Friday, March 15, 2013

Steadfast and Mature (Maturing Faith Part 5)

Today I want to wrap up this series on maturing faith and say this:

In order for your faith to mature, you will experience testing and trials.

I know, I know!  Not what any of us want to hear!

I love what our pastor said last Sunday.  He said Satan comes to steal our faith, but God comes to steel it. 

Our small bible study group spent three weeks studying the life of Joseph.  Imagine our delight when our pastor started teaching it a few weeks ago.  We knew that he would only bring forth more truth, despite how hard we dug into the Word.

Jesus is always calling us to a clearer understanding of who He is.  I think the whole point is that one day, we can say..."Even though (fill in the blank)...I will not fear (fill in the blank)...because God is with me."

His goal is for His presence to be sweetly sufficient for all our days.

Joseph's life demonstrates this.  He was thrown in a pit by his brothers.  He was thrown into another pit (dungeon/jail) after being wrongfully accused of something.  Despite interpreting a dream correctly, he was forgotten and left in the pit even longer.

Sometimes, we find ourselves in a pit and it was no sin on our part that got us there.

Will we be faithful even in those times?  Are we confident in God's heart towards us enough to sustain us?

I absolutely love this quote by Joyce Baldwin.  I think she wraps up this week quite nicely.  Savor her words....I saved the best for last!

"It was as if he alone (Joseph) had been abandoned by God.  But experiences like this were often part of the training of those whom God was going to use in outstanding roles.  Abraham and Sarah had to wait until old age for the birth of Isaac; Moses was exiled for much of his life in an inhospitable desert; David lived under threat of death at the hand of Saul and was on the run for months, if not years.  Yet in every case the purpose of God was being worked out and in due course came to fruition.

Indeed it has been said that only those with faith in God experience his testing, which after all is self evident, for it is designed to put steel into faith so that it becomes steadfast and mature (Jas. 1:2-4) and can testify to the tender love of the Lord in designing the suffering.  This was to be outstandingly true of Joseph, who was fully aware of his brothers' hatred but who saw that God had meant it for good. That is the kind of conviction that results from patient, enduring trust in the loving intentions of God, when outward circumstances seem to belie that love."

from "The Message Genesis 12-50"

{Thanks for being on this faith-journey with you all!}

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