Vance Havner once observed, “Faith will not always get for us what we want, but it will get what God wants us to have.”

 

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During World War II, preacher and theologian Helmut Thielieke, came to his bombed out church in Stuttgart. Because of the damage, he had to gather the church in the choir loft. He began his sermon by saying, “Now we continue our series on the Lord’s Prayer.” The sermon he preached that day was “Thy kingdom come.” It is difficult to continue to believe in the kingdom when times are perilous. It takes eyes of faith.

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“In
April 1988 the evening news reported on a photographer who was a
skydiver. He had jumped from a plane along with numerous other
skydivers and filmed the group as they fell and opened their
parachutes. On the film shown on the telecast, as the final skydiver
opened his chute, the picture went berserk. The announcer reported
that the cameraman had fallen to his death, having jumped out of the
plane without his parachute. It wasn’t until he reached for the absent
ripcord that he realized he was freefalling without a parachute.”

Of
course, the photographer believed the parachute was able to take him
safely to the ground. His problem was not an un-persuaded mind. But
he failed to attach the parachute to his body. He failed to
appropriate the means of safety. In the same way, we must not only be
persuaded that Jesus is able to save us from our sins, but we must
also appropriate His grace and forgiveness, by attaching ourselves to
Him.

Quotation from Craig Brian Larson & Leadership
Journal, 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers, &
Writers, (Baker Book House).

_________________
Brian Hedges is Senior Pastor of Fulkerson Park Baptist Church in Niles, MI.

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“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward for this faith is to
see what you believe. ”

 – St. Augustine

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Philip Yancey defines faith as: “Believing in advance in something that will only seem logical when seen in reverse.”

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After the 1988 Winter Olympics, a television show featured a group of blind skiers being trained for slalom skiing. Paired with sighted skiers, the blind skiers were taught on the flats how to make right and left turns. When that was mastered, they were taken to the slalom slope where their sighted partners skied beside them shouting, “Left!” and “Right!” As they obeyed the commands, they were able to negotiate the course and cross the finish line, depending solely on the sighted skiers’ word. It was either complete trust or catastrophe.

As David Jeremiah observes, “Skiing down a mountainside blindly is an amazing example of transforming fear into faith. Do you place that kind of trust in God and in what He has in store for you in your life? Second Corinthians 5:7 (NIV) says that, “We live by faith, not by sight.” Just because you do not know which direction to take does not mean that God will not provide a path. In fact, God is waiting for you to put your full trust in Him. God is waiting to be your guide. All you have to do is believe.”

(Turning Point Daily Devotional, 12-19-03)

 

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Oswald Chambers once wrote, “Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.”

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While most flowers bloom only in the day, some bloom only at night. The night
blooming Cereus is the most well known example. The flower called Four O’clock
opens in the late afternoon. Moon flowers unfold at dusk and close with the
first rays of the morning sun. But Lilies remain open night and day. Is this
the reason the lily has become the Easter flower? Certainly our faith should
blossom both in the bright days of joy and dark nights of despair.

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Several months ago a tornado struck the small town of Piedmont, Alabama. Twenty
people were killed. Most of them were inside the Goshen United Methodist Church
at the time. Among those killed was the daughter of the pastor. Later, the
pastor was interviewed by television news reporters. She said, “Having
your faith shaken is not the same as losing it.” A great many believers
have had their faith shaken. We cannot deny it, and we need not be embarrassed
by it. Most of the believers who have had their faith shaken, like that pastor,
can testify that it is not the same as losing it.

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“When we walk to the edge of all the light we have, and take that step
into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will
happen — there will be something solid for us to stand on, or we will be
taught to fly.”

______________________
Illustration from: Christian Medical Society Journal, Volume XVI, No.
2, 1985. PO Box 830689, Richardson, TX 75083

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