“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.”Romans 12:9, 21 NLT
“Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.””John 20:27-29 NLT
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 NLT)
The Scripture admonishes us to stay the course, fact that you will hear said, preached and taught over and over. But The Word of God also exhorts us to continually grow in our knowledge and faith, something we hear much less. As an old preacher. I know says, “Just keep on keepin’ on!”.
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6, 7 NLT)
Today’s daily verse comes from the Second Epistle of Peter. It is commonly referred to as “The Seven Steps”. Following these “steps” will, God’s Word says a few verses later, assure us that we will never slip from His grace.
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. (2 Peter 1:5-7 NLT)
“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” (Genesis 50:20 KJV)
Joseph endured a lot due to things that others did to him. I’m sure that while he was going through the many trials he faced he must’ve wondered why God allowed the things He did. What really strikes me is how Joseph praises God for the things he endured in Genesis 50:20; instead of lamenting, Joseph says what was done to me was done out of evil intentions but God used that for good.
I think we often wonder why the Lord allows some of the things to happen in our lives that He does. And I think it’s okay to wonder and even expected by Him that we will. What I figure most of us are less apt to do is to thank Him for those things. I know that I can’t always see or understand the “why” but I have the promise that it is ultimately for good. I also know that when I have the perspective that time allows from an event in the past to the present things are often much clearer, as was Joseph’s in the passage I mentioned.
Ultimately we have to learn to trust completely in God’s goodness and righteousness. When we don’t understand how He is working things out or along is the time that our trust and faith are both exercised and grown the most.
Walk by Faith, Not by Sight
by Charles R. Swindoll
Read Job 1:1–12
Without Job’s knowing it, a dialogue took place in the invisible world. As the Lord and Satan had their strange encounter, the subject quickly turned to this well-known earthly man. The Lord calls Satan’s attention to Job’s exemplary life, and Satan responds with a sinister sneer. “Of course, who wouldn’t serve You, the way You’ve prospered and protected him. Take away all the perks and watch what happens; the man will turn on You in a flash.” God agrees to let the Adversary unload on Job.
And so, in today’s terms, the Lord bet Satan that Job would never turn on Him. Philip Yancey refers to that agreement as the “divine wager.” Satan instigates a sudden and hostile removal of all the man’s possessions, leaving him bankrupt. Within a matter of minutes, everything he owned was gone.
This brings us to the first lesson worth remembering: we never know ahead of time the plans God has for us. Job had no prior knowledge or warning. That morning dawned like every other morning. The night had passed like any other night. There was no great angelic manifestation—not even a tap on his window or a note left on the kitchen table.
In one calamity after another, all the buildings on his land are gone, and nothing but lumber and bodies litter the landscape. It occurred so fast, Job’s mind swirled in disbelief. Everything hit broadside . . . his world instantly changed.
You and I must learn from this! We never know what a day will bring, whether good or ill. Our heavenly Father’s plan unfolds apart from our awareness. Ours is a walk of faith, not sight. Trust, not touch. Leaning long and hard, not running away. No one knows ahead of time what the Father’s plan includes. It’s best that way. It may be a treasured blessing; it could be a test that drops us to our knees. He knows ahead of time, but He is not obligated to warn us about it or to remind us it’s on the horizon. We can be certain of this: our God knows what is best.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.