PUTTING ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD #4b
Ex. 14:13. Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day.
Deut. 20:1. When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. Num. 21:34. Deut. 1:21-31.
Deut. 31:8. The Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed, vs. 6-8.
Josh. 1:9. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. vs. 5-9.
2 Chr. 15:7. Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.
2 Chr. 16:9. The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.
2 Chr. 20:20. Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.
2 Chr. 32:7. Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him. 8. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles.
Neh. 4:14. Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible.
Psa: 4:5. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.
Psa. 27:14. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart.
Psa. 31:19. How great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! 24. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.
Psa. 37:3. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 5. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 7. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him. 39. The salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble. 40. The Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them; because they trust in him.
Psa. 55:22. Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
Psa. 62:8. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.
Psa. 115:9. O Israel, trust thou in the Lord, he is their help and their shield. 11. Ye that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord: he is their help and their shield,
Prov. 3:5. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 24. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. 25. Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. 26. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
Ptov. 16:3. Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.
Isa. 26:4. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength: 20. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
Isa. 35:3. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. 4. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.
Isa. 41:10. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 13. I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. 14. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
Isa. 43:1. Thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. 2. When thou passest through the waters, I will he with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. 5. Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 10. That ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he.
Hab. 2:3. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, . . . though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. 4. The just shall live by his faith.
Zeph. 3:16. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. 17. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
Zech. 8:9. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets.
[ARE YOU STUDYING WHAT THE PROPHETS TELL YOU? ALL THE PROPHETIC BOOKS OF THE BIBLE I HAVE EXPOUNDED FOR YOU ON THIS WEBSITE. IT IS TIME NOW TO STUDY THESE WORDS; TIME NOW TO REALLY STUDY THE DEEP THINGS OF GOD’S WORD WHILE IT IS DAY; THE NIGHT COMES WHEN NO MAN WILL WORK IN THE FREEDOM WE HAVE; ONLY THEN WILL GOD HAVE TWO WITNESSES IN JERUSALEM TO DECLARE THE WORD OF THE ALMIGHTY TO THIS EARTH.
IT IS WRITTEN IN THE PROPHETS, “BEHOLD THE DAYS COME, SAYS THE LORD GOD, THAT I WILL SEND A FAMINE IN THE LAND, NOT A FAMINE OF BREAD, NOR A THIRST FOR WATER; BUT OF HEARING THE WORDS OF THE LORD. AND THEY SHALL WANDER FROM SEA TO SEA, AND FROM THE NORTH EVEN TO THE EAST; THEY SHALL RUN TO AND FRO TO SEEK THE WORD OF THE LORD, AND SHALL NOT FIND IT” (AMOS 8: 11, 12).
NOW IS THE TIME OF FREEDOM AND OPENNESS TO STUDY FROM THIS WEBSITE; INDEED THE TIME WILL COME WHEN IT WILL BE HERE NO MORE; NOW IS THE TIME TO SEEK THE LORD WHILE HE MAY BE FOUND - Keith Hunt]
Matt. 6:25. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your clothes, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26. Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27. Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature. 28. And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29. And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31. Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall I we be clothed? 32. (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33. But Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Luke 12:22-32.
Matt. 17:18. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. 19. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20. And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto vou. Mark 11:23,24.
Mark 1:15. Repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Mark 11:22. And Jesus answering saith unto them, have faith in God.
Luke 12:32. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
[THE GREEK HERE FOR “LITTLE” IS A DOUBLE DIMINUTIVE —— LITTLE LITTLE, OR VERY LITTLE - Keith Hunt]
FAITH IN CHRIST:
Matt. 7:24. Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. Luke 6:46-49.
Matt. 83. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 13. As thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.
Matt. 9:22. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. 29. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
Matt. 11:6. Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. 28. Come all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Matt. 14:27. Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. John 6:20.
Matt. 15:28. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.
Matt. 17:7. Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.
Mark 9:23. Jesus said unto him. If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
Mark 16:16. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Luke 7:9. When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 50. And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
Luke 8:50. When Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. Mark 5:36.
Luke 17:6. If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree. Be thou plucked lip by the root, and bo thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
Luke 18:42. Jesus said unto him. Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.
John 1:12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
John 3:14. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15. That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 15. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 18. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Sort of God. 36. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 6:47.
John 5:24. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
John 6:29. This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. 35. He that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 45. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
John 7:38. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
John 11:25. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die [shall not die forever].
John 12:36. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. 44. Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me [only], but on him that sent me. 46. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
John 13:7. What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. 20. He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
John 14:1. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 11. Or else believe me for the very works sake. 12. He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
John 16:27. For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God! 33. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.
