FEEL LIKE GIVING UP?

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FEEL LIKE GIVING UP?

“Now the just shall live by faith;” Hebrews 10:38

Faith. Faith is tough, mostly because faith is intangible. By definition, this is faith.

“Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].” Hebrews 11:1 [AMPC]

Herein lies the contradiction. How do we prove things unless we have seen them? How are we convicted, unless we have a sense of them? Yet we are called to not only have faith, we are called to live by faith. In fact, this is what we are called to do.

“But the just shall live by faith [My righteous servant shall live by his conviction respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, and holy fervor born of faith and conjoined with it]; and if he draws back and shrinks in fear, My soul has no delight or pleasure in him.” Hebrews 10:38 [AMPC]

We are supposed to live by a conviction which spawns from respecting man’s relationship with God. Now here’s the rub, isn’t it? Faith and its degree in our lives is really dependent on our perception of our relationship with God. If you think that God is for you, then it is easy to have faith. But if you think that God is against you, no amount of preaching can ever make you have faith. In fact, if you have been disappointed by God or if your prayers have been met by silence, this verse will be meaningless to you.

“For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.” Habakkuk 2:3

Right. So when exactly is the appointed time? Can I have it come a little sooner? God, have you realized that given the situation, I probably won’t be able to wait for the appointed time to come?

Been there before? We all have. Yet, when times get rough, when it feels like all is lost, when faith becomes a commodity more scarce than diamonds, we need to remember that our faith in our Father is not built on airy fairy mumbo jumbo. It is grounded in fact. And just because the ‘fact’ that you desire has not yet happened for you, that does not make the fact that our Father loves you, untrue.

“But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 [AMPC]

When the world first saw the planes hit the World Trade Centre on September 2011, I was in the trading room of the bank I was working in back then. I remember staring at the news with the then Head of Trading and wondering if there had just been an accident. But he was wondering if he was going to get the sack. You see, to him, he saw past the plane crash, past the lives lost and into the market’s headlines the following day. He saw the uncertainty that was going to come and he saw the multitude of ‘red’ that was going to pass his desk, a multitude that no doubt was going come hard and fast, more overwhelming than any flood that could ever overtake him in the natural. Now, though he had amassed enough ‘bread’ in the past months to have comfortably lasted the final quarter of that year and beyond, fact; it was all wiped out in an instant, fact. Truly, man does not live by bread alone, fact.

Now, here is where our perception of God will determine the way faith works in our lives. If we see God as a big meanie who is hell bent on wrecking our lives, then we will have no faith that He will get us through the troubles that come. But if we think that the bad things that happen in our lives happen because Satan is asking to sift us like wheat just like he did with Peter (Luke 22:31) and Job (Job 1:8-12), and because of that,

“sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you,” Genesis 4:7 [AMP]

Then we can have the faith that just like Jesus said of Peter,

“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Luke 22:32

And just like our Father said to Satan of Job,

“Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”” Job 1:8

Jesus and our Father know exactly who we are, what we are made of and what is going on in our lives. They are watching over us, closely monitoring what goes on in every single trial that we are going through, always ensuring that,

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

Because just like God set limits on how much Satan is able to ‘wreck’ Job’s life;

“And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.” Job 1:12

So too has He set limits on how much Satan can ‘have his way’ in our lives. And just like Jesus prayed for Peter, we can have faith that Jesus is praying for us right now, in the midst of our troubles, praying that our faith should not fail, so that when we have returned to Him, we can strengthen our brethren. And we can have faith to know that this is true because Jesus Himself says of us,

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:20-26

Now, suppose you don’t believe a word of what has just been said. Suppose your disappointment is so great that you think you don’t believe the Bible anymore. Well, then consider this. Do you believe in unseen powers? Surely you must because horror movies give you such an emotional rush. So suppose you turn your life over to the devil. Do you think that he will turn you into a saint? Do you think that you will walk around with a halo over your head and do good all the time? Of course not. But have you seen the devil? How do you know that the devil exists? So since you believe that the devil exists, then you believe the Bible, because it says that the devil exists. So then why is it so difficult to believe Jesus when He says,

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:12-14

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33

Beloved, it’s not that we don’t believe in God. It’s not that we don’t believe that He loves us. The elephant in the room is that if He loves us, why does He allow us to be driven to the point where we feel like we have been broken? Why is it that He allows us to be pushed to the point where we are about to throw in the towel? I say ‘about to’, because honestly, if you are still reading this, you haven’t. You are still looking for one last reason to keep pushing forward. Now, that’s faith. That is the reason why God tells Satan of you,

‘Have you considered My servant _____, that there is none like him/her on the earth, a blameless and upright man/woman, one who fears God and shuns evil?’

Because He knows of how stern a stuff you are made of. For remember beloved, He was the one that made you. So why are you still pressing on? Have you ever wondered? It is because, deep down inside, you are convicted by this belief.

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

Make no mistake. The road is not easy. There is much that will ensnare us. Yet, when we look unto Jesus, The One who gave us the faith in the first place, and The One who is praying for us constantly, that our faith will not fail; we can have the faith to know that He will give us the same strength that made Him endure the cross for us so that we will be able to endure Satan’s sifting for Him. And in the end, just like

“Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.” 1 Peter 1:7 [MSG]

Beloved, your trials happen for a reason. And there is no greater reason than the fact that God wants to show off your faith in Him at the end of it all. Indeed, Satan got it right when He said of Job and of us,

“So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”” Job 1:9-11

If your life has been a bed of roses without thorns, how can your faith in our Father’s love ever be shown? Trials do have a place and honestly, Satan really doesn’t care if you look bad. What matters to Him is that God looks bad. Instead, it is God who wants to turn this into an opportunity in which you are made to look good; because He knows He can and will give you more than enough to weather the storm.

So don’t prove Satan right. God certainly has given you more than enough for you to prove Satan wrong. In fact, He will personally see to it that you are more than equipped to prove Satan wrong. And when you do, when it is finally all over,

“And the Lord turned the captivity of Job and restored his fortunes, when he prayed for his friends; also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.” Job 42:10 [AMPC]

Are you captive to your situation? Have you suffered tremendous loss? Fear not. When, not if, when it is all over, The Lord shall turn your captive situation around and restore to you twice over, as much as you had before.

Beloved, this is not bread, but the word that came from the mouth of God. Live by it and have faith.

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