God gets us through to Him Who gets through to us. God gives us what no one else can possibly give us, and that is strength and hope.

Is there a lesson here? Yes. Here is the lesson: who we have a relationship with, what we have or don’t have, has no bearing on our faith in God or in our relationship with Him.

Life can beat us down hard, and we have to deal with it the best way we can. It will either make us stronger by faith in God and trusting in Him to care for us, or it will take us down into the pits of despair because we allow it to dominate and control us. Sometimes we try to be noble, or stoic, and think we can handle everything on our own.  We all have to deal with life in our own way, behind our own eyes, from which no one else can see or experience.  Growing strong out of these lessons is the only way to go. There is no other way to go, except down into the depths of weakness and self indulgence.  Faith in God will keep us out of the grim depths of despair.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

The Bible teaches that in all things we are to give thanks.  We are to thank God for the bad situations that happen to us, and not just the blessings He bestows upon us. In prayer, however, we are to thank God for being there with us through it all.  I’ve learned something deeper about faith and being grateful to God.

It is that God gives us the strength and hope to carry on.  We are to thank God for Who He Is and all of what He has done for us, mostly for sending His Son Jesus Christ to be our Savior! I believe God allows tragedies, death, disasters, illness or calamity in our lives. He allows it and He is there when it happens and is there when it is over, and is there when we are healing from it. He is our source of strength, courage, healing and vitality.

Andre Crouch wrote a famous and moving song about trusting God, It goes like this, “Through it all, through it all…I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God. Through it all, through it all…I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.”

Through it all, He gives us faith, hope, and love. Through it all, He bestows upon us His mercy, His compassion, and His grace.  Through it all, He gives us forgiveness of sins, life and salvation – His salvation. Though it all may be a mystery, He saves us, nonetheless.

May God bless your September!

 

Pastor Gary +

 

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