A Journal Post From Caring Bridge During Bill’s Battle (Dated 4/15/16)
I contemplated calling this: “How to Have Faith: Step One”. I was going to do that just to be funny, because faith is a gift from God (Romans 12:3,Ephesians 2:8) so how do you “do” it or attain to it? The rub is that people are still craving it and wishing they had more. This is nothing new and it’s not wrong to want it. In fact, it’s a really good thing.
Even in the Gospels, the apostles were asking for more faith (Luke 17:5). If you want more of it, you are in good company.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 KJV)
This verse has been on my radar all year. Scripture makes it clear that all trials are used to refine our faith and/or bring glory to God. When life throws us lemons, it can be easy to get discouraged and give up hope. What is interesting is that the death of hope means the death of faith. This Scripture makes it clear that “faith is the substance of things hoped for”. How can we have faith, if we don’t have hope?
My hope and prayer is that God is using our family trial to restore hope in His Bride. We are nothing if not a people of hope. Hope births faith. Faith births love and love conquers all. These are meant to be the defining characteristics of Jesus followers.
I have felt discouraged and faithless many times. All I can do at those times is hit my knees and cry out to My Daddy God. Hope is scary. It is hard to expose your heart to it, because there is always the potential of being crushed. The truth is that we will be crushed on some level in life and surely all of us already have been, which is why many have limited their capacity to hope in the future. Each time we feel crushed, we have a choice. Do we get jaded like the world and choose to close off a portion of ourselves to God and others or do we stand strong in Christ? From the moment we are born, the enemy of our souls is tempting us to believe we are unloved and rejected, while God the Father is beckoning us to Truth which says otherwise.
My prayer for myself and you is that we dare to hope in God. Every. Time.
Dare to trust Him for healing in yourself or your loved one, because it is who He is (Healer) and what He does (see Jesus). Dare to hope that He will turn around a wayward or unbelieving loved one, because He is the Redeemer and He paid a dear price for that person. Dare to believe that He will heal broken hearts and mend relationships, because He is the God who reconciles men; first to Himself and then to each other as they walk humbly in Christ. Dare to believe that He is bigger than any obstacle you face and loves you as much as He says He does. Is anything impossible with Almighty God? Dare to allow yourself to be all in with Him, because He is worthy of trust and proved Himself faithful in Jesus.
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 NLT)
This is real love–not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. (1 John 4:10 NLT)