Lately I have been talking about our unbelief and how it can ruin and destroy a life. No, I am not being overly-dramatic, either. I have often quoted Hebrews 10:38 that clearly states that Faith is not an option or a “good idea,” that earns you a pat on the head. No. It is a command. It is written, “The just shall live by faith.” It is not a passing fad, it is to be a way of life! Without faith it is impossible to please God. Scripture adds, “If any man draw back, I will have no pleasure in him” (Hebrews 10:38). Yeow!
I shudder when I think of the terror and dangers of unbelief. Unbelief is a bottomless pit of fear, anguish and discouragement. The consequences of unbelief are horrendous. It begins with being afraid of what we cannot see. Oh, I am not referring to being afraid of the dark. I am talking about being afraid; worrying that our God will not come through, for us. One fear today leads to two fears tomorrow, then three, and then fears become a bottomless pit of uncontrollable anguish and despair.
More and more I see that fear and unbelief end up as hopelessness. It leads into a wilderness of confusion and emptiness. It is not an option—it is not a small issue with our God. It is a matter of life and death. It will lead to worying about everything, present and future. Fear is torment.
All God’s children are enduring afflictions and troubles of various kinds. It is heartrending to hear the painful things the righteous are now suffering. My family is also being severely tried and tested.
Some of you who are facing overwhelming and troubling situations, both physical and spiritual, are losing heart. If you are going through the refining fires, I have a word for you.
FAITH IS AN INVITATION TO PARTAKE OF THE GREAT GOODNESS OF THE LORD.
Go ahead and write that down somewhere. The take a look at one of the most encouraging promises in all of God’s Word. Let this promise sink deep into your soul:
“Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear, revere, and worship You, goodness which You have wrought for those who trust andtake refuge in You before the sons of men!
In the secret place of Your presence You hide them from the plots of men; You keep them secretly in Your pavilion from the strife of tongues” (Psalm 31:19-20).
That is great encouragement to hold steadfast in your faith. That is a bold, glorious promise. The Lord is saying, “Trust me before men and I will open my storehouse of abundance and pour it on you. I will hide you in the secret place of my presence; I will not allow strife to overwhelm you.”
Yeah, yeah. Some folks might tell you that you shouldn't be asking your Father to obtain good things from Him. Even other Christians might tell you things like that. They will say, "No. He is not a genie that you can rub His bottle and suddenly He pops out and grants you three wishes . . ." Oh, bunk! Hebrews 10:35 says, “Don't throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” The Amplified Version paints an even better picture:
"Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward"
Ooh, it doesn't stop there:
“Without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must necessarily believe that God exists and that He rewards those who earnestly and diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6)
There is no confusion about that. The Lord will rewardanyone who is serious about their faith and are committed to following Him. Those rewards of faith are numerous, such as the rewards of strength, peace and calm in the midst of your storm!
Oh my friends, our Father rejoices in our faith. He not only rejoices in our faith--he exaltsin our faith. He is waiting anxiously to give us hope and to open our eyes to his loving care. The decision is ours to make. Right now! While you are reading this. It is within our power to choose to trust God in our current trials--as well as future trials. Actually, you will either choose the wilderness of despair or the smile of the Lord and an open heaven.
Father, help all of us to hold fast to our faith. To not give up. We are too close to the end of the race.
Oh, my Father, you are indeed my hiding place. You keep me safe from trouble. All around me are your songs of being made free.
You have promised me, "I will show you and teach you in the way you should go. I will tell you what to do with My eye upon you” (Psalm 32:7-8). So, I rest in that promise! You will guide and teach me; you will speak and encourage me. Thank you, Father. You are my joy and I delight in you each morning.
(I send out messages like each morning. If you are interested, let me know. However, you can also find these messages at: Thought For The Day)