EVERGREEN FAITH - PART 3
By now I’m sure we are very aware of the New Year’s resolutions we have and haven’t kept.
The word “RESOLUTION” means, “A decision or determination to do something or to not to something.” This the human dilemma!
When things are going great, it’s easy to feel great. When things aren’t going great, it’s easy to feel awful. Perhaps you are a summer person and when the sun is shining and the temperature is high, you feel great. Then along comes a grey, cloudy day that makes you want to stay in bed and not live life.
Natural seasons are symbolic of our real, natural life. God gave us seasons for a reason. The word “season” means to “acclimatize”. This tells us that every season is meant to prepare us for the next.
Father God wants us to acclimate, mature, be trained, toughen, strengthen, prepare and qualify. After all, we were born on purpose for His purpose!
Regardless of the season, God wants to produce in us, EVERGREEN FAITH!
EVERGREEN Faith means we can continually trust God through every single season.
1 Peter 1:6-7 New Living Translation [NLT]
“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
To understand what FAITH IS and what FAITH CAN DO, we need to also know what FAITH is NOT…
1. Faith is not a feeling
2. Faith is not good luck, knock on wood, fingers crossed
3. Faith is not denying facts
4. Faith is not wishful thinking
5. Faith is not a reward for good behavior
6. Faith is not Russian roulette!
Hebrews 11 [The Voice]
“Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen.”
There are many things that faith will accomplish in our lives, if we are willing to live by FAITH!
Here are 5 things FAITH can do in every season…
1. Faith can move mountains
What is the difference between little faith and great faith? Good question! The Bible refers to both. When we have great faith, we are to continue. When we have little faith, we are to improve and grow.
Matthew 17: 20 The Voice
"Because you have so little faith. I tell you this: if you had even a faint spark of faith, even faith as tiny as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and because of your faith, the mountain would move. If you had just a sliver of faith, you would find nothing impossible."
2. Faith can defend us
A shield does no good, unless we pick it up. We need to pick up the SHIELD of FAITH so we can deflect the enemy. The enemy is always after us when we choose a God first life!
(Ephesians 6:16 The Voice)
"Don’t forget to raise the shield of faith above all else, so you will be able to extinguish flaming spears hurled at you from the wicked one."
3. Faith can heal us and others
Our FAITH is not developed in the facts of our situation. Our FAITH is developed in spite of our situation. FAITH can heal us and others.
(Matthew 8: 13- 15 The Voice)
"Then Jesus turned to the Centurion Jesus: You may go home. For it is as you say it is; it is as you believe. And the officer’s servant was healed, right then. What happens next seems to embody the officer’s wise opinion about authority: over and over Jesus shows just what His authority means. Jesus went to Peter’s house, and there He saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed, sick and burning up with a fever. Jesus touched her hand, and then she was healed—the fever vanished. She got up from bed and began to wait on Him"
4. Faith can provide for us
I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear a “check came in the mail” story, I always get excited. A member of our church shared that that was her story with me recently and I was blown away. Then, just a few weeks later, this too became my story. God does work in mysterious ways when we honor Him and when we put our trust in Him.
(Matthew 6:25-33 THE VOICE)
"Here is the bottom line: do not worry about your life. Don’t worry about what you will eat or what you will drink. Don’t worry about how you clothe your body. Living is about more than merely eating, and the body is about more than dressing up. Look at the birds in the sky. They do not store food for winter. They don’t plant gardens. They do not sow or reap—and yet, they are always fed because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are even more precious to Him than a beautiful bird. If He looks after them, of course He will look after you. Worrying does not do any good; who here can claim to add even an hour to his life by worrying? Nor should you worry about clothes. Consider the lilies of the field and how they grow. They do not work or weave or sew, and yet their garments are stunning. Even King Solomon, dressed in his most regal garb, was not as lovely as these lilies. And think about grassy fields—the grasses are here now, but they will be dead by winter. And yet God adorns them so radiantly. How much more will He clothe you, you of little faith, you who have no trust? So do not consume yourselves with questions: What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? Outsiders make themselves frantic over such questions; they don’t realize that your heavenly Father knows exactly what you need. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things will be given to you too."
5. Faith can activate us
(James 2 14-19 The Voice)
"Brothers and sisters, it doesn’t make any sense to say you have faith and act in a way that denies that faith. Mere talk never gets you very far, and a commitment to Jesus only in words will not save you. It would be like seeing a brother or sister without any clothes out in the cold and begging for food, and saying, “Shalom, friend, you should get inside where it’s warm and eat something,” but doing nothing about his needs—leaving him cold and alone on the street. What good would your words alone do? The same is true with faith. Without actions, faith is useless. By itself, it’s as good as dead. I know what you’re thinking: “OK, you have faith. And I have actions. Now let’s see your faith without works, and I’ll show you a faith that works.” Don’t you realize that faith without works is useless, like a glove without a hand or a hat without a head? Do you think that just believing there’s one God is going to get you anywhere? The demons believe that, too, and it terrifies them!The works James writes about are not done apart from faith but done in faith; not done instead of faith but done because of faith. Faith is the underlying stance of Christian life; deeds are the way of life. Becoming mature and complete is the goal of Christian life."
Faith is like two sides of a coin.
Faith is the act of believing in and relying on something believed reliable.
Faith is relational, describing reliance on a reliable God. Faith is a covenant word, expressing the commitment and trust that bind two parties together. Throughout Scripture, God by his grace makes promises and commits himself to his people. They in turn are to trust those promises and live in light of them. God shows himself faithful and people are to respond in faithfulness.
May you and all who are dear to you experience and enjoy an abundant life of EVERGREEN FAITH!