trust

The Picture of Faith

“So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. – Acts 27:25 Today I want to share a lesson in faith as shared by my wife, Hannah, who grew up in a small college town in Oklahoma. At the time, her family was assisted by the government through food stamps and section eight housing. Hannah tells the story of her and her Mom at the laundromat, discovering a $20 food stamp had gone through the laundry. Of course, it was now in little paper balls and shredded. Her mom was ready to throw it away, but a  very young Hannah urged her mother, “Don’t throw it away, I think I can save it!” So she took these little pieces home with her mom’s permission. Her mom said, “If you can save it, you can have it.” She carefully

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Let Faith Shape Your Future

“He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’ ” – Mark 4:40 Today I want to encourage you to let faith, not fear, shape your future. There is something about living a life of real faith. Whether you’re a new or seasoned believer, we’ve all experienced moments when things around us seem to be falling apart — but then something inside us changes and gives way to feeling a real sense of hope. It’s hard to explain why, but you just feel something good is about to happen. In your heart, you believe a door is about to open, or the situation you’re struggling with is about to change.  We need faith to embrace this sense that something good is about to happen. How can you love your neighbor or your enemy without faith? How can you truly love your neighbor, especially

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Something We Cannot See

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1 We need to have faith in God! Faith simply means trust. Faith in God is a belief that there is something good happening that we can’t see. We trust that time is on our side because we’re living in God’s Kingdom.  Faith is essential to our survival and quality of life. Why? Because faith has to do with the future. When we are unable to put our hope in anyone or anything, we quickly become despondent and crippled by worry, anxiety, and depression. Many of us are dealing with bad news, whether the concern is personal or business, family or financial. Perhaps something detrimental and out of the blue happened recently. Watching the news or monitoring Twitter exposes us to economic worries and rumors of war. We stress about viruses

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Wordly Knowledge vs. Godly Wisdom

“At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.’ ” – Matthew 11:25,26 Have you ever known someone who was really educated and smart, but at the same time, not that wise? If you have spent a significant amount of time at a university or place of research, most likely you have encountered this kind of person. One with a big ego and who is wrapped up in their IQ, their published studies, and their clout. Because of all that they have learned on a worldly scale, they are saturated. In their eyes, they don’t need advice from anyone. As the old Zen proverb goes, their cup is so full that they have no room for tea.

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Keep Hope Alive!

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” – 2 Timothy 2:13 We’ve been looking at the story of Joseph and how getting to where he needed to be was a long process that required unexpected twists and turns, many of which looked like anything but the fulfillment of a destiny. His story is encouraging to us because it teaches us about God’s redemptive sovereignty. You see, the Lord is not holding our sins against us. We can count on the cross for our forgiveness and know that as we put our trust in Him, He will get us to where we need to go. Even when we are faithless, He is faithful!  This reminds me of my son, Cohen, who just loves Disneyland. To him, it really is the happiest place on earth. I remember a few years ago, he didn’t understand the concept of

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Faith Moves in Groups

“But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.’” – Matthew 13:57 For the last few days, we’ve looked at three kinds of faith that work in our lives as believers, and we’ve also discussed faith being a gift. Today, I want to share another important fact about faith — it travels in groups. When faith moves, it rarely moves alone; it travels in groups and it manifests more powerfully in the midst of a population of like-minded people. One example is the story of Jesus returning to His hometown of Nazareth, yet unable to do any miracles because no one there believed in His deity. Since there was no faith to be found in the city, He uttered His famous words, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown.” In other words, without an atmosphere

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Faith of Sufficiency

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4 Yesterday we talked about the faith of desperation and how God honors it, just like He does the faith of propriety. Today, I want us to look at a third and final kind of faith: the faith of sufficiency.  When we have matured and grown through the faith of propriety and desperation, we ultimately come to a faith of sufficiency. This is the best kind of faith because it’s one that has nothing to do with external circumstances; it’s the type of unhindered trust in God’s character and goodness that cannot be shaken by what happens around it. Job ultimately came to this point of

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Faith of Desperation

“Why do I put myself in jeopardy and take my life in my hands? Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance, for no godless person would dare come before him!” – Job 13:14-16 Yesterday, we talked about the faith of propriety and how it operates in the lives of believers, especially those who are new to the faith. Today, we are going to look at another kind of faith we often see working in our walk with God — the faith of desperation. Have you ever heard of the saying that there are no atheists in a foxhole? This pretty much sums up the faith of desperation. Even if you haven’t been to church in a long time and haven’t opened your Bible for years, when the bottom falls out

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Three Kinds of Faith

“Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you.” – Matthew 9:29 We’ve been talking a lot about faith — what it is and what it isn’t and how it plays out in our lives. Today, I want to assert that there are different kinds of faith that correspond to distinct seasons of our lives as Christians.  Different things motivate our trust at various times in our lives, but the bottom line is that faith is essential to our survival and quality of life. Why? Because faith has to do with the future. When we are unable to put our hope in anyone or anything, we quickly become despondent and crippled by worry, anxiety, and depression. Faith is the essential component of a productive, abundant, and fruitful life, which is why living in the Kingdom of God is absolutely the best way.

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Faith in the Small Things

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” – Luke 16:10 Do you like to fly? If you’re like a lot of people, you may not. I used to feel a fair share of apprehension when I would fly, even going so far as to put my hand on the little logo of the plane as I was walking through the door and saying a prayer. However, as the years have gone on and I have flown more frequently, I am not uptight like I once was.  I remember when I was on a flight some time ago, a lady sat down next to me. She had a totally dignified demeanor and she was flying from Orange County to Texas to meet her new grandbaby. She warned me from the start that

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