In order to strengthen our faith, we must first believe. This might seem like a paradox or an unfair situation. How does that work? Similarly, Scripture teaches that God only assures and strengthens those who come to him in belief and not unbelief. Consider what Christ said to the Jews who doubted him:.
It comes from him who sent me. If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. Essentially, he says that those who believe and want to obey God, will be given more. He will give them assurance and revelation that Jesus is the messiah. But for the unbelieving and disobedient, God will not assure or confirm them.
Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. But, he who does not have, God takes away—he disciplines by hardening and removing understanding. Certainly, this is a difficult doctrine; however, this is exactly what Scripture teaches. When Herod questioned Christ and entreated him to perform miracles, Christ remained quiet and said nothing Luke But, when Gideon and Hezekiah asked for a miracle, God answered.
Lord, help my unbelief! How are you approaching God? For those who come to him in faith, he gives more. For others, he removes even what little they have. The Lord wants to answer your questions. He wants to remove your doubts. But you must bring your doubts and struggles to him in faith. Yes, let us cast our anxieties, worries, doubts, and fears before the Lord, but let us bring them before God in faith, because he cares for us 1 Pet 5: What do you think of the Scriptural requirement of needing faith in order for God to assure us or answer our questions?
How do we know if we are approaching God in faith or in unbelief? Next, God commands Abraham to gather five different animals in order to make a covenant.
Abraham immediately obeys God, even though struggling with his faith. In contrast, many times when struggling with our faith, our obedience to God falters. We stop going to church, stop reading our Bible, stop praying, and drop out of fellowship. This is not the way to strengthen our faith; it is the path way to destroying our faith. Abraham does not do that. Even though Abraham is struggling, he immediately obeys God. Often Scripture teaches that genuine faith always produces works. This is true, but in a sense walking in obedience increases our faith.
Just as, in the same way, disobedience weakens our faith. Jesus said this in Mark 4: If Abraham had not obeyed God by preparing for the covenant, then he would have lost the opportunity for God to increase and strengthen his faith. And many people do this: Are you walking in obedience to God? If so, God will give you more. He will give you more of himself and more faith to believe and receive his promises. If you disobey God, your faith will decrease and you will incur the discipline of God instead of his blessing cf.
How can we respond obediently to God, even when struggling with doubt? Abraham gathers five animals and cuts them into halves, except for the birds. He makes a pathway between them. In those days, written contracts were uncommon. People instead made covenants by killing animals and walking through the remains.
However, while waiting on God, birds flew down and began to attack the carcasses. Since they were scavengers, they tried to eat the dead bodies and fly away with some of the meat. In response, Abraham drives them away. No doubt, this would be confusing to Abraham. In fact, where are you? Suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. Hope is really just another name for faith. Hope is faith in future promises. After suffering produces the fruit of perseverance and character, it leads us to hope.
Through suffering, we begin to trust and hope in God and his Word more. It is a necessary process in the strengthening of our faith. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Many commentators see the attack of these birds as a visual picture of the prophecy that God was about to make.
Joseph dreamed his parents bowed down before him but, soon after, was thrown into slavery and later prison. Most scholars believe that Joseph was in Egypt, as a slave and prisoner, for some fifteen years. Suffering strengthened his faith for the promise. While in slavery and prison, he, no doubt, was tempted to question the promise of God. However, he persevered to receive it. Moses did as well. Stephen tells us that when Moses killed the Egyptian, he thought the Israelites would know that he was called to be their deliverer.
However, right after, he runs for his life and becomes a shepherd in the wilderness for forty years before God calls him to deliver Israel cf.
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Suffering and trial came to strengthen his faith. In fact, when Moses leads Israel out of Egypt, they still needed to persevere through the wilderness to get to the promised land. God allowed Joseph to suffer to strengthen his faith for his calling. It was the same with Moses, Israel, and even Abraham. Let us understand this: If we are a Christian whose faith wavers, then we must realize that God will strengthen it through trial and suffering.
Then in the vision, Abraham learns that the fulfillment of the promise would not happen without suffering. Suffering always precedes glory, and it is always the pathway to a stronger faith. Therefore, we must faithfully persevere through suffering. Those who do not, those who complain, quit, or run away from God in trials, only weaken their faith. How are you responding to the trials, even small ones, sent to strengthen your faith?
