Essential Faith

It is hard to talk about essentials without acknowledging that our faith in God’s existence and our assurance of His activity…not passivity…in our lives matters.  This is essential for us because it’s impossible to please God without it. 

But you don’t have to take my word for it.  Scripture tells us that “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6  

To be clear, it’s not that God is hard to please.  Or that He’s hard-nosed and a bean counter waiting for you to do enough to earn His pleasure.  Or that He requires you to purchase your own salvation, expecting the impossible from us.  That’s why Jesus came! 

God has done for us—in Christ Jesus–what is impossible in our strength alone.

Make no mistake: God is pleased with the giant leap from unbelief to faith every bit as much as He’s pleased with our growth, baby step by baby step.

I am reminded of the Bible story of the man whose son was possessed by a demon, begging Jesus if He can help.  I’ve got to believe that Jesus was smiling, His eyes twinkling, as He said this,

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-24)

I believe Jesus smiled at the man’s reply as well.  Is your belief—your faith in God—mixed with unbelief that He can (or will) act on behalf of those who love Him, on behalf of you?

Are your eyes open to see God’s activity during recent days, even during these last 65 days prior to the Presidential election?  Do you think God cares about who becomes the President? 

God is not passive.  
He is not up in heaven wringing His hands.  He isn’t worried. 
He isn’t equivocating. 
He isn’t double-minded, unsure of where to go or what to do. 
He is generous and will give wisdom! 
He is patient, not wanting anyone to perish! 
He loves to bless!

I find myself praying like this:  Lord God, I thank You that You have not given up on us. I praise You that You are our holy God in heaven and sovereign over everything. Lord God, when my heart is discouraged, please send godly encouragers my way; encouraging thoughts if there is no one around to encourage me; and I praise You that Your resources include the encouragement of Your Holy Spirit, for Whom I give thanks. I ask Lord, that You would lift up Your faithful people; that we would see Your activity in our lives; and that it would grow us in our faith.  That baby step by baby step, we would grow closer and closer to You, and that we would grow more and more in the knowledge of Your Son Jesus Christ. I pray that Your Holy Spirit would inspire us with hope and encouragement!  Grant us love and unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ irrespective of the color of our skin or the nation in which we reside. I ask, Lord, that You would give us the courage to speak of You in public–to proclaim Your Name–and to shout Your Salvation from our rooftops.  Lord Jesus, give us the words to acknowledge You in the public square; acknowledge Your goodness; Your tremendous mercy towards us; and to share the hope we have in You, indeed it is true love, not intolerance, to proclaim that the only way to the Father is through You.  Remind us often that You are very much active and very much alive and that You are immensely wise beyond anything we could ever imagine.  You know how all the pieces will come together and how You are weaving the fabric of this nation and of our lives to accomplish the tapestry of Your eternal story that You planned in eternity past.  We thank You Lord for this nation, for the freedom to be able to worship You!  We thank You, Lord, that our worship of You need not be confined to a church building but can be as public as the outdoors or as individual as a quiet heart alone in prayer.  We thank You, Lord, that You have not given up on the United States of America. We ask that You reclaim those once-faithful-Christians whose way has now gone astray.  There are many who have become distracted.  Those whose education, even in the Scriptures, has become proud and whose desires to gratify the culture, to fit in, to feel popular have caused them to become double-minded and misaligned with Your will.  Reclaim them, Lord, and do not allow errant teachings to take root, only permit what conforms to Your will and Your Word.  May You be glorified as Your will is done in this election.  Always we ask Lord that You would keep us faithful; our eyes fixed on You as the author and perfecter of our faith!  We praise You Lord! Your goodness is beyond measure; Your wisdom beyond tracing out; Your power beyond describing; and Your mercy beyond what we could hope to receive.  It is only by Your grace and the faith which You give as a gift.  We praise You Lord for Your grace and kindness and we offer these prayers in the mighty Name of Your Son and our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on August 30, 2020

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