Monday, July 1, 2013

Full of Faith

1 Thessalonians 5:24 (KJV)  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
1) obsolete : full of faith
2) steadfast in affection or allegiance : loyal
3) firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty : conscientious
4) given with strong assurance, binding
5) true to the facts, to a standard, or to an original

Are you getting the same picture I am?

I really homed in on the obsolete definition: full of faith.  The verse is speaking of God as being faithful.  But there’s nothing in us that would inspire anyone to have faith in what we would do on our own.  We don’t have the capacity to be worthy of faith.  But, when God’s grace works in us, we can have faith that anything is possible.  God’s involvement changes everything.

Romans 5:1-2 (KJV)  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.
Think about the definitions we started with.  He has proven Himself loyal, He sticks to His promises, He gives us assurance, and Christ in us is true to the image of the Father, through the Holy Spirit.  And all of that is because He gives us His grace and mercy.  Remember our recent discussion of faith.

We said faith is a form of trust.  We may not know what God will do, but His past actions give us a trust in the nature of what’s to come.  While we know the circumstances we’re in, we don’t know which way God will deal with it.  But we know He loves His creation.  If He promises to solve our problem, He’ll do it.  We have an assurance that what God will do is to our benefit.  And we know God’s solution will be His, not ours, not anyone else’s.

The Word tells us that God loves His creation.  Our past experience verifies that.  While what God does may not be painless, we know that He is only as rough and tough as is needed to keep us headed in the right direction.  So, while I might not be thrilled with what I’m experiencing, I can have faith that it’s for my benefit and only as uncomfortable as necessary to get my attention focused in the right direction.

Think about your best relationship.  No matter what happens, each party has faith in the other, that the intent of their actions is out of love, to bless the other.  We get that with God.  We trust Him and He trusts what Him working in us will do.  That’s both comforting and spectacular, at the same time!

We all know the angel’s statement to Mary, “Hail Mary, full of grace.”.  I can live in a variation of that.  It’s “Hail, Bill, full of faith.”, not because I have any innate capacity to generate faith, but because God has given me a multitude of reasons to trust Him.  He’s shown His love for me, He’s protected me from myself, as well as from others.  He’s taken away what I deserve (mercy) and given me blessings I don’t deserve (grace).  How can I not have faith in God?

How has God done similar things in your life?

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