What do you do when it’s your turn to share, your time to minister, and you’ve got nothing? What would you hear of? That during a power outage, I got the rest of the Christmas decorations up? That I’ve been struggling with nightmares and migraine symptoms lately but the dreams weren’t so bad light night and my head doesn’t hurt so much today? Should I complain for you, let you know how hard it has been to restrain the crankiness that sometimes accompanies this? Should I pour myself out when my strength is gone? Perhaps I could swing controversial, hide my state of “nada” by
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) Whether Faith and Doubt are in mortal combat depends on what definitions of both words we have in mind. Faith, according to M-W.com, means: 1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyaltyb (1) : fidelity to one’s promises (2) : sincerity of intentions 2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religionb (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust 3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction;especially: a system of religious beliefs <the Protestantfaith> Doubt, according to m-w.com, means: a : uncertainty of belief or opinion that often interferes with decision-makingb : a deliberate
20 Then Jacob made a vow: “If God will be with me and watch over me on this journey, if He provides me with food to eat and clothing to wear, 21 and if I return safely to my father’s house, then the LORD will be my God. 22 This stone that I have set up as a marker will be God’s house, and I will give to You a tenth of all that You give me.” (From Genesis 28, HCSB) At first glance, nothing may seem to be wrong with what Jacob is saying. God does watch over us and provide for all of our needs. He does keep us safe.
“ Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) At the end of chapter ten, the author of Hebrews tells us we are saved by faith that is strong enough to endure through hard struggles and suffering that cause us to be destroyed if we shrink back, sorrow unto death, and lose faith in God. In chapter eleven, the author now continues on to define what faith is. Assurance, rendered as a vague “substance” traditionally, means: a pledge, guarantee, or security that inspires confidence and frees us from uncertainty. Pledge, guarantee, or security in turn is
“I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me.” (Psalm 119:30) Out of context, this can sound like one of those “old covenant legalistic verses.” However, it is apart of an eight verse set and must be read in context. Verses 25-32 speak of our earthly nature as dust our souls cling to and the author longs for life, confesses his ways, and asks god to teach him god’s way, not merely as a list of dos and don’ts to be followed just because god said so, but to teach him god’s ways as principles that have been explained to him