First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by Godâ€™s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong â€“ that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each otherâ€™s faith. Romans 1:8-12 (NIV)
Do you have faith? Do you have an allegiance to and belief in God?
I go to many baseball games and before each game there is the singing of our national anthem. Hundreds of people stand, put their hand over their heart, and look toward the flag that waves in the breeze, a symbol of our country and the beliefs that bring us together. Children still stand in classrooms and recite our countryâ€™s â€œPledge of Allegianceâ€ that proclaims that liberty and justice is for all!
Faith is believing in something that you cannot see. You cannot give it a number or lay it out like a scientific fact. My husband does a lot of ministry with people who profess to be atheists and agnostics. No matter the specific issue that sparks the discussion of Scripture and ancient history, Henry will say, at some point that belief in God is always going to involve a step of faith. There is no way to prove God.
Paul tells us that our faith is something to be â€œreported all over the worldâ€. Certainly now, in the 21st century, the joy and hope of our faith is something to be shared! I meet people every day that have no hope! They are going through financial difficulties, children in crisis, marriages in crisis, and watch the evening news and they have no hope because they do not know Jesus and the Good News. That is where we are to share, tell, and live our faith out!
Paul says that by encouraging each other in our walk of faith, we give each other a gift of strength. Remember how John says that we will overcome by our testimony? When we come together and tell each other our stories of faith, we grow spiritually.
Yesterday I was looking at the weakness of my flesh, which brings me to thinking about:
Go into any book store today and we can find shelves upon shelves of self-help books that profess to be able to tell us how to pull ourselves out of any difficulty, turn our lives around, and become ANYTHING we want to be. WE can do it! Hogwash! I went through college on my own. I didnâ€™t count on God for anything. I drove myself through the next 20 years of my life and gave God only a once-a-week check-off, doing what was expected because some parenting books said it was a good idea to give my children a circle of â€˜goodâ€™ friends that went to church. Yes, well that didnâ€™t work too well for me.
It was making a decision to take a step of faith and believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of my life that changed me and also changed my children. It was faith that brought my life to one of hope and joy that has nothing to do with circumstances but everything to do with Godâ€™s unconditional love.