It’s news I’m most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him, starting with Jews and then right on to everyone else! God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: “The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives.” (Romans1:16)
Right with God means we can stand before God without fear of judgment. How is this possible? We place our trust in the finished work of Christ at the cross. We learn to live a new life at the foot of the cross - beginning the moment we say 'yes' to Jesus and then continuing on as the Holy Spirit begins to take the Word of God and apply it various areas of our lives where we most need it. Trust is the basis of faith - faith is required in order to stand strong. As we discussed in an earlier post, faith isn't just 'given' - it is grown within us. The seed of faith is placed there by God himself, then nurtured within us until it comes to full maturity. Sometimes we think we should have a 'full measure' of faith the moment we place our trust in Christ, but if it were just 'given', we'd never learn to depend upon him.
Many of us struggle to maintain a 'steady' walk with Christ, up one day and down the next, like a rollercoaster. We feel like our faith is growing, then we feel like we are just drifting along, not fully aware of Christ's presence. Trust doesn't always have to 'feel' or 'see' in order for it to give us a firm foundation upon which we stand strong. It means we don't forget who is in control even when the circumstances seem to get out of control for US. They aren't out of control for HIM. What Jesus asks of us is to remain consistent in taking the steps that indicate we have placed our trust in his control. This might take on the form of taking in the Word of God regularly, being built up at times, convicted at others. Faith doesn't mean we will never feel 'wrong', it will just mean we know there is a way to be made 'right' whenever we feel 'wrong'.
We see the flaws - God sees perfection. We see ugliness - he sees beauty. We see wobbly steps - he sees strength growing within us. Faith is a seed that must be nurtured - watered by the Word, nourished within the light of his presence, and stimulated to full growth through the continual tending by the Holy Spirit. We might have set backs in our 'faith growth', but if we remain (trusting fully), we will develop an internal strength that outgrows our own feeble strength. Don't get discouraged with the set backs, but press in, take hold, and hang on - you are on the verge of some pretty phenomenal growth! Just sayin!
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