John 18:37. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
John 20:27. And be not faithless, but believing. 29. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. 31. But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Acts 10:43. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
Acts 15:9. And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 11. But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
Acts 16:31. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Acts 20:21. Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts. 26:18, That they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Rom. 3:22. Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation [atoning sacrifice] through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. 26. To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
[YOU CAN NOT AMASS DEEDS OF LAW KEEPING TO JUSTIFY YOURSELF TO GOD THE FATHER; IT CAN ONLY COME BY FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS AS YOUR SACRIFICIAL SAVIOR - Keith Hunt]
Rom. 9:33. As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Rom. 10:4. For Christ is the end [the goal] of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. 9. If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Gal. 2:16: Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ.
Gal. 3:1. O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2. This only would I learn of you, Receive ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3. Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Gal. 5:6. In Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
Eph. 1:12. That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. 14. Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Eph. 3:12. In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. 17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.
Eph. 4:13. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
Phil. 3:9. Not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.
Col. 2:7. Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith.
Tim. 1:16. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
Tim. 1:13. In faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Tim. 3:15. From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Heb. 4:16. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Heb. 10:22. Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.
Heb. 12:2. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
Heb. 13:7. Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow.
1 Pet. 1:8. In whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
Pet. 2:6. Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: Isa. 28:16.
Pet. 1:1. Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
1 John 3:23. This is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ.
1 John 5:4. This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: ... 13. Unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. 14. This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.
Rev. 3:18, I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, ... 20. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
GOD’S WORD ENCOURAGES US, EXHORTS US, IMPLORES US, TO HAVE FAITH IN HIM AND ALL THAT HE HAS PROMISED.
FAITH COVERS SO MANY ASPECTS OF SALVATION AND WALKING IN THE TRUTHS OF GOD.
THE WORDS “FAITH” AND “FAITHFUL” ARE FOUND IN THE KJV BIBLE ABOUT 350 TIMES.
In the October 1993 issue of Life magazine, a photo by Scott Threlkeld shows three teenage boys who have jumped from a thirty-foot-high cypress branch toward a dark Louisiana pond. Threlkeld evidently climbed the tree and shot from above the shirtless, soaring Huck Finns, for we look down on the boys and the pond.
There's something inspiring, even spiritual, about this picture.
The lanky boy on the right shows the least confidence, jumping feet first, knees bent and legs spread, ungainly arms flapping like a drunken stork about to make a crash landing.
The middle boy dives head first, arms spread stiffly straight and perpendicular, like the wings of a Piper Cub airplane. His head is slightly ducked and to the right, as if he were approaching the runway against a side wind. He is in a hurry to reach the water.
The third boy also dives head first but he isn't hurrying toward the tunnel-dark pond. He is floating. His head is up. His body is in a relaxed arch, both knees slightly bent, legs slightly apart. His arms are nonchalantly straight, hanging from his shoulders in an upside-down V. Poised and self-assured, as playful as an acrobat on the flying trapeze, he knows exactly where he is and, it appears, waits until the last moment to lift his arms, duck his head, and slip into the water.
No matter their kinesthetic sense or style, each of these three boys did a challenging thing: He took a scary leap.
Granted, high dives into country backwaters aren't always wise, but sometimes to follow God we must take a similar leap of faith. When we do, we will find that the kingdom of God is in the pond.
Fear, Ministry, Obedience, Risk, Service Matt. 14:22-33; Heb. 11:8-10
An illustration of the balance between faith and works lies hidden within any tree. Leaves use up nutrients in the process of photosynthesis. As the leaves consume nutrients in the sap, a suction is formed, which draws more sap from the roots. Without the sap, the leaves and branches would die. But the continual flow of this sap comes only as it is used up by the work of the leaf.
Likewise, through faith we draw life from Christ. But a continual supply of fresh spiritual nutrients depends on our willingness to "consume" the old supply through our acts of obedience, through our works.
Good Works, Power
In April 1988 the evening news reported on a photographer who was a skydiver. He had jumped from a plane along with numerous other skydivers and filmed the group as they fell and opened their parachutes. On the film shown on the telecast, as the final skydiver opened his chute, the picture went berserk. The announcer reported that the cameraman had fallen to his death, having jumped out of the plane without his parachute. It wasn't until he reached for the absent ripcord that he realized he was freefalling without a parachute.
Until that point, the jump probably seemed exciting and fun. But tragically, he had acted with thoughtless haste and deadly foolishness. Nothing could save him, for his faith was in a parachute never buckled on. Faith in anything but an all-sufficient God can be just as tragic spiritually. Only with faith in Jesus Christ dare we step into the dangerous excitement of life.
The African impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance of greater than 30 feet. Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a 3-foot wall. The animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will fall.
Faith is the ability to trust what we cannot see, and with faith we are freed from the flimsy enclosures of life that only fear allows to entrap us.
