Tag Archives: faith

What do you seek?

Seeking after the things of God, not this world reflects your priorities in life. There is nothing wrong with pursuing a career or interests outside a faith setting. It is when your pursuits in life give no regard to God, you may find trouble beckoning.  The hurts you experience along the way may begin to spiral out of control when you are unable to, or unaware of how to view them as opportunities.

Getting God’s perspective on the tension between joy and tribulation can provide you with the greatest lessons in life.

God has a goal for each and every one of our lives. It isn’t just to make us happy, but to model for us how to be Holy – by being more like Him.  Jesus knew and endured pain, ridicule and shame.  He was disowned, ignored, physically beaten.

The writer of the Bible book of Hebrews says that it was through the pain and suffering that Jesus Christ endured on our behalf taught Him obedience.  (Hebrews 5:8). Through these times it was who He put His faith and trust in that Jesus got through – He learned to depend on God, and God alone.

It is when we can see God’s providential care and involvement in the good and bad times; in the valleys and on top of the mountains; in the dark times and bright, then we can build the resilience that comes from depending on God. 

Not much in this world comes without risk. The saying goes “the greater the risk, the greater the reward.”  Allowing yourself to become vulnerable and opening your heart to God is the first key in allowing the hurt you have endured to be used for good, for those set backs to become set ups! 

It is said of Saint Basil (303 – 379 AD) that his faith was ambidextrous because “he welcomed pleasure with his right hand and afflictions with the left, convinced both would serve God’s design for him.”  Seeking God in all seasons of your life, trusting God in the joys and tribulations of life is where ‘ambidextrous faith’ is beneficial.

When we look around with our eyes open, we can be distracted by the issues and struggles of life.  When you close your eyes, these distractions and biases become less influential. Determine to close you eyes to your hurts and ask God to reveal to you how He is able to turn these around into greater possibilities.

 

Life Changing Encounters

SCRIPTURE: Mark 5:25-34 “When she heard about Jesus, she came behind him in the crowd and touched His garment.  For she said ‘If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.’ (v27-28 NKJV)

OBSERVATION: The woman in this well known and preached about story struggled for answers to her chronic problem for over a decade.  We read that she sought help but “had suffered many things from many physicians and was acutally worse.” (v26)  Luke’s account of the story says that she “had spent all her livliehood on physicians.” (Luke 8:43)  It would appear that all she had left was a faith that this man named Jesus who was healing people, could heal her.

APPLICATION: There are somethings in life that we can’t seem to find answers to, things we can’t shake off.  The breakthrough seems to be teasing us, callling us to continue to believe, but never acheiving it.  You may have a health issue in your life that has been limiting you for a few months, years, even decades.  You might have tried all the worldy offerings to resolve your issue.  You might have tried everything and even your faith is waning.

The woman in this story is attributed to have been healed by her encounter with  Jesus because she touched him.  I want to suggest to you that Jesus response to being touched, and feeling that something had gone from within him actually goes deeper than the natural contact.  Jesus says that her faith healed her.  She had just enough faith left in her after all these years to believe that with just one encounter with Jesus her life would turn around, her breakthough would intersect with her present reality.

Contrasting this womans story is the encounter that Saul of Tarsus had with Jesus on the Road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-19).  Saul was on a mission to kill all those who professed to believe in Jesus Christ and were teaching that the Kingdom of God was at hand.  While traveling to Damascus, Saul had an encounter with Jesus that stopped him in his tracks.  This encounter changed the course of his life.

The contrast between these two encounters demonstrates that it doesn’t matter whether you have been waiting for  a breakthrough for decades with only your faith intact, or your life is similiar to Saul in not being able to tollerate anything to do with Jesus Christ, but, that one encounter with Jesus Christ can bring your breakthrough.  What do you need a Jesus encounter to change in your life?

PRAYER: Jesus I need to encounter you.  AMEN