Thursday, 8 August 2013

Fighting for Faith

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.
(James 1:2-4,9)
My sister told me once that the fears of every human being are rooted in one great fear: that God is not who He says He is. If we do not fear that, we need not fear anything else. It's true. At the bottom of every one of my fears I find the same lie: that God is not Good; that He is not Love; that He is not passionately interested in me. 

How is it that I have given such place in my thoughts to an idea I know to be untrue? How has it so ensnared me that its shadows hold joy captive and overcast my best days? I must learn to fight for faith.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead...
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.
(Hebrews 11:1, 17-18, 24-27)
I, too, must struggle to reason, to choose mistreatment for God's sake, to persevere.

Father, teach me to see You, the Invisible. 
 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
(Hebrews 12:1-3, 7-13)

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