Have an Attitude of Faith

17 03 2010

“Faith is the assurance…of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see.”

-Hebrews 11:1

“Faith can be described in many ways, but a very simple way to look at faith—even to examine whether or not you are operating in it—is to say that “faith has an attitude.”

Hebrews 4 says that those who have believed G-d—those who have an attitude of faith—enter His rest and cease from the weariness and pain of human labors.

The attitude of faith does not worry, fret, or have anxiety concerning tomorrow, because faith understands that wherever it needs to go, even into the unknowns of the future, Jesus has already been there.

Remember, He is the Alpha and the Omega. Not only is He the Beginning and the End, He is everything in between. So have an attitude of faith as you pray today, placing your trust completely in the one who was, who is, and who is to come.” (Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right)

Would our faith really be faith if we were not required to have faith? This may seem obvious or like a tongue twister, but I think it’s a legitimate thought. Why are we surprised by circumstances that don’t make sense to us? Why are we whiny and upset when G-d gives us a scenario that requires us to actually have faith? When it comes down to it, I must confess that I’m a fair weather friend of G-d. In the good times, we are great, but when times get tough, I’m whining to Him. Praise the L-rd for His grace! I think I would have gotten tired of my whining if I was Him. I think we have a choice in this. Joyce brought up that there was an attitude of faith. We can’t always choose our circumstances, but we can make a choice to have the right attitude. This is really hard, but I feel a strange sense of joy because I’m in a time that is requiring a lot of faith because the reassurance is not there based upon circumstances or human logic. I think knowing that G-d has something good in mind after the challenges pass brings me the most reassurance. All I can say is what I’m trying to do—don’t try to figure out what the L-rd is doing; just get excited about what He is doing and keep your eyes open to the subtle changes He may be bringing. The L-rd is our defense and He is all the proof we truly need.

By faith and hope,

Mere

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Sanctuary

15 05 2009

Isaiah 30:15 – “For the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said: ‘You will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence.”

Psalms 91:1-2 – “The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”

In those brief moments of rest from the hectic thing that we call our lives where do we seek sanctuary? Seeking sanctuary is the idea of trying to find a place of safety amidst a dark and dangerous world. The medieval concept of sanctuary, where the Church was a place that you could seek refuge from your enemies, actually comes from the Mosaic law of the Old Testament. The people of Israel were to appoint cities where those who had unintentionally killed another person could be safe from the vengeance of the deceased person’s family and friends. If they were found outside this city before the presiding high priest died, they were not guaranteed safety from the revenge of the deceased person’s family or friends. This is, however, only in the case of unintentional killings. Murderers were put to death.

You can imagine the relief that a person would feel upon reaching one of these cities of refuge and knowing that they could at last rest without worrying about being killed. In much the same way God is our refuge from the worries and struggles of this life. He is our rock and our fortress.

The Words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – Matthew 11:28-30 – “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

The question then, is this, “Where do you seek sanctuary?” So often when we are struggling we try to persevere by keeping busy, spending quality time with friends, reading a good book, playing sports, or in general just doing something that will take our minds off of our pain, but that is not what we are meant to do! We do not need to ignore our struggles. We need to overcome them by laying them at the foot of the cross; we need to seek sanctuary in Christ.

Then, and only then, will we truly understand that joy and peace are not to be found in our own wholeness, but rather in our brokenness before God, from whom, through whom, and to whom are all things, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

-Sean





Live and Let Die

2 05 2009

Ephesians 4:17-24 – “Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: you should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thoughts. They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts. They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more. But that is not how you learned about the Messiah, assuming you heard Him and were taught by Him, because the truth is in Jesus: you took off your former way of life, the old man that is corrupted by deceitful desires; you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; you put on the new man, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of truth.”

Life hurts. Depression, anger, sadness, lust… They haunt us like phantoms in the dark, but why should we who have been set free from sin and death bare the weight of such burdens? For many years I allowed such phantoms to tie me firmly to a stake, keeping me from knowing the joy that I have in Christ, but it is so no longer!

Romans 12:1-2 – “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, this is your reasonable service. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may be able to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”

If we will only allow God to transform our minds by sacrificing our lives to Him wholly, then He will, in an act of grace greater than I will ever understand, break the chains that tie us to this world, putting to death the old man and filling us with His Spirit so that we may live a life of joy and peace and gladness in Christ.

If you are being held down to this world just let go. Live to Christ and let the old man die! I can think of no better way to put it than these most beautiful words penned by the late Charles Wesley.

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night.
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke; the dungeon flamed with light.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

-Sean