The Inspiring Word
By Pastor Terry Cheek Th.D.
If you read last month’s column, you will recall we looked at Faith, specifically the definition and 6 expressions of Faith. If you missed that column, I suggest reading July and August together for a deeper look at Faith. This month I want to turn your attention to the practical application of Faith. In other words, how Faith plays out in your everyday life. A verse we should all be familiar with is Hebrews 11:1-3 where we read; “1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were formed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” In the verses, which follow Chapter 11:1-3 we find that many people call them the roll call of faith? Take some time and read them, slowly and thoughtfully. You will find the testimony of God’s people who have endured trials, tribulation, persecution, hatred, false accusations, and many other things. Faith could have but did not protect them from the attack of Satan. Faith did bring them through this attack, yes, they were scarred and battered but they were also full of praise to their Lord and Savior! Faith does not place an expectation on God for our comfort and coziness, Faith prepares us in the present for what God knows is coming in the future. We trust, submit and obey.
Talking about faith brings my heart to focus on men like Elijah. God called Elijah into His service as a prophet. He preached the word of God as it was to the King and nation of Israel, King Ahab, our Bible tells us did more to provoke God than any of Israel’s previous kings. God could have simply struck down Ahab and placed a godly king on Israel’s throne. However, God chose another route. He wanted to work through Elijah. Elijah did not follow God because of the power he had been given. No, Elijah lived and served by faith and God wanted it put on display for the world to see. Elijah faced his own drought. Elijah depended on ravens to feed him. Elijah traded being thirsty for being hungry when he went to the widow woman and her son. Elijah met everyone of these struggles with Faith! Faith prevailed and brought Elijah with it. This same Faith can bring you through the deepest and darkest valleys of life. Faith may not be cozy but it is powerful when approached God’s way.
You may be thinking; I am not Elijah, I fail God. Elijah had his weak moments too. After Elijah by faith defeated the prophets of Baal and God consumed them by fire from heaven, Jezebel, Ahab’s wife sought the life of Elijah. Elijah was frightened, ran, and hid in a cave. He could not hide from God. God called Elijah out and asked him what was going on? Elijah told God that Jezebel had killed all the prophets except him and now he was going to die. Elijah failed his faith. God gave Elijah some very specific orders, for example go to Damascus and after anointing two leaders, he was to find Elisha and begin preparing him to be a prophet. God also told Elijah He had seven thousand prophets like him in Israel. No matter how bad it looked, God was always one-step ahead of the problem and God always used the problem to reveal His strength even through Elijah’s weakness.
Friend that is the same role God wants to play through our life. You may not live in Israel but you do live in the presence of evil and wickedness. The born again Christian has been issued the Armor of God and part of this armor is the shield of Faith; 1Ephesians 6:16 “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”
It is with this armor God will strengthen you and prepare you with the courage needed for the issues that lay in front of you. It may not be a wicked government. It may be an illness, an addiction, a past others will not forgive I am sure there are countless circumstances God can allow in our lives. Just understand this Faith will bring you through them. When it does your testimony for the Lord will encourage someone else to do the same. That is how God uses us to bring glory to Himself. Through our weakness, His strength shines forth. Do not run to a cave and try to hide from God. He knows where to find you and He knows who to put in your life to help you along. It may even be someone you have to train for the duty. That’s just God, praise His name! Friends until next time I pray Gods’ blessing upon your life and family. Remember when you share Jesus you share hope!
1Nelson, Thomas. The Holy Bible, King James Study Bible (KJV) (Kindle Locations 157886-157887). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Terry is pastor of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Marion NC. You can contact Terry by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (828) 460-6120.