Love this song from Mandi Mapes and Brook Hills Church!
Love this song from Mandi Mapes and Brook Hills Church!
Good morning from North Myrtle Beach! What a blessing it was this morning to wake up early and drink coffee on the balcony of my uncle’s beachfront condo. I know, right? It’s probably not too fair of me to rub it in anymore, but just know, dear reader, that you’re here with me in spirit!
In continuation of my thoughts regarding faith, so often we claim that faith is believing in God even though we cannot see Him. But if we truly have the mustard seed of faith that could move mountains in Matthew 17:20-21, I think we would proclaim something different. We would say that we CAN see Him. After all, check out these verses:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” — John 1:1
“All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” — Isaiah 66:2
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” — Romans 10:17
The implications of that very first verse in John demonstrate that when we invest time in the Word, we are also investing our time in building a relationship with God. While, yes, it is true that we cannot see a physical being/existence that can be labeled as “God alone,” we can see Him through His word, through the reflection of Himself in His Creation, and even through the work He’s done is our lives. By FAITH, we see, know, trust, believe, endure, love, have patience, and have confidence in God.
Living by faith is evidenced in the life of Abraham. God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac–the promised son of God’s covenant–as a burnt offering (Genesis 22:2). Even though I’m not a parent, I still cannot even BEGIN to fathom the thought of slaughtering my own son and burning him on an altar. It was probably no different for Abraham. Just as human as you and me, Abraham probably heard God’s command, yet he also probably heard the objections of his mind. So why did he go as far as even tying up his son and raising the knife to kill his own son, the promised child?
Abraham chose to believe that God would keep His covenant, even if he couldn’t understand or see God’s greater plan.
As shown by Abraham, faith is not a leap into uncertainty with hopes of reaching God’s presence. On the other hand, FAITH is the bridge between human existence and divine permanence. By the bridge of faith, we cross over the divide of our limited, human understanding and vision in order to draw closer to God. Even though our own human capabilities have not changed–we still can’t predict the future nor we cannot see the full state of our circumstances, etc.–we trust that God has the perfect view of all eternity. God leads, and so we follow.
Having faith is not about ignoring our minds completely, but it’s the choice to grasp onto the hand of our Father as a toddler would grasp her daddy’s fingers. She knows that her daddy loves her, and so she loves and trusts him. She chooses to grasp onto his hand because she KNOWS that he will love, protect, and guide her through whatever may come their way. On her own, she is defenseless, but with her daddy’s hand grasping hers, she is free from fear and confident through the warmth of his presence.
Today I dare you to grasp onto our Heavenly Father’s hand in the same way. He is greater than any obstacle that stands in our way. With His heavenly perspective, not only does He see our obstacles as molehills, but He also sees what lies beyond them. Through clinging to His hand, He will lead, direct, and guide us through the mountains and the valleys of life; there is nothing that can threaten God’s hold, not even death.
Today I dare you to cross over the divide of doubt by the bridge of faith. Spend time with Him through reading the Bible and seeking Him in the beauty and power of creation. If you still doubt, pray that He would soften your heart, quiet your speculative mind, and cure your unbelief. Grasp onto the hand of our Father stretched out to you, and live guided by His infinite perspective, wisdom, and love!
Praying your day is filled with SONshine,
-Word of the Week-
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
Over the past week this word has been heavy on my heart, so I went straight to Hebrews 11. Even as I read that first verse though, I realized that I needed to read more than a few sentences above and below to get the context; I needed to read the whole book. Turning to the first page of Hebrews, I read each verse carefully, eager to gain new insight.
Although my human mind will probably never be capable of comprehending it, I can say with confidence that faith is more than saying that we believe in God. Having faith, also, involves more than saying that we trust God when times get tough. Even though these are certainly aspects of having faith, it’s so much richer than that.
You see, truly having faith is a conviction. Maybe it’s a lightning bolt of newfound understanding that stops you in your tracks. On the other hand, maybe it’s that pause of awe and reverence that holds you speechless. Either way, faith is being “cut to the heart” with three simple words: Jesus is Lord (Acts 2:36-37).
There is so much more that the Lord has been teaching me recently about faith, especially in this time of my life. With this being said, I hope you will visit again soon to read even more about faith!
With warmest thoughts and prayers for you, dear reader,
Well, today I have many things for which I am thankful. After all, even the smallest beacons of hope shine brightly against a backdrop of dark circumstances.
Today I write to you on my phone from the Methodist University hospital in Memphis. My grandfather has had a stroke. After waking up to the phone call, jumping out of bed, rushing from Starkville to Grenada, MS, waiting in the hospital with my Aunt Cindy for the helicopter to airlift him, driving back to his house, packing bags at the house, driving to Memphis, and now 9 hours later and still in the ER, here I am. It’s been a long day, but there’s one thing, also, of which I’m certain: it’s been a blessed day.
Surrounded by family and friends, we have felt the presence of prayers to our Heavenly Father–the True Healer–bringing peace to our weary bodies and our anxious hearts. Yes… God is good; He is always good.
“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
So today, especially in this hospital ER, we give thanks to the Lord for the family here, the friends that drove here to be with us, the friends at home yet with us in spirit through thoughts and prayers. Today, we are thankful for many things, especially your prayers for Pappaw.
“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; his steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1