faith in God
Most gift-giving comes with strings attached and an expectation of reciprocation on some level. We are afforded many occasions throughout the year to give gifts to others as a gesture of affirmation, validation or reconciliation to possibly strengthen fragile relationships. In each case of gift-giving you have the giver and the receiver and at the core exists the relationship between the two.
God set the bar really high when it comes to the pure essence of gift-giving when He revealed His heart on the matter:
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)
In other words, when God gives a gift to us it is pure with no strings attached and perfectly designed to meet our need for all time as a recipient. God’s gift is given voluntarily without any payment or expectation in return. If we accept His gift we accept without any particular effort of having to earn it.
When we receive His perfect gift we find all the affirmation, acceptance and validation that we sought in other gifts that can never meet this need. Most of all we find our relationship restored to the God who created us to be in relationship with Him.
The perfect gift is Jesus Christ our Savior, the Gift of a lifetime. What He offers can never be paid for by any effort on our part. He was sent by God to save mankind.
“…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Have you received the Gift of a lifetime?
How can we know that all will be well in this life and journey with God? How can we allow challenges in this life to grow our faith instead of weaken our faith? Last, how can we know that we are on the winning side in our journey with God through life on this earth?
We must take God at His Word and believe in His promises. We must accept that His way of leading us and working out life issues will often take a different approach than we might take. His thoughts and ways are far above our ways of thinking and problem solving.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8,9)
Once we embrace this truth we can believe God’s promise that all will be well with us. In love, He links this promise with obedience, specifically, obeying His commandments.
“But this command I gave them: Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.” (Jeremiah 7:23)
Trusting and obeying God keeps us in a position of triumph. Jesus overcame everything in this world that could possibly come against us. He is Immanuel, (which means, God with us). (Matthew 1:23)
Walk in all the ways that God commands you and He promises to be with you.
“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal possession…” (2Corinthians 2:14)
God gives a strong warning about the stability of our faith in the Book of Isaiah when the people still had an opportunity to hold fast to His divine promises to spare them from destruction. At the core they were struggling with disbelief.
“If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.” (Isaiah 7:9b)
Near the end of King David’s life after God had delivered him out of many life threatening trials, betrayals and warfare he accounted his triumph to his faith in God and His divine promise to establish his throne forever;
“As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my soul out of every adversity…” (1Kings 1:29)
God also gives a strong warning for the unstable in faith. He connects instability in faith to a lack of trust in His wisdom to lead us through adversity.
“But let him ask in faith with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:6-8)
Jesus warned us that we would have trouble in this world. He also encouraged us to take heart and trust in Him who has overcome the world. In other words, He has already made provision for us to triumph! We are called to trust the process of being led and God’s readiness to help at every turn of events.
“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17)
Be firm in your faith and God will deliver you out of all your troubles!