Spiritual Perception, vision
This piece was heard on National Public Radio's Morning Edition on November 2,1988:
In 1958, America's first commercial jet air service began with the flight of the Boeing 707. A month after that first flight, a traveler on a piston-engine, propeller-driven DC-6 airliner struck up a conversation with a fellow passenger. The passenger happened to be a Boeing engineer. The traveler asked the engineer about the new jet aircraft, whereupon the engineer began speaking at length about the extensive testing Boeing had done on the jet engine before bringing it into commercial service. He recounted Boeing's experience with engines, from the B-17 to the B-52.
When his traveling companion asked him if he himself had yet flown on the new 707 jet airliner, the engineer replied, "I think I'll wait until it's been in service awhile."
Even enthusiastic talking about our faith doesn't mean much if we aren't also willing to put our lives where our mouth is.
Dormer Atwood, in Reformed Review, writes:
During the terrible days of the Blitz, a father, holding his small son by the hand, ran from a building that had been struck by a bomb. In the front yard was a shell hole. Seeking shelter as soon as possible, the father jumped into the hole and held up his arms for his son to follow.
Terrified, yet hearing his father's voice telling him to jump, the boy replied, "I can't see you!"
The father, looking up against the sky tinted red by the burning buildings, called to the silhouette of his son, "But I can see you. Jump!"
The boy jumped, because he trusted his father.
The Christian faith enables us to face life or meet death, not because we can see, but with the certainty that we are seen; not that we know all the answers, but that we are known.
Father God, God's Knowledge
Imagine a family of mice who lived all their lives in a large piano. To them in their piano-world came the music of the instrument, filling all the dark spaces with sound and harmony. At first the mice were impressed by it. They drew comfort and wonder from the thought that there was Someone who made the music—though invisible to them—above, yet close to them. They loved to think of the Great Player whom they could not see.
Then one day a daring mouse climbed up part of the piano and returned very thoughtful. He had found out how music was made. Wires were the secret; tightly stretched wires of graduated lengths that trembled and vibrated. They must revise all their old beliefs: none but the most conservative could any longer believe in the Unseen Player.
Later, another explorer carried the explanation further. Hammers were now the secret, numbers of hammers dancing and leaping on the wires. This was a more complicated theory, but it all went to show that they lived in a purely mechanical and mathematical world. The Unseen Player came to be thought of as a myth.
But the pianist continued to play.
Doubt, God's Sovereignty
Author Marshall Shelley, who suffered the deaths of two of his children, writes in Leadership:
Even as a child, I loved to read, and I quickly learned that I would most likely be confused during the opening chapters of a novel. New characters were introduced. Disparate, seemingly random events took place. Subplots were complicated and didn't seem to make any sense in relation to the main plot.
But I learned to keep reading. Why? Because you know that the author, if he or she is good, will weave them all together by the end of the book. Eventually, each element will be meaningful.
At times, such faith has to be a conscious choice.
Even when I can't explain why a chromosomal abnormality develops in my son, which prevents him from living on earth more than two minutes....
Even when I can't fathom why our daughter has to endure two years of severe and profound retardation and continual seizures....
I choose to trust that before the book closes, the Author will make things clear.
Confusion, Death, Mourning, Trials, Trust Prov. 3:5-6; Mark 4:35-41; 2 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 11
In 1972 NASA launched the exploratory space probe Pioneer 10. According to Leon Jaroff in Time, its primary mission was to reach Jupiter, photograph the planet and its moons, and beam data to Earth about Jupiter's magnetic field, radiation belts, and atmosphere. Scientists regarded this as a bold plan, for at this time no probe had ever gone beyond Mars, and they feared the asteroid belt would destroy Pioneer 10 before it could reach its target.
But Pioneer 10 accomplished its mission and much more. Swinging past the giant planet in November 1973, Pioneer 10 was then hurled by Jupiter's immense gravity at a higher rate of speed toward the edge of the solar system. At 1 billion miles from the sun Pioneer 10 passed Saturn, then swept past Uranus at some 2 billion miles, Neptune at nearly 3 billion miles, Pluto at almost 4 billion miles. By 1997, twenty-five years after its launch, Pioneer 10 was more than 6 billion miles from the sun. (Not bad for a device that was designed to have a useful life of only three years.)
And despite that immense distance, Pioneer 10 was still beaming back radio signals that scientists on Earth could decipher. "Perhaps most remarkable," writes Jaroff, "those signals emanate from an 8-watt transmitter, which radiates about as much power as a bedroom night light, and take more than nine hours to reach Earth."
Even a faint message can travel a long way. Similarly, even prayers with small faith can reach the heart of God, whose great strength can work the impossible.
