|August 22, 2019|
|Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.|
Hebrews 10:23 (NIV)
|I'm Not Giving Up On God|
|Hebrews 10:19-25 (NIV)|
|Their faith had been tested. Their faith was being tested by the strain of tension fermented by persecution, poverty, and the politics of Emperor Nero and the Roman government. The theological and sociological foundation of the text is that we are saved by grace, and it is by faith that we progress. By faith, we must believe in God, and we believe that God has a divine plan to turn tension into triumph.|
(But) They had given up on God. They were considering collapsing the Christian movement. Soren Kierkegaard says in the book 'Fear and Trembling,' "Tension is Good."...The challenge is how do we handle the tension that God sends our way? God would not send you more than you can handle. And the reality is, if God is sending you tension, that means God is ready to take you to a higher place. God will not take you to a place that you can't handle. Why? Because there are so many other people who are ready for the step up. So when there's tension in your life, that means God is working in your life.
Our faith is only as strong as the tests we survive. Faith is, again, the substance of things hoped for, but the evidence of things not seen. It may not make sense to you, but it makes sense to God. You may not see it now, but it does not mean that it's not on the way.
|"These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purified gold - though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed in you."|
|I Peter 1:7 (NLT)|
Read and meditate on I Peter 1 (NIV) this week.
|We sometimes wonder why uncomfortable, trying things happen or keep happening to us. Sometimes it is the result of our decisions, whether wise or unwise. Other times, it is a test of our faith. Not that God tempts us, but the world seems to have a mind of its own and that mind is designed to see if we are truly committed to what we believe God has spoken through His Word!|
The testing of our faith is par for the course of a Christian. Peter described it as the process that is similar to what happens to gold. That process exposes gold to the hottest circumstances to determine if it is real gold and to rid it of its impurities. One writer says that processes melt away dross, or other worthless materials that have attached themselves to the metal, thus impeding its shine, it's worth. Perhaps, Peter is suggesting that worthless, unnecessary things may attach themselves to our faith and obstruct its brilliance, its hope, or its power. Consequently, it's then that our faith is challenged to see if we can still hold fast to God's Word!
|It is not unusual that faith is tested. In the sermon, the faith of the first-century church is being tested a hostile government. Oftentimes the test of the collective faith of a church community is orchestrated through external sources, such as a hostile government. Can you think of any other external sources can challenge 'the faith of the faith community?"|