Faith – have been stuck on that topic today. Posted to my FB status that on Day 7 of the month of Thanksgiving that I am thankful that I understand and believe the principle laid down for us in Hebrews 11:6 (KJV): But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
After all the left, right, and middle of the election, and all the push/pull of folks telling us what matters when most of them are clueless, I am again reminded that faith is how we respond to Him if we are obedient to Him as we are commanded. We won’t know in this life necessarily the outcome of our faithfulness – that never was promised. Take a long hard look again at Hebrews 11 if your have forgotten how those promises were made and fulfilled.
Just because we are faithful does not mean we will get our way (i.e. “have our prayers answered the way we want them answered”). I do believe without a doubt God is answering our prayers but in those answers He is seeking urgently to get our attention and get us focused on Him. And I am not aware of a situation anywhere at any time where God did not have a plan for the situation at hand.
While listening to the whining and lamenting and name calling and (of particular offense to me, the stupid actions of students at my alma mater last night), I realized we have ignored how folks around us are walking in faith. There are many examples but close to my heart because of my personal walk with BC, I am particularly tuned into these.
Today while at JOA for my semi-annual check up, I watched as a wife pushed a wheelchair bearing a very tall and very very ill man into the lab ahead of me. I watched three lab techs come straight to his aid, concerned for his pain and his needs and made a way for him to get to a place in the clinic where folks were not looking on or exposing him to who knows what. He had tubes everywhere. Yes – it was the folks at JOA’s job to take care of this man – and yes – his wife is his caregiver but the compassion with which they handled him and how they encouraged him as they cared for him, caused me to sit still (my tech was helping them) and pray while this was going on. I don’t know their names. I don’t know his prognosis though I would guess it is not good. But their faith and commitment and attention gave him comfort in that moment and gave (could see it in her face) his wife relief.
I follow/followed closely the cancer journeys of several of our church members at FBCJ. I have watched some unbelievable men of God move from this life to eternal life and do it with dignity and courage that caused others to ask what was the source of their faith. I am praying now for another church member who is in a similar battle and yet his faith and that of his wife is amazing. These folks did not turn their backs on God. They certainly were not/are not a part of the evil we see around us today. But they chose faith and moving forward with what God gives them today not whining and complaining about what might have been or should have been.
Other examples abound – these are just close to my heart because I have walked that road before. For whatever reason God chose to allow me to continue here for now. I don’t know what lies ahead for me (or for America). I do know He expects me to be praying, witnessing, sharing, giving hope, meeting the needs of others – being obedient – persevering. I suggest that is what He expects of each of us. And in our obedience, we will be amazed yet again by His grace.
Romans 5:3-5 (NASB) – And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.