Faith on Display!

Faith “lived out” is like a visual aid! It is like a living, breathing, walking, behaving, trusting visual aid and inspiration. Those ancient saints mentioned in Hebrews 11 are that kind of visual aid (at great cost, I might add) who still motivate us to trust God and His Word. The writer of Hebrews (Paul?) has given us three key words in Hebrews 13:7. Here they are: “….whose faith follow….” The idea here seems to be to pursue and get a grip on their quality of faith. But, there’s a “catch.” In order to see that kind of faith develop in our lives, we have to have faith in Jesus as our Savior and Lord. From the moment of the new birth, our faith (trust) must grow, mature and become “cast-iron.” What about someone who is not born again? Can’t he or she have strong faith? Yes, but it may fail to help them because of what or whom they trust. Spiritually, it is guaranteed to fail! Why is that? It is because their faith is not grounded in what God says! People sometimes claim Christians have “blind” faith. However, it is far from “blind” when it is placed in One Who has never failed and Whose Word has never been, and will never be, proven wrong! When we trust unconditionally, we display a faith that others can be encouraged to have for themselves. When we trust fully, we can sing, as Luther B. Bridgers hymn, “He Keeps Me Singing,” describes: “There’s within my heart a melody. Jesus whispers sweet and low,” Fear not, I am with thee, peace, be still, “in all of life’s ebb and flow. All my life was wrecked by sin and strife, discord filled my heart with pain, Jesus swept across the broken strings, stirred the slumbering chords again. Though sometimes He leads through waters deep, trials fall across the way; though sometimes the path seems rough and steep, see His footprints all the way. Feasting on the riches of His grace, resting ‘neath His sheltering wing, always looking on His smiling face, that is why I shout and sing. Soon He’s coming back to welcome me far beyond the starry sky; I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown, I shall reign with Him on high. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, sweetest name I know, fills my every longing, keeps me singing as I go.” Selah! Let God’s Word build and strengthen in you, a faith (trust) that others will want to, and be able to, follow!   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

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Faith is Patient!

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him….”

When we are impatient, it is anything but restful. Faith is patient, no matter how long it has to wait. If it is genuine faith in God, we are at rest because we trust Him all the way to Heaven. The problem is that we want answers now, or to understand why He hasn’t solved our problem, or why He doesn’t respond to our crisis or emergency in the way we want or expect. That is only conditional trust: “If He isn’t going to answer my urgent plea for help, then why should I trust Him?” Unconditional trust accepts His answers when they might be “yes,” “no,” or “wait,” even if we have to wait until Heaven! He knows what He is doing; He doesn’t make mistakes, He will always do right (even when it seems wrong). When we trust completely in His wisdom, knowledge, love, mercy, grace, and promises, we can “let go,” relax, and rest, confident that “….all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to (His) purpose.” (From Romans 8:28). Edgar Page Stite’s hymn, “Trusting Jesus,” speaks of unconditional trust: “Simply trusting every day, trusting through a stormy way; even when my faith is small, trusting Jesus, that is all. Brightly doth His Spirit shine into this poor heart of mine; while He leads I cannot fall; trusting Jesus, that is all. Singing if my way is clear, praying if the path be drear; if in danger for Him call; trusting Jesus, that is all. Trusting Him while life shall last, trusting Him till earth be past; till within the jasper wall, trusting Jesus, that is all. Trusting as the moments fly, trusting as the days go by; trusting Him whate’er befall, trusting Jesus, that is all.” Selah! God isn’t a puppet or robot that we can bid do whatever we wan’t; He is a wise and loving Father to all the redeemed and He will always do right! We do not have to understand, only trust!    Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Faith Defends!

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (one). (Ephesians 6:16). What are the fiery darts? Let me share what some of these darts are: deceit, discouragement, doubts, sinful pleasures, false teaching, ridicule, possessions, fear, lustful desires, pride, envy, jealousy………and the list goes on. These things are constantly sent flying against us. Too many of us think that we wouldn’t give in to these kinds of things. However, when we might think we can “handle” these temptations, in a weak moment one of these darts strikes its target and we are defeated. That is, unless we constantly keep in place the Shield of Faith (the Word of God) and knowing how to use it, we deflect all incoming missiles. Many have fallen – victims to the devil’s darts! Keep that shield in place and know how to use it! In the hymn, “The Shield of Faith,” D. S. Warner has provided these insightful lyrics: “Take the shield of faith, my brother, hold it boldly in the light; and its awful, burnished glory will put every foe to flight. Faith is mighty and will conquer, bind it firmly on thy heart; on the hottest field of battle, thou shalt quench the vilest dart. And when trouble specters round thee come, thy spirit to depress, lift the shield of faith abounding, and thy soul shall calmly rest. Then put on the holy armor and defy the tempting throng; over all the foes that gather, shout and sing the victor’s song. In the mighty name of Jesus, ever lift up the shield of faith; wield the sword of truth, my brother, Heav’n will crown thy fight of faith.” Selah! You have a perfect defense weapon, the Word of God! Know how to use it!    Ron

Questions? E-mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Relax, Trust!