Expectations, Mustard Seed, Perseverance, Persistence, Prayer,
Weakness Matt. 17:20-21; Luke 17:5-6
In Christianity Today, Philip Yancey writes:
I remember my first visit to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. Rings of Japanese and German tourists surrounded the geyser, their video cameras trained like weapons on the famous hole in the ground. A large, digital clock stood beside the spot, predicting 24 minutes until the next eruption.
My wife and I passed the countdown in the dining room of Old Faithful Inn overlooking the geyser. When the digital clock reached one minute, we, along with every other diner, left our seats and rushed to the windows to see the big, wet event.
I noticed that immediately, as if on signal, a crew of busboys and waiters descended on the tables to refill water glasses and clear away dirty dishes. When the geyser went off, we tourists oohed and aahed and clicked our cameras; a few spontaneously applauded. But, glancing back over my shoulder, I saw that not a single waiter or busboy—not even those who had finished their chores—looked out the huge windows. Old Faithful, grown entirely too familiar, had lost its power to impress them.
Few things are more quickly taken for granted than God's faithfulness. But few things are more important. God's faithfulness deserves our untiring praise and wonder.
Familiarity, Thanksgiving, Wonder, Worship Ps. 145; Luke 17:11-19; Heb. 10:23
Brent Philip Waters in The Christian Ministry writes:
A favorite nursery rhyme is the familiar tale of an egg that takes an unfortunate tumble:
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put
Humpty together again.
According to those who know about such things, this piece of wisdom is a relic thousands of years old. Versions have appeared in eight European languages.
In its primitive stages, however, Humpty Dumpty was a riddle. It asked the question: what, when broken, can never be repaired, not even by strong or wise individuals? As any child knows, an egg. Regardless of how hard we try, a broken egg can never be put back together again. We simply have to learn to live with the mess.
Your faith ought to get you in trouble at times. If everybody thinks you are nuts, you may be. It's OK if some think you are. You're probably in trouble if no one thinks you are.
If I Had Only Known You Lord,
across the barrenness to You
with my empty cup uncertain in asking
any small drop of refreshment.
If only I had known You better
I'd have come Running With a bucket.
—Nancy Spiegelberg and Dorothy Purdy, Fanfare: A Celebration of Belief
Tradition is the living faith of those now dead. Traditionalism is the dead faith of those still living.
—Jaroslav Pelikan, The Vindication of Tradition
Legend has it that a man was lost in the desert, just dying for a drink of water. He stumbled upon an old shack—a ramshackled, windowless, roofless, weatherbeaten old shack. He looked about this place and found a little shade from the heat of the desert sun. As he glanced around he saw a pump about fifteen feet away—an old, rusty water pump. He stumbled over to it, grabbed the handle, and began to pump up and down, up and down. Nothing came out.
Disappointed, he staggered back. He noticed off to the side an old jug. He looked at it, wiped away the dirt and dust, and read a message that said, "You have to prime the pump with all the water in this jug, my friend. P.S. Be sure you fill the jug again before you leave."
He popped the cork out of the jug and sure enough, it was almost full of water! Suddenly, he was faced with a decision. If he drank the water, he could live. Ah, but if he poured all the water in the old rusty pump, maybe it would yield fresh, cool water from down deep in the well, all the water he wanted.
He studied the possibility of both options. What should he do, pour it into the old pump and take a chance on fresh, cool water or drink what was in the old jug and ignore its message? Should he waste all the water on the hopes of those flimsy instructions written, no telling how long ago?
Reluctantly he poured all the water into the pump. Then he grabbed the handle and began to pump, squeak, squeak, squeak. Still nothing came out! Squeak, squeak, squeak. A little bit began to dribble out, then a small stream, and finally it gushed! To his relief fresh, cool water poured out of the rusty pump. Eagerly, he filled the jug and drank from it. He filled it another time and once again drank its refreshing contents.
Then he filled the jug for the next traveler. He filled it to the top, popped the cork back on, and added this little note: "Believe me, it really works. You have to give it all away before you can get anything back."
—Charles R. Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity
Faith is engaging in the deepest joy of heaven, knowing His unfathomable love for me as I walk through the thorny desolate now.
—Pamela Reeve, Faith Is
During Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's eight years in Russian camps, his parents died and his wife divorced him. Upon his release from prison he was dying of a cancer that was growing in him so rapidly that he could feel the difference in a span of twelve hours. It was at that point that he abandoned himself to God, so beautifully illustrated in three lines of the incredible prayer that came in that dark hour: "Oh God, how easy it is for me to believe in You. You created a path for me through despair.... O God, You have used me, and where You cannot use me, You have appointed others. Thank You."
—Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Faith is speaking truth in love even at the cost of position of relationship.
—Pamela Reeve, Faith Is