Sunday, March 15, 2009

No Fear (part 1)

2 Timothy 1:7

As I look around at our nation and hear the fighting over political viewpoints, I begin to realize how skewed our views as a nation have become. Skewed and divergent.
On one side is the doom and gloom as our nation races towards socialism and financial free fall; and the other extreme is the hope that our government will straighten things out and there will be prosperity for all.

As a Christian, I have to look out of this chaos, to the Lord, for answers and direction. Psalm 121 promises my safety and security.

With many Christian leaders proclaiming that God will judge this nation, a nation that was founded on God's principles, it would be easy to succumb to fear. Prophecies of the Lord's judgment vary from economic collapse to civil unrest, violence and martial law. It would be easy to become so fearful of what is to come, to become paralyzed by fear even before the bottom falls out.

Instead I look to God's survival handbook for believers, the Bible. I have begun to learn how this all works. I have read how we are to have faith, Romans Chapter 5 especially verse 9. Without faith we will be beaten down, Ephesians 6:16. God promises that faith and prayer will cause God to move in our behalf, Matthew 17:20.

How do I exercise faith? How does this work? For me it's as simple trusting God and a short prayer: 'Lord give for my hands only what You want for me to handle, only as much as I can handle, and for the rest Lord, please take care of it.'

As I go through any given day, the stresses and problems are never in short supply. Overdue electric bills, little or no income, vehicles in need of repair & no money for parts. The list is always too long. I feel the resources I have are never enough. What I am supposed to do?

That is when faith gets a work out. Faith means trust in the Lord. If I trust Him I will obey Him. If I obey Him it is because I trust His written word as the final authority for life. Though I am in no way perfect, and stumble often, I try my best to honor His word and live according to His survival handbook. Jesus said that with faith as like a little child we shall see heaven. Matthew 18:3. Therefore I try to trust in God's direction through His word and believe with faith like a little child. Often what I read in the Bible makes no earthly sense, but even as a little child believes what a parent tells them without understanding, I take on faith what God's word tells me. It is in this complete trust in Him that He blesses me.

God has provided for my needs every time. Many times it is obviously a miracle. Sometimes you might explain it away as coincidence. If you believe in the Almighty God who created Heaven and earth, a sovereign God, who is who His word says He is, there is no such thing as coincidence.

It is a thrill to watch Him work. I have been blessed in that the more I trust Him, the more I see the miraculous where there could be no explanation of coincidence. I have heard good and decent folks attempt to explain away God's moves under the "coincidence" label. Paul wrote that faith is believing in things not seen. I believe that faith is an action word, a verb if you will. If you have it, you DO it.

One thing I want to be sure is clear. Faith alone is worthless. God has brought me through circumstances that teach me very clearly that if I have faith in Him, I must accept Him on His terms. I read things in the Bible that I don't understand. I have encountered many people that say they believe in God, but don't agree with this or that. How many times I have heard the phrase "I just don't agree with that" or "How can a loving God do…….?". Personally I think most of these folks really haven't read the whole book. Those that may have, really don't want to confront sin the way God does. They don't want anyone, not even God to tell them what is sin. Some folks act like they want to straddle the fence rather than stand for God's principles. The go along to get along crowd. I believe that God is going to take this world and this nation to a place where fence straddling will be a thing of the past. That old saying, "you got to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything" comes to mind. I know from personal experience that faith requires standing on God's word, all of it. He has proven to me over and over that accepting Him on His terms and acting on faith trusting all He has said means that He alone will provide and guide me through whatever happens.

Whatever comes in this nation as God judges it and the world for thumbing their collective noses at the Almighty, My faith is in Him. I have seen Him do it. His word tells how He has done it. And I know He will take His people, by faith, through what is to come.

Thank God He make His truth easy to understand, even for a simple person like myself. Simply walking in faith, Ray

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