Monday, August 11, 2014

THE LIFE OF FAITH by Gary Wilkerson

Most of us would like the ability to do certain things in life that we can’t do. I’m talking about things that are not just hard but impossible.

Even the most devoted followers of Jesus cannot fix certain things but we do know the One who can. The wonderful thing about life in Christ is that we get to engage in amazing things we could not do on our own. In fact, Jesus calls us to participate with Him in accomplishing what we cannot do ourselves: seeing lost loved ones come to faith; seeing broken marriages restored and healed; seeing unsaved people in our community rescued from a hopeless eternity. Through our faith in Jesus, we get to see—and even take part in—such things as they are accomplished by His power, majesty and authority.

Hebrews 11 is the chapter known as the “Hall of Faith,” listing biblical figures who pleased God through great acts of faith. From Abraham to Sarah to David to Samuel to Gideon and a host of others, we see believers commended not for their talents or achievements but for trusting God to do what was beyond their abilities. Together they comprise “a huge cloud of witnesses to the life of faith” (Hebrews 12:1, NLT).

That italicized phrase tells us there is a life of faith to be lived. And to attain that life, we are urged to lay aside every weight that prevents us from trusting faith: “Let us strip off every weight” (12:1). What are these weights, these obstacles to faith? I know many Christians who are weighed down by unbelief. As they consider their circumstances they think, “My need will never be filled. I’ve prayed endlessly and asked others to pray for me, including church elders, but the answer never comes. Nothing I’ve tried works.”

The problem for many is that they look to their circumstances more than to the God who controls all circumstances. Their faith ends up stalled by a “weight that slows us down” (12:1). I can assure you, what God has promised can never be thwarted. Every word He sends forth will ultimately be accomplished. Satan knows this, and all he can do is try to slow down God’s purposes by convincing us to wallow in our difficulties. If your situation seems hopeless, the life of faith calls you to believe, “One day God will fulfill what I’m unable to envision now.”