Month: November 2019

Faith that God will do good things

How many times have you thought… that’s just not fair! I cannot believe that that has happened to me?

This is probably something that many of us have thought, and it is often a reason that people may use to say they don’t believe in God. However, our theme for the week is about having faith to see God do good things. Nick Viyicic has no limbs and is a world travelling speaker he said

“Every time you think you’re being rejected God’s actually redirecting you to something better. Ask him to give you the strength to press forward”

Why has Nick become a world travelling speaker? I think it’s because of his own response to the difficulties that he has had to face. It cannot have been easy to grow up without any limbs, yet Nick has the attitude that no matter what is going on, God will use it and will give us the strength to move on in the situation.

Where does Nick get this attitude? Nick is a Christian and therefore has a faith in God, and will have known this teaching that Paul wrote in his letter to the Church in Rome…

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

We aren’t punished by God, but God always works for good. If you think back to those ‘it’s not fair’ moments, are you then able to see some good that has come out of them? It’s very difficult to think that way in the situation, but we can see it when we look back. By having a faith in God, it is easier to have faith that good will come, or that we are part of good, even if we can’t see it at that moment.

Challenge: share examples with others of when seemingly bad things, have turned into good

Prayer: father God we thank you that you love us, that you work in our lives, and that you always work for good. Help us to have faith when we are in times of difficulty. Amen

Faith in yourself

Do you ever doubt yourself? I imagine there are probably times when we have doubted ourselves at some point. Mr Elliott told a story on Friday of how when he was in a music lesson when he was younger, he didn’t put his hand up even though he was certain he knew the answer. I know that I am someone who usually checks things with people rather than necessarily trusting in myself.

As we continue to look at the value of faith, and faith being the confidence in someone, this week we are considering having faith in ourselves. Jason Pockrandt said

“Anything is possible once you believe you are worthy of achieving it”

This is quite challenging, because we probably all limit ourselves. Why don’t we put our hands up in lessons? Because we are worried we’ve got the wrong answer, or because we’re worried what other people will think of us. We need to have confidence in ourselves, believe that we deserve to achieve it, and then we really do have a chance. Obviously other people help along the way by having confidence in us, and encouraging us, but we are the ones, ultimately who make the decisions that enable us to achieve things, or stop us from even trying.

Within Christianity there is a belief that God created us in His image, and that he has plans for us. A faith in God, helps to have faith in yourself. To see yourself through God’s eyes rather than the eyes of society, or your own eyes; trusting that it’s all part of the plan, and that no matter what happens it will result in good eventually. Well, that gives a lot of backing and support, and builds your confidence and trust in yourself. The 3rd Proverb supports this saying

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him,

and he will make your paths straight”

You are an amazing person created by an amazing God; you can achieve what you want to; the question is what is it that you want to achieve?

Challenge: take a bold step this week and try something you’ve thought isn’t possible for you

Prayer: Father God, we thank you that you have created us in your image. Help us to see that and live our lives accordingly. Amen

Faith gives strength and comfort

This week we remember those who have given their lives for the lives of others, for the freedom that we enjoy today. When they were called to do so, faith would have played a part. They must have had faith that they would succeed, that they would return. There will have been times when faith may have felt like the only thing they had. It may not have been faith in God, but as we have said before faith is having trust or confidence is something. That faith may have been faith in their leaders, or in their comrades, in peace, and for many it would have been faith in God.

How would a faith in God help? Because a faith in God often brings strength and comfort. There is no problem with questioning, and wondering, but within Christianity there is a belief that although there will be bad, there will also be good, and that God is walking along side us all of the way. Joel Osteen said:

“God is not going to stop every difficulty, every bad break, but He will give you the strength, the power, the grace to go through”

My Granny’s favourite poem was footprints, with the idea that God walks with us, but when there is only one set of footprints that is when God is carrying us.

In Paul’s first letter to the Church in Corinth he writes

“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

This is what faith is for Christians and why it brings strength and comfort. To believe that God will only give us what we can bear, but he will even help us through that. We are never on our own, but can trust that He is holding our hand, or holding us in his hands, no matter what.

Sometimes though, we do need to make that decision to hand it over to God in the first place, and to be willing to put our faith in Him – accepting that there are things which are out of our control – believe me I know that is like the pot calling the kettle black – but we can try!

Challenge: Are there any difficulties that you are facing that you could hand over to God so that you receive strength and comfort?

Faith can move mountains

What is the greatest thing you’ve accomplished? How did you manage to accomplish it?

I am going to confess that I have been watching Masterchef Australia, it is a LONG series, but I do enjoy it! This morning I was catching up on the finals week. In the final one the contestants took her dessert up to the judges, they asked if she had done enough to win. She said something along the lines of ‘I love these flavours, I’m confident in this pudding, yes I’ve done enough’ to which the judges commented that the most important thing there is that she said ‘yes I’ve done enough’ not ‘I hope I’ve done enough’. She had faith in herself. She won.

Last week we looked at having faith as small as a mustard seed, but Jesus also spoke about how faith can move mountains. He says that when we ask for things in prayer, we should believe that we have received it… we should have faith.

I think for many people we may go to God in prayer, but won’t necessarily believe that it will happen. How can that change? It comes over time. In masterchef she started off hoping her food was good enough and ended up knowing it was. In prayer as we see God work in our lives, we will have more confidence when we go to Him with our prayers.

We also need to see the part that we play, it is a relationship with God, not a request service. Jesus recognised the part that He had to play in order for salvation to be achieved. Our thought for the week is anonymous but says…

“Faith can move mountains but don’t be surprised if God hands you a shovel”

We need to have faith that God can work in and through our lives, but we also need to listen out for what God wants us to do in order for that to happen.

Challenge … what mountains need to be moved in your life?

Prayer… father God we thank you that you work in our lives. Help us to have faith to come to you when there are mountains in our way. Help us to use the gifts you have given us to be able to move those mountains. Amen