Keep the Faith…

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”      – Hebrews 11:1

The past few days have been trying… I’ve been in the house all week and unable to work; sick with a bad cold, and occasionally wishing God would just get it over with and take me now…  I spent a lot of that time fretting over my financial situation and my current work prospects. There are a number of paths I could pursue, but God has not opened any doors or made His Will plain as of yet… I’ve also discovered that for me, sitting in an empty house is much worse than being alone out in the Woods…

Doubt creeps in during the midnight hours, when sleep doesn’t come easy and your dreams are feverish. You awake alone in the dark, sweating then shivering; lying there, wondering where God is and does He care at all that you can barely breathe, your head is pounding, and your chest aches every time you cough… Lord, will you heal me, will I be able to pay the bills this month?  Lord, please make my path plain…

It is just such moments the Enemy looks for; he’s been waiting all night… Playing on your fears and taking advantage of our weak flesh, he calls out of the dark, “Where is your God?!?” In that moment, we have a decision to make; that voice must be answered or it will not go away… Will we give in to despair? Or will we cry out in faith, “My God is here!”

Faith is the most fundamental element of our relationship with God, for “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” (Hebrews 11:6).

The eleventh chapter of the Book of Hebrews is the great “Hall of Faith” chapter, recording the works that God did through such stalwarts as Noah, Abraham, and Moses. But many forget the last few verses of that chapter; after recounting the mighty acts of faith of the patriarchs, the tone suddenly changes…

And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.” -Hebrews 11:36-38

The life of faith is often not easier than a life of unbelief. We have not been promised a better life on this plane of existence! Even the Son of God Himself suffered here. The writer of Hebrews reminds us “…consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin…” (Heb. 12:3-4).  In truth, putting God first puts you right in the crosshairs of the Enemy; and sometimes God is just fine with that. The Apostle Paul explains why…

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” -Romans 1:1-5

Hope, is what the Believer has been assured of; it is the very thing the unbeliever cannot seem to truly find. Hope of something better, whether in this world or the one soon to come… Hope is faith that God’s Word to us is true; His promises to us are true; His faithfulness to us is true…

My fever broke in the night, and I slept like I haven’t slept in days. I awoke this morning aware of God’s quiet but constant presence… I layed there for a solid hour, thinking about God’s faithfulness towards me all these many years of my wandering and struggling to know Him.

I got up and made a cup of coffee and went out on the back porch to read His Word… A sad-looking stray cat sat near the back fence soaking in the morning sun. It started to climb over the fence but stopped when I called to it. I sat down in my chair and called the cat again; he jumped down and walked tentatively towards me mewing plaintively…

“You look like I feel Kitty…” He was an old tomcat, ears torn, and missing a lower canine tooth. Knowing better, I went back in the house and opened a can of tuna; I brought it outside and set it near the back porch. The old cat consumed the whole can in minutes. Then he walked straight up to me, leaned up against my leg, and just stared up at me, purring as loud as an idling outboard motor…

“Guess we’ve both been blessed today, huh ole fella?” Tears began to run down my face as I thought of God’s grace and provision for me all these years. “Thank you Lord; thank you for your grace; thank you for meeting my every need; thank you for restoring my faith.” Truly you are good to all…

4 thoughts on “Keep the Faith…”

  1. Better than we deserve…..

    Psalms 3:3-3 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

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