Are you persevering or quitting? Are you trusting or doubting? Are you praising or complaining? Let us remember that God is faithful and that he has a purpose in the trial—our maturity and the strengthening of our faith. In what ways have you experienced suffering that strengthened your faith?
How is God calling you to respond better? We cannot but notice that when God called Abraham to prepare for a covenant, not only does he struggle with birds, but he has to wait until night fall. In fact, he waited so long that he fell asleep. God allowed Abraham to not only struggle but wait.
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Then in the vision, he discovers that he would not inherit the land in his lifetime and that his descendants would inherit it after years of slavery. With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. Our God is eternal and all-powerful, and therefore, time is different to him. He waits till Abraham is years old before he gives him a son, fifteen years after this promise and twenty-five after the original. Abraham waits and waits and waits.
However, God strengthened his faith through the waiting. This is true for us, as well. God often strengthens our faith by delay. By delaying a promise or a desire in our heart, we are forced to trust in God and not ourselves. God often allows the delay to last long enough that we know the desire or promise can only be accomplished by him. In waiting for a child, Abraham waited until his body was figuratively dead.
God made Abraham, Joseph, and Moses wait. He made the Israelites and David wait. In the vision, God tells Abraham that he must continue to wait. All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. Waiting is the pathway to strong faith. He weakens our flesh, fortifies our faith, and builds hopeful anticipation.
Are you waiting for a godly spouse? Are you waiting for some dream he put in your heart? Take joy, so did the great men and women of God before you. God is worth waiting on. Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength and strengthen their faith cf. In what ways has God made you wait for something that he put in your heart?
What does God have you waiting on now? How can we better wait on the Lord without becoming anxious, impatient, or angry? Since the patriarchs typically lived over years there is no contradiction in this prophecy. God tells Abraham all this so he would know his inheriting the land would not happen in his lifetime but his descendants. It is the same for us.
The more we read the Word of God, the more it makes us grow. We must plant our roots deep in Scripture if we are going to faithfully stand in trials and waiting seasons. We must constantly read, study, memorize, and speak Scripture. In what ways has God strengthened your faith through studying his Word? When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. God appears to Abraham through a smoking firepot and a blazing torch. These were theophanies—temporary manifestations of God to his people.
The smoking firepot reminds us of the pillar of cloud that led Israel by day in the wilderness Exod The blazing torch reminds us of the pillar of fire that led them by night Exod It seems that Abraham is still asleep when this happens, but somehow, he is still aware.
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This was possibly the first-time Abraham ever saw God, and therefore, this would greatly strengthen his faith. Certainly, it was an awesome and scary sight. When this happened, there was great darkness. Similarly, when God revealed himself to Israel on Mt. Sinai, a great darkness appeared cf. Also, when Christ died on the cross, a great darkness came over the land cf.
God was manifesting himself and his glory. Christ said to the disciples in the Great Commission that he would never leave or forsake them Matt Scripture teaches that God indwells each believer 1 Cor 6: However, Scripture also declares that God wants to manifest himself more to us, and, in these manifestations, we can have, no doubt, that he strengthens our faith. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. Worth the money and the time. Fifty-two mini sessions for a daily or intermittent personal use.
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I plan to read this daily until it is instilled in me, that I am more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus,and without faith it is impossible to please God. This is a good book to read for encouragement for those who are wavering in their faith. It reminds you of God's promises and teaches you that if you have faith as small as a mustard seed,you can move mountains. I plain to meditate on this daily, to strengthen my faith.
Worth the price and worth more than just a single read. This is a well-written and very concise book. I think one needs to read it over and over again, small bites at a time, to absorb the messages. This book was awesome!!! I read this book two times to memorize some of the great quotes and information and I plan on going back to it to refresh my memory from time to time. I would highly recommend this book for those us who want to grow in our faith.
I will definitely read other materials from this author. I appreciated how to the point this booklet was. Definitely left me feeling encouraged and on the right path. I think if this were any longer, it would have been filled with fluff and a turn off. I also appreciated the scriptures to reference. Thank you for this faith-fuel to help me on my journey. En savoir plus sur Amazon Prime. Moyens de paiement Amazon.