Friday, September 7, 2012

Steadfast Confidence

The heading for the Fall Quarter is “A Living Faith.” The first Unit of the Fall Quarter looks at a five-lesson study descriptive of the sub-heading, “What is Faith?” Each of the five lessons is taken from a section of Hebrews 10-13. Last week’s lesson was a description of the perseverance of faith as recorded in Hebrews 10:10-31. Today’s lesson encourages us to find the assurance that comes with faith. The devotional reading is Psalm 27:1-6 and the printed passage is Heb 11:1-3, 6; Psalm 46:1-3, 8-11.

It is unknown who wrote the book of Hebrews. Some believe Paul wrote it. When this Epistle opens, it opens unlike any of the others Paul wrote. Paul introduced himself in his other writings. As it is inconsistent with his other writings, I do not believe he wrote this book. Regardless of who wrote the Epistle, the inspiration was “God-breathed”. He could not have received these revelations without an anointing from the Lord.

‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ Heb 11:1 This is not a definition of faith. It is a description of what faith does. The definition of faith is “belief” or “trust”. The description then becomes believing in things that are not seen and trusting in their reality. In Heb 10:38-39 we are told that the just people shall live by faith. We are encouraged to have confidence to the saving of our souls. Should we draw back our faith, God will not have pleasure in us.

‘For by it the elders obtained a good report.’ Heb 11:2 For by that faith, belief, trust, and steadfast confidence the ancient Old Testament “men of old” had testimonies which proved they had obtained a good report from God.

‘Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.’ Heb 11:3 Through this faith, belief, trust, and steadfast confidence we understand the world was created by the Word of God. We believe nothing existed. By faith we believe ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.’ Gen 1:1 We do not believe the Darwinian theory of apes evolved into men. It is not biblical.

‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.’ Ps 46:1 People may flee and trust in whomever they will flock in times of danger. That is not necessarily safe. There are many false prophets and religions. The true believers through faith know that God is the only true God, our refuge and shelter against all dangers and source of our strength. We may have steadfast confidence that He will bring us through all troubles. ‘For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.’ Ps 27:5 Our safety and protection lies in God alone. We are blessed!

‘Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.’ Ps 46:2-3 God’s people shall not fear, even if the worst happens. We are to even expect the falling away of earth as we know it. ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ Ps 27:1 We are to always have faith that God is in control. Where there is no faith, there will be fear. God will always extend His protection. Won’t you step under His umbrella today?

‘Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.’ Ps 46:8-9 If verses 2-3 of Ps 46 speak to the calamities of the final judgment, verses 8-9 speak to the aftermath. There is desolation/waste that has been made in and on the earth. There are no more wars or weaponry of wars. Earth, as we know it, will pass away. ‘The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool...He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.’ Ps 110:1,6 God is yet in control. ‘…the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ Ps 1:5-6

‘Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.’ Ps 46:10 Have you ever wanted those around you to be still so you could concentrate on the holiness of God? Let Him whisper to you to be still when you find yourself too busy. Do you find beauty in the natural world around you, in the heavens and the earth, whether it is erupting into the song of birds or the terrible thrashing sound of a hurricane? ‘The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.’ Ps 19:1-3 Be still, have faith, and understand that our God is the one and only God. He will be exalted among all nations. So His people do not have to fear. He is in control of history. In the end, ‘…As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’ Rom 14:11

‘The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.’ Ps 46:11 Stand in awe of God. We can have faith that we shall have perfect peace. Believers of the church are secure and need not fear. It is written that God ‘…will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ Heb 13:5b He will be our covering and protection. We can have comfort because He is the Lord of hosts with the greatest army of angels, and He has given us the opportunity to join His family by choosing eternal life rather than eternal damnation. He will always be on our side…if we open our heart and allow Him in.

Written by Deborah C Davis

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