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Tag Archives: trust

Prepare the Way of the Lord

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. 2Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. 3A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. 5Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” 6A voice says, “Cry out!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field.7The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass. 8The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever. (Isaiah 40:1-8, NRSV)

Make God’s ways straight and prepare a path for the Lord.

This sounds like a daunting task for any person! How can we prepare the way for the Lord?

Well, we do this by trusting in God and knowing that God is working through our lives!

You see every promise we read from God will never fade away. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of God will always be true. Nothing will cause the promises of God to not be fulfilled.

Just trust God, and God will work through you to do wonderful things!

 

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More Examples of Faith

And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:32-40, NRSV)

There are so many we lift high in the bible that are pillars of our faith. They help see the wonderful things God can do through the life of one who follows after God.

And all of those lifted up in Hebrews chapter 11 are there not because they always got everything right, and they did what God wants us to do all the time. If you think that I suggest you read the Hebrew Scriptures again, especially on Moses, Abraham, Gideon, Samson, and especially David. They were not role models we would want for our kids, and yet they are the pillars of our faith, why?

Because they ultimately had faith in God and trusted in the promises. They were not perfect but they perfectly trusted in God!

 

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Freedom through Faith

By faith Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after his birth, because they saw that the child was beautiful; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called a son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered abuse suffered for the Christ to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, unafraid of the king’s anger; for he persevered as though he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as if it were dry land, but when the Egyptians attempted to do so they were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had received the spies in peace. (Hebrews 11:23-31, NRSV)

Moses started out as a basket case. He was hidden from the authorities by his parents because they were killing Israelite male babies. And then when he got to old to keep hidden they put him in a basket and put that in the river. Then he grew up in the house of Pharoh. Moses did not always do what was supposed to be done. Moses killed an Egyptian guard and then fled Egypt because of it, but God still used him.

We can fall away from God and know that God is still with us.

God will never leave us, if we just trust in him everything will work out.

 

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A Heritage of Faith

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain’s. Through this he received approval as righteous, God himself giving approval to his gifts; he died, but through his faith he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death; and “he was not found, because God had taken him.” For it was attested before he was taken away that “he had pleased God.” And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark to save his household; by this he condemned the world and became an heir to the righteousness that is in accordance with faith. (Hebrews 11:1-7, NRSV)

Faith is knowing something is true even when you can not prove it.

Faith is trusting that something is true even when you can not prove it.

And Hebrews chapter 11 sets out and tells us about people of faith from the Bible, those that trusted God. They didn’t always do the right thing, but in the end, they always trusted God.

Do you have faith in God?

Do you believe His promises are true?

 

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A Song of Hope for the City

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. (Psalm 46, NRSV)

When times of trouble surround me, I know that God is my refuge, my hiding place.

I know that no matter what is going on I can stop and sit in the silence and breath and feel the life that God has given me flow through my body. You see the breath, the wind, it is the Spirit. And that is God with me.

No matter what is happening in my life, God will never leave me nor forsake me. He is my help when I am in trouble and my rest every day.

Know this and trust it. It is true for you!

 

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Isaiah’s Message to Ahaz

In the days of Ahaz son of Jotham son of Uzziah, king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel went up to attack Jerusalem, but could not mount an attack against it. When the house of David heard that Aram had allied itself with Ephraim, the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind. Then the Lord said to Isaiah, Go out to meet Ahaz, you and your son Shear-jashub, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Fuller’s Field, and say to him, Take heed, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah. Because Aram—with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah—has plotted evil against you, saying, Let us go up against Judah and cut off Jerusalem and conquer it for ourselves and make the son of Tabeel king in it; therefore thus says the Lord God: It shall not stand, and it shall not come to pass. For the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin. (Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be shattered, no longer a people.) The head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. If you do not stand firm in faith, you shall not stand at all. Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. Then Isaiah said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted. The Lord will bring on you and on your people and on your ancestral house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria.” (Isaiah 7:1-17, NRSV)

This is the great passage about Jesus! The one my Old Testament Professor said that if it is only about Jesus, Isaiah is telling Ahaz to hold out about 750 years until the siege will be done. Now that isn’t to say that it isn’t about Jesus, but the question my professor asked us was how many times does a prophecy come true before it ceases to be prophecy?

Maybe this passage is more than this prophecy though. You see Ahaz was asked to ask for a sign from God that what Isaiah told him was true and Ahaz wouldn’t. Ahaz was told that he had to stand firm in his faith, and he said he wouldn’t test the Lord. But God wanted to give him a sign, so Isaiah did. So maybe this is about Jesus saying to Ahaz you need to be strong and firm in your faith for 750 years. But how many of us could do that. Plus the baby eating curd and honey is about 2 years. So which would you rather wait, about 3 years (the woman is with child, so the baby isn’t born yet) or 750ish years?

Standing firm in our faith for 3 years would be hard enough. But that is truly the test. We need to trust God and do what He asks of us and hold fast to His promises because God is always true to His word.

 

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Elisha Heals Naaman

Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man and in high favor with his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Aram. The man, though a mighty warrior, suffered from leprosy. Now the Arameans on one of their raids had taken a young girl captive from the land of Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” So Naaman went in and told his lord just what the girl from the land of Israel had said. And the king of Aram said, “Go then, and I will send along a letter to the king of Israel.” He went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten sets of garments. He brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, “When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you my servant Naaman, that you may cure him of his leprosy.” When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to give death or life, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Just look and see how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me.” But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to me, that he may learn that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the entrance of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean.” But Naaman became angry and went away, saying, “I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy! Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean?” He turned and went away in a rage. But his servants approached and said to him, “Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean. Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company; (2 Kings 5:1-15a, NRSV)

Why is it when we ask God to do something or want to do something for God it has to be a big production?

We want flashes and grandeur and pomp. It has to have booms and loud noises and it has to be the hardest thing we have ever done.

We think we have to do something big in order for it to make a difference. We have to change the world when really all we have to do is give what we have been given to give. We do not have to change the world, but we have to do what we are called to do.

Naaman expected there to be flashes and the prophet to come to him. He complained about the easy washing because it wasn’t enough. And the rivers in my homeland are better than this water!

We think it has to be the biggest and best thing that ever happened. When all we really have to do to change the world is trust God and give what He has given us to give.

 

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