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Faith-fueled power at work

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Pastor’s Pulpit

By Pastor Tom Davidson

Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” This is faith-fueled power at work. Only faith has this kind of power because faith is nothing more than a conduit for the power of God. Faith is conquering with the assurance that God will give the victory. Faith is sleeping with hungry lions with the belief that God’s unseen hand is around their mouths. Faith is stepping into the furnace with the assurance that God will quench the flames. Here we find the power of faith. But the power that’s on display here is specifically the power to endure, the power to not give-up. This is faith-fueled perseverance.

Just think about some of the righteous sufferers of the Old Testament: Joseph, David, Elijah, Jeremiah. These were men who were, at some point, “destitute, afflicted, and mistreated.” Some were even killed for their faithful commitment to God’s will. In II Chronicles, a prophet named Zechariah was stoned to death in the Temple courtyard by order of King Joash, and the prophet Isaiah was sawn in half. The book of Kings tells us about those prophets that the wicked queen Jezebel murdered with the sword. Now listen, in contrast to what a lot of TV preachers declare; faith isn’t always about the power to prosper and succeed. Sometimes, faith is about the power to persevere in the midst of rejection and ridicule; the power to endure in times of defeat; and sometimes faith brings us the power to simply hang on for one more day.

Friends, you may not be feeling pressured to blend back into Judaism. But, like the first readers of Hebrews, all of us, every day, are being pressured to blend back into a life of human merit, such as “Have I been good enough today?” or “Does God still accept me?”

All of us, every day, are being pressured to blend back into a life of human wisdom such as, “Well, I can’t love others until I first love myself;” or “I just need to listen to my heart;” or “Oh, the kids will be better off if we’re not together.”

All of us, every day, are being pressured to blend back into a life of human passions, such as “I’ll tell him what I really think;” or “She’ll be sorry;” or “Just one more purchase;” or “Just one more look;” or “Just one more deal;” or “Just one more…what?”

I have absolutely no doubt that there are some who are just trying to hang on. Do you feel that way? Are you worn out because of struggles with your spouse? Struggles with your finances? Struggles with lust or worry or guilt or grief or expectations or failures? Are you worn out because you just feel like you’ve fallen into a spiritual rut and there doesn’t seem to be a way out? And every attempt you’ve made in these struggles has simply met sinful resistance? If that’s you, then I have great news for you. For all those struggling with the poverty of sin, the poverty of doubt, there’s a key…that opens a vault…that contains a priceless jewel that’s yours if you’ll receive it.
Well, if you’re like me, and you often feel that painful poverty of spiritual power and perseverance. Well, there’s a key called faith…and it opens a vault called the promises of God…and that vault contains a priceless jewel who is Jesus Christ. He’s yours if you’ll receive Him; this day and every day.

In all of our struggles, at all of those times when we feel like we’re just barely hanging on, we’re called to fix the eyes of our faith on that priceless jewel that guarantees us that we’re never and never will be spiritually lacking in any way. It was the power and perseverance of Christ that made him the author and who makes perfect our faith. At the cross of Jesus Christ, on that lonely hill, on that bloody tree, we see the most glorious, the most instructive, the most perfect example of power to do God’s will and of perseverance to stand firm in spite of sinful resistance. Where are you looking this day for the power and perseverance to keep going? Try looking to Jesus.

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