….in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength….” This Scripture portion from Isaiah 30:15 is too easily glanced at, but too often not given careful thought. We get “up tight;” “What are we, or what am I, going to do?” It’s all right to recognize a need; it’s not O. K. to get stressed. Starting to worry or panic is to reveal a lack of trust (faith). Even if you doubt or don’t believe it, if you know Jesus as Lord and Savior, God stands ready to help with your need. Problems need to be faced calmly and with self-examination. Ask yourself: “Is there undealt-with sin in my life?” “Have I violated a Scriptural principle?” “Have I handled my financial life God’s way?” “Is this simply a test of my faith (trust)?” “Have I asked God for help and guidance?” “Am I determined to trust when it doesn’t seem to do any good?” “Have I asked for others to pray with me regarding a need?” God’s answer may not be what you want; will you still trust His love and wisdom? Charles Albert Tindley’s hymn title, “Leave It There,” emphasizes a very often overlooked point. The point is to “leave it there!” “If the world from you withhold of its silver and gold, and you have to get along with meager fare, just remember, in His Word, how He feeds the little bird – take your burden to the Lord and leave it there. If your body suffers pain and your health you can’t regain, and your soul is almost sinking in despair, Jesus knows the pain you feel, He can save and He can heal – take your burden to the Lord and leave it there. When your enemies assail and your heart begins to fail, don’t forget that God in heaven answers prayer; He will make a way for you and will lead you safely through – take your burden to the Lord and leave it there. When your youthful days are gone and old age is stealing on, and your body bends beneath the weight of care, He will never leave you then, He’ll go with you to the end – take your burden to the Lord and leave it there. Leave it there, leave it there, take your burden to the Lord and leave it there; if you trust and never doubt, He will surely bring you out. Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.” Selah! Will you trust even if He takes you home through suffering and/or death? Remember: You can trust in the trustworthiness of the trustworthy One!   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Navigating Life

God never intended for His children to live their lives without His involvement! He doesn’t want us to “go it alone.” If we are living only depending on ourselves, friends, family, and people in general, we are doomed to failure. Even if we have a “good” life, what about when we stand before Him? Life can defeat and discourage us with many trials. God stands ready to help us navigate the whole journey of life and to finish well. He asks only that we place our faith (our unconditional trust) in Him and His guidance. In Proverbs 3:5-6, He tells us: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” You may never have the tests, dangers, fears, sufferings, etc. of Abraham, Job, Daniel or his companions, but you can exercise their faith. No matter what you experience, trust! It doesn’t have to make sense, be easy to take or end quickly. Whatever He allows or causes, He has a good reason. Ponder this hymn carefully: “Since thy Father’s arm sustains thee, peaceful be, when a chastening hand restrains thee, it is He, know His love in full completeness fills the measure of thy weakness, if He wound thy spirit sore, trust Him more. Without murmur, uncomplaining, in His hand leave whatever things thou canst not understand, tho’ the world thy folly spurneth, from thy faith in pity turneth, peace thy inmost soul shall fill, lying still. Fearest sometimes that  thy Father hath forgot? When the clouds around thee gather, doubt Him not; always hath the daylight broken, always hath He comfort spoken, better hath He been for years, than thy fears. To His own the Saviour giveth daily strength, to each troubled soul that liveth, peace at length; weakest lambs have largest sharing of the tender shepherd’s caring, ask Him not then, when or how, only bow.” (“Since Thy Father’s Arm Sustain Thee” by Carl Rudolph Hagenbach). Selah! Faith (real trust) is not in facts, it is in the Person to which those facts apply.   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

The Wealth of Faith

In I Peter 1:7, Peter was inspired to point out how valuable faith is to those who know Jesus. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” He compares faith with gold and points out that faith is  much more valuable than gold. Indeed it is! However, what is faith, or perhaps I should ask: “Faith in what?” We might put faith (trust) in a person and end up finding out that he failed us. Nevertheless, there is One (and One only) Who never fails! His name is Jesus! So, back to the first question: “What is faith?” It is a determined resolution of the will, regardless of feelings, doubts or circumstances, to depend on and trust in Jesus, no matter how things might seem, or even when it doesn’t seem to have done any good. In other words, we trust unconditionally! Edgar Page Stites has given us a hymn that is simply titled, “Trusting Jesus.” It contains some great thoughts on faith: “Simply trusting every day; trusting through a stormy way; even when my faith is small, trusting Jesus, that is all! Brightly doth His Spirit shine into this poor heart of mine; while He leads I cannot fall; trusting Jesus, that is all. Singing if my way is clear; praying if the path be drear; if in danger for Him call; trusting Jesus, that is all. Trusting Him while life shall last, trusting Him till earth be past; till within the jasper wall, trusting Jesus, that is all. Trusting as the moments fly, trusting as the days go by; trusting Him whate’er befall, trusting Jesus, that is all.” Selah! God willing, I’d like to examine over the next two or three days how faith has been proven to be of huge value. Hope you’ll join us and be encouraged.   Ron

Questions? E-mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Grace is Given

Life throws a lot at us but only as God allows. For the unsaved person, it can make him and her see the need they have for God. For those who have entered into a relationship with Jesus as their Lord and Savior, a response of trust during trials and testings leads to a wonderful discovery. They find that He makes sufficient grace available for every trial and test. Is someone thinking: “He wouldn’t write that so quickly, if he knew what I’m going through.” Take a hard look at Paul’s trials and tests in II Corinthians 11. Then, go to Chapter 12 and look at his “thorn in the flesh.” What was his response of trust? “And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (II Corinthians 12:9). Was God’s grace sufficient? Look at Paul’s second letter to Timothy (II Timothy 4:6-8). God’s grace was sufficient and history records that Paul drew on that sufficiency all the way home to victory! Blind Fanny Crosby wrote of this sufficiency in her hymn, “All the Way My Savior Leads Me.” Think on this stanza: “All the way my Savior leads me, cheers each winding path I tread, gives me grace for every trial, feeds me with the living Bread. Though my weary steps may falter and my soul athirst may be, gushing from the Rock before me, Lo! A spring of joy I see; gushing from the Rock before me, Lo! A spring of joy I see.” Selah! You may think, “I don’t have that kind of faith.” If you think that way, you’ve missed the point. It’s not the strength of your faith that will get you through; it’s the strength of the Object of your faith that He graciously gives to us when we are being tried.   Ron

Questions? E-mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com