By Tawna Wilkinson (Elder)
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5 ESV)
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen…By faith… (Hebrews 11:1, 3a ESV)
As I read multiple passages of Scripture, it was tough to pick a single reference for this devotion. The pages of the Bible are filled with people who heard God’s voice and chose to conduct their lives by faith, regardless of circumstance. Did they fail at times? Absolutely. Did they wrestle with doubt? No doubt. Did they wonder where God was during hard times? Indeed they did. Yet they continued in a by faith life - always showing up - regardless of the outcome. And in doing so, God showed up. Maybe not in the way they wanted, or expected. But He always came through. By faith, they…
This is not an easy time we are living in. But God in His grace and mercy, has extended the same invitation to us as He did to our forefathers: to conduct our lives by faith, regardless of circumstance. And because God does not change, we like them, can by faith humble ourselves. By faith pray. By faith seek His face. Turn from our wicked ways. Ask, and keep on knocking. Love. By faith understand. By faith please God. By faith endure. Have peace. Overcome. Be empowered. By faith draw near. By faith become His righteousness. Be justified. Be made whole. Have access. By faith move and subdue mountains. By faith have a way made. Pull promises into reality. Establish true justice. Be commended. By faith tap into His faithfulness. By faith preserve our souls. Be assured. Hope. Walk. Be encouraged. Stand. Live. Move. And, possess our being.
It’s the only way to truly live. But don’t look for a formula. There is none. The by faith life is an “as they went/go your way” journey and process. At times, continuing to move when God seems far away. Or continuing to wait until He is close. Or holding onto the last thing we heard while groping in darkness and silence - not knowing - not understanding. But be assured, the by faith life is always God’s loving invitation for us to show up and discover His goodness, inside and outside ourselves, regardless of the outcome. To walk in the footsteps of the One who breathed us into existence, went before us, and will always show up - just like He did with those written in the pages of the Bible.
Thank you, Father for the invitation to the by faith life. Thank you that you love us enough to shake what needs to be shaken, so that what cannot be shaken will remain, and flourish. Thank you for this vital, humbling process we are in individually, and collectively. Thank You for the creativity You are birthing in us as we continue by faith. You are good. Forgive our lack of faith when things haven’t gone the way we’ve wanted them to. Forgive our lack of love when others have strongly disagreed with us. But most of all forgive the sin of our unbelief in You and Your ways. We freely submit ourselves to You, knowing You are God - our good, good Father. Today, we choose the by faith life, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God, smack-dab in the middle of this crazy season we are in. By faith, we… Amen.
Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard
The Shack by WM Young
Jesus in the Gospels
The Acts of the Apostles
I Peter 1:3-9
II Corinthians 5:6-10 et al.