Monday, November 7, 2011

What is certain?

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  Hebrews 11:1  Faith is the only thing that is certain in this life.  Without it, it is impossible to please God.  The Father of faith, Abraham was credited as righteous because he believed, because his faith was unshakable.   He was able to put his faith into action by leaving Hebron and heading out into the great unknown.  He was able to trust God for a child even in his old age and he was able to offer his son Issac as a sacrifice.  This all happened as a result of his faith. Faith proceeded his works.  Faith comes before the blessing of obedience.  Romans 5: 2-5 says, "we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love onto our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Hope.  That is what I cling to.  My faith is being challenged and I am forced to believe just like Abraham, not knowing what really lies ahead but trusting in my faith in a good and loving God. He speaks through his Word, through songs, through prayer, through dreams and yes I have a choice.  I can choose the high road that is wide open or I can choose the narrow less traveled road, filled with twists, turns, valleys and mountains.  It is Monday and I wait for Wednesday to come like a child counting the days till Christmas.  Part of me is giddy with excitement and anticipation, the other part of me wants to stop time and pretend I don't have cancer.  Wednesday I will go in for my usual lab draw and see where my blood chemistry levels are at in order to receive chemo treatment.  So I hope, waiting in great expectation for a miracle.  My blood work has not been favorable post two weeks of chemo.  The last two treatments have gone three weeks apart.  So am am pushing back my minds thoughts that it won't be good and clinging with all belief (hope) that it will be good.  I think Paul calls this part perseverance.  So through my waiting, my very core character is being reformed and I am building bricks of faith that bring me hope.  His love is being poured out in so many tangible ways in the midst of my rebuilding of character. Amazingly they strike deep at the core of my character -- all the things I don't like, the "old man" are being pealed away like layers of an onion.  It's the fruit I have been waiting for in this season of rest.  Fruit can only come when the tree has been well watered, pruned and fertilized.  It also doesn't just appear on the branches.  It takes time.  There it is again: waiting, patience.  It has to be the right season for the fruit to be ripe and ready.  Even Abraham had to wait through the seasons for God's promise.  The fruit of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).  I may be seriously onto something here.  I have cracked another code of the Spirit filled abundant life.  I choose to believe against all hope.  Because my hope is in Christ, I can believe the impossible.  I can enjoy the fruit, even now. 

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23
Ripe peaches on the tree

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