Tag Archives: Faith

A Secret Faith is No Faith At All John 19:38-42

Having A Secret Faith

Those who claimed Jesus’ body were part of same Sanhedrin that condemned. The first was Joseph of Arimathea, whom John calls “a disciple of Jesus.” But he was secret disciple too “afraid of the Jews” to follow Jesus openly.

John 12:42-43 “Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue;”

A Secret Faith Is No Faith At All

His closest friends had abandoned him in the Garden of Gethsemane. One of his trusted friends had betrayed him to his enemies.

The voices that shouted “Hosanna!” became taunts of “Crucify Him!”  The friend who said, “I will never leave you” then denied him 3 times.

Jesus died virtually alone, and afterwards his body remained all alone.

What changed them?  The Cross!

Maybe it was the gentle and dignified way Jesus faced his fate.

Maybe it was the forgiveness offered to the mob calling for blood.

Maybe it was the haunting cry, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?

Maybe it was the quake that shook earth or torn veil that shook Judaism.

Maybe they had to agree with the pagan Centurion’s confession.

Summary:

Do you co-workers know about your faith?

Do the ones you go to school with know about your faith?

Do they know favorite sports team, music and movies but nothing about your Lord?

The cross demands that we make a choice—you can’t keep faith hidden.

If you avoid faith discussions, maybe yours is secret faith—no faith at all.

Have you decided, really decided to follow Jesus this morning?

 

The Apostle Thomas: Faith That Doesn’t Have to Touch

0001Before you begin you should read John 20:24-29

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:1

Jesus must not have been offended by Thomas’ request, because He invited him to see the evidence he had requested. He said, “Put your finger here; look at my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Can We Prove that God Exists?

Certainly not the same way that you would prove a book weighs 2 pounds or that a truck is blue, because God can’t be seen, heard, or touched with human senses. We can’t see him in a microscope or a telescope. The Russian cosmonauts went into space and when they came back to earth they said, “There is no God. We didn’t see him.”

Read Romans 1:18-22 The fact that God has left his fingerprints clearly for all to see doesn’t mean that everyone will accept his existence. The pagan world that Paul described didn’t want to recognize God. But in doing so, Paul wants us to know that they were without excuse because the fingerprints are there.

The Argument from Existence

The apostle Paul asserted that men and women have some knowledge of God simply by seeing the world He has created. In the first-century city of Lystra, Paul told a group of its citizens: Acts 14:15 “Men, why are you doing these things?  We also are men of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, tat you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.”

This type of arguments is sometimes called “natural theology.”

The universe we inhabit either (1) popped into existence from nothing or (2) was called into existence by some Eternal Force that pre-existed it. Philosophers from at least as early as the time of Plato have reasoned from nature to nature’s Creator, from a habitable world to a world-arranger.

Hebrews 3:4 “For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.”

Where did man come from?

There are two possibilities — mind or matter. One of them has to be eternal. Either the materials in this universe have always existed and have evolved by chance into the world we know today, or in the beginning there was an eternal intelligent, powerful being who created this world. These are the only two possible choices.

Think About It…

If matter is eternal, then think about what that means. It means that rocks and dirt somehow changed themselves to become living things. Notice nobody else changes them, they just happen to change themselves. Plants grew arms and legs and heads and became animals. Granted this is supposed to take place over millions of years, but this is still supposed to be what happened. And animals changed themselves to become thinking, intelligent moral human beings.

The alternative is to believe that all things that exist owe their existence to the creation of the Supreme God who spoke this world into being, a God who created the stars and the seas, the plants and the animals, and set them all into place on this planet we call Earth.

But it seems to me that the evidence weighs strongly in favor of an eternal God. The mere fact that you and I exist is itself a fingerprint of God.

The Argument from Design

This type of arguments is sometimes called a “theological argument.”

This simply means an argument from design. Have you ever thought about how minutely perfect everything in this world is for our well-being? The design of this world is a fingerprint that points to God. David said, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork” Psalm 19:1. The creation all around us points to the God who is there.

The Place of the Bible

“My Lord and my God!“ Thomas exclaimed. Jesus’ response to that confession is interesting. “Because you have seen me, you have believed,” Jesus told him. “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.“

People who have lived in the generations following Jesus have had to depend on the Scripture as their basis for our faith in Him.

The Bible is anything but an archaic millstone around the necks of modern people. It is the rock-solid foundation on which faith is built. It has withstood the test of time and survived the violent attacks of unbelief. It is an absolutely reliable source of information about the most important character and issue in human history — Jesus Christ and the salvation that comes through him alone.

When held to the strictest standards of historical evidence — standards much higher than the ones applied to the ancient Pharaohs or Alexander the Great or George Washington — we have more confirmed evidence about Jesus’ life history, and resurrection from the dead than practically any other event in history.

“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  Jesus

 

Noah: Flood Faith Hebrews 11:7

0001Peter told about the people who “because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.  Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”  Peter says their salvation is an example for us to obey God and to be baptized in Christ.

Jesus said Noah’s experiences should be a warning to us that Jesus could return at any time.

“Just as they did in those days, people will be eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage when Jesus comes in judgment. “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark” Matthew 24:28

Why is Noah such an excellent example of faith?

Genesis 2:5, 6 tells us that “the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground–“

That means that for 120 years, while he built the ark: 1. Noah preached to people about a flood they’d never seen before 2. He warned of massive rains they’d never experienced 3. He built a boat unlike any they’d ever beheld

Why Did Noah Believe? 

