The Faith that Overcomes

He lived in an orb of corruption and wickedness – the world population exploding with depraved humanity and evil giants. He alone was deemed just and found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Though the earth was watered with a daily mist, where the idea of rain – not to mention a flood – was incomprehensible, he obeyed God’s calling and continued his 120-year-long, titanic-sized task.

One thousand years later, ancient and breaths away from death, another man never quit believing for a nation of descendants. It mattered not that God had made only seemingly measly steps toward delivering on His promise.

She deserved to be stoned. A soiled one. One who used the lust of men for her gain. Yet she believed the One and Only God, and eventually chose His way.

He was an adopted son, raised in the most prestigious and privileged home in the world. Saved from death by a compassionate, beautiful woman. Yet by faith he refused to be called her son. By faith he returned to his roots of poverty and reclaimed the identity of a despicable people. By faith he lead a rebellion against the very ones who saved his life and gave him anything he could have ever wished for.

Faith is an indescribable phenomena, causing people to do inexplicable things.

Actually, it’s more. It must be much more.

Faith is the lens

Faith ignores accusations and jeers.

It rejects physical entitlement and comfort.

It sees beyond visual clues.

It receives undeserved grace.

It lives in a world bigger than this terra firma and it’s galaxy.

Faith does not mean perfect responses. Noah had a drinking issue. Abraham tried taking God’s plans into his own hands, attempting to jump-start his posterity with his wife’s maid. Rahab spent her purity illegitimately. Moses murdered.

In my own life, faith has marched to an imperfect beat. Called to mother children bereft of parents, I believed God had incredible plans for them. Yet, I tried to force my own ideas into God’s purposes. I screamed when my efforts were thwarted. I belly-ached when God’s ways were painful. I indulged self-pity when I felt rejected. I forgot to look beyond the crud in front of me and cling to God’s sovereignty and faithfulness.

At the same time, I never quit seeking and trusting God. The faith He had given me, hung tight.

So how do we hang onto an overcoming faith in the face of undermining attack?

  • We can begin by recognizing we are not alone as we wobble. We join a long list of biblical heroes.
  • We need to remember our faith does not begin with us, but with God Himself.
  • We must return to the over-arching conviction that God is in control. His purposes will be accomplished. He is eternally good. His love reaches to the heavens and His faithfulness to the skies.

When we struggle in our faith, the problem is that we think it’s all about our faith. We forget the call to a life of faith is foundationally a life absorbed into THE faith. It’s a life lost in Jesus. It’s a life carried next to His heart. The world around us doesn’t have to be beachy. Those around us don’t have to get it. The flaming arrows can fly at us. But hiding in THE faith dispels doubts, lifts our focus above our current situation, walks in God’s Truth, and extinguishes the attacks of the enemy.

How else do you define faith? Without struggle – including failure – how does this faith grow … and take control … and overcome? Whether it’s a promise or a battle, anything that drives us into the arms of Jesus has indelible faith at it’s heart.

 

The Bible in it’s entirety is a book of faith. The above thoughts are bathed in scriptural truth. Not wanting to interrupt the flow above, I’m listing references here.

1 John 5:4 – Faith is the victory that overcomes the world.
Genesis 6 – Noah builds the ark.
Hebrews 11 – the list of Old Testament heroes of faith.
Genesis 9:20-25 – Noah gets drunk.
Genesis 16 – Abraham uses Hagar.
Joshua 2 and 6 – Rahab
Exodus 2: 11-12 – Moses kills an Egyptian
Revelation 2:13 – “My”/Jesus’ faith; Galatians 2:20 – “The faith of”, not “a faith in” Jesus (KJV); Ephesians 2:8 – faith is a gift from God.
Psalm 91 and a bucket full of other promises – God is in control.
Psalm 138:7-8 – the Lord will accomplish His purposes for me.
Psalm 136 – God’s love endures forever
Psalm 36:5-9 – God’s unfailing love

Copyright April 2016 by Cheri Johnson

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