Where are the storms in your life? How does the future look?
Are we looking with our eyes or His?
Do we face the future with peace, hope, and courage, or do we feel like grasshoppers in the face of giants? Why does the world seem so frightening?
Turbulent Times of Today
Storm clouds of all types are arising around the world. It has always been so, but the times are becoming increasingly worse as God’s plan and timetable moves towards its glorious completion. God consistently throughout time shakes the world and all that is in it so that those with insight can discern that which is real and enduring – Him and His Word – and learn to separate from that which is not.
The Answer of Faith
The power, violence, and awe these storms bring, with the sound and fury of raging winds and surging water, can produce fear and doubt in the heart of the most seasoned traveler. Twice, our Lord Jesus Christ tested the faith of the disciples as they traveled by boat across the Sea of Galilee. His question to them and to us through these storms of life searches our hearts to find the presence of faith (2 Cor 5:7). The basic foundation of the Christian way of life is based upon faith.
In both the Old Testament (Hab 2:4: Heb 11) and the New (Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11; Heb 10:38) the Word states that “the just shall live by faith.”
Types of Faith
However, faith is not something in short supply today. Many believe in a broad array of things upon which they lay the foundation of their lives: family and vocation, resources and assets, insurance and savings, health and fleshly works, country, might, and military (1 Cor 2:5) . But, the One who is the source of all provision (peace, security, healing, growth into light and life, a future hope beyond the grave) can be the only true object of faith. Only a faith in God and His word can be real and powerful enough to be a foundation for a life that can stand firm in the storm.
Principle: The strength of any faith lies in its object.
Caleb: A Man of True Faith
Caleb was such a man who placed his faith in God. In Joshua 14:6-14 we learn a few things about God’s man. Five times he mentions through these Scriptures of the “word which the Lord spoke” and three times that he “followed the Lord fully”. “Followed fully” is used only seven times in the Old Testament and every use of the word phrase refers to either Caleb or Joshua. Caleb and Joshua both were doers of the word and not hearers only. Caleb understood the promises of God, the land covenant, and had learned to rely upon God’s word. The evidence of his faith was seen in what he said and did.
Caleb, a seasoned veteran of 85, was a true disciple of God. He denied the self (popular opinion, the presence and might of the world, and fear), picked up his cross (the land given to him, the hill country settled with the Anakim giants in fortified cities, including Hebron which means fellowship or communion) and followed God fully (a discipleship that counts the cost and reckons upon God’s outcome). Yet, through it all, Caleb understood his success was not guaranteed. “Perhaps the Lord my God will be with me, and I will drive them out as the Lord has spoken.”
Wisdom of Faith
The greatest protection in life – the best insurance or savings plan – is faithful obedience. Know Him through His Word and walk in His works through the enabling power of the Spirit. Others may say: “But, if I become a disciple there is a cost. The safer choice is the world-approved one of straddling the fence.” Jim Elliot answers it best in writing, “It is no loss for a man to give up what he cannot keep for that which he will never lose.” The cost of faith is truly an investment, for the results of sharing His suffering are the eternal riches of His grace.
Discipleship is the road of wisdom and the shortest path to enduring riches, peace, and safety from all that steals and brings death. Discipleship is serving others through the love we receive in our hearts supplied by our fellowship with the Spirit ( 1 Thess 1:3). It is a faith that works through agape love. The call of discipleship is the only path that leads to His fruit, life, light, and love. Only those who abide in Him can live His life in service to others.
He is the Vine and we are the branches. He tells us to abide in Him to bear much fruit. “Apart from Me you can do nothing.”
He is the sure money bet.
He is the investment of a lifetime that always pays.
He is the Good Shepherd that laid down His life for all the sheep, The Door to Life, The Light of the World, and the Resurrection and the Life.
“The future is as bright as the promises of God.” Adoniram Judson
And that is as bright as the Son.
Through Him, His life, His Word we can come to know the will of the Father. Faithful obedience to that will leads to a place of rest and peace. This rest will become our present reality and be the guard against the storms and giants, and the anxiety they produce when we look with our own eyes (Eph 4:6-8). The eyes of faith see things through a different light (2 Cor 5:7).