God said so.  That alone would have been enough for Noah.

Noah was only 2 generations removed from a man who had seen God’s judgment first hand.  Adam.  (Enosh was his grandson, living at the time of Noah)

II Peter 3:5-7 “For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.  But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.”

People Question Noah (God)

  1. How could Noah have gotten so many different animals on the ark? After all, not only did Noah take on board 2 of every “unclean animal,” but he also had 7 of every “clean animal” (believed by many scholars to have been creatures acceptable for sacrifice). That’s a lot of animals to fit on such a tiny boat.
  2. Then, how could he have kept them fed and cared for? I mean, not only do you have to feed them, you’ve got to “clean up after ’em” after they’ve eaten. That’s would take a lot of shoveling for only 8 people.
  3. Are there any witnesses other than Scripture?
  4. Where is the evidence that such a flood occurred?

How Could He Get So Many in That Single Ark?

He only needed a couple of each animal.

He didn’t have to take on board adult animals.

The Ark was large. With a carrying capacity of nearly 14,000 tons he could move a lot. That’s equivalent to the space available on 522 freight train cars. With 3 decks, the Ark’s total floor space was just shy of 96,000 square feet – or roughly equivalent to 20 standard basketball courts. THAT’S A LOT OF STORAGE SPACE.

How Could Noah Have Cared and Fed All Those Animals?

We don’t know how God took care of that problem. The Bible doesn’t tell us. But one suggestion does have some credibility: Hibernation. Every group of vertebrate animals except birds and many invertebrates are capable of hibernating for great lengths of time.

In Genesis 1:29, 30 we learn that all that people and animals ate before the flood was  plants.  In Genesis  9:2,3  We learn that after the flood that now meat could be used as food.

Are There Other Witnesses to a Worldwide Flood?

Yes, we have records from other tribes and nations about a worldwide flood.  This is evidence to the event taking place.

Is There Any Evidence that Such a Flood Could Have Taken Place?

Yes there is. For example on the tops of high mountains, researchers have found fossils of ocean creatures. Now there’s only a few ways such marine creatures could ever get up there – and Noah’s flood is one of those possibilities.

Evidence?

Many scientists  suspect that an excellent example of the aftermath of Noah’s flood can be found in the Grand Canyon. For ages we’ve been told that the Grand Canyon is the result of a meandering river over a period of millions of years. But if you look at it closely, it resembles what we often see in miniature in a barren field after an extremely heavy rain – gulley’s.

Other Evidence: God

He spoke of it through Moses who wrote Genesis.

He spoke of it through the Apostle Peter.

He spoke of it through the writer of Hebrews

He spoke of it when God became flesh and walked among men

Summary: Noah believed God even though he couldn’t taste, touch or experiment on God.  The design that he could see was his evidence. God’s word was the evidence—and he believed.

 

I Have A Dream

Three main points in this lesson.

The Ability to See

Genesis 37:5-11 “Now Joseph had a dream…

Having a vision means that we can see in our mind’s eye the way we want something to be.

If you do not have a vision, if you never set goals for yourself, you will never change.  You will be the same next year as your are this year.  If we do not dream, we will never mature and become what we could become.

What do we see when we look at Albany?

The Faith to Believe

Read Numbers 14:7-9 (Joshua and Caleb) “The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land.  If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey.  Only do not rebel against the LORD.  And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us.  Their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them.”

The Lord is with us. We can do all things through His power!

Our vision can happen if we have God on our side. Our vision has a lot to do with our Faith to Believe.

The Courage to Do

Read Acts 16:9 “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

If Paul stays where he is, will that man from Macedonia be reached by Paul? It was a great vision, Paul could see the vision in his mind’s eye, and he believed that it was possible, but it never would have happened if he had not gone to them.

Read Acts 16:10  “And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.”

Read how Paul talks about his vision. Philippians 3:12-14 “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own.  But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Our Vision

Commitment to Prayer

Commitment to the Bible

Commitment to Servanthood

Commitment to Growth

What do you see? What are you willing to do to get there?

 

Trusting God with my Past Philippians 3:12-16

To Live a Life of Faith I Must Leave My Past Behind

There are many examples of  people who have had to leave their past behind. Genesis 37 to 50; Joseph; Luke 19: Zacchaeus; John 8; Woman caught in adultery; Paul; Phil. 3:12-13 “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.”

Chains to our Past

We have guilt over sins that we have committed.

Opportunities squandered; The things we know we should have done.

Pleasures Consumed; The things we know that we should not have done.

We have bitterness for the things that have been committed against us.  Maybe it was Verbal Abuse; Sexual Abuse; Rejection; False Accusation.  What we need to do is leave it all behind.

Leaving it all Behind

What is it?

What is it that you cannot give to God?

It is a massive barrier to your relationship to God.  To  your faith in God.

Colossians 2:13-14 “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands.  This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”

How do I leave it all behind?

#1 Trust God’s Grace to forgive my sins

#2 Trust God’s judgment to repay the sins committed against me.

II Thessalonians 1:6-8 “since indeed God consider it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do no know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.”

Hebrews 10:30 “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.”

Conclusion

Do you trust God to forgive you of your sins?

Do you trust God to punish those who have sinned against you?

You cannot go forward with God if you remain stuck in the past.

We must go forward with God to be pleasing with Him.

 

Never Give Up! Hebrews 12:1-3

011Never Give Up!

Nothing is more deadly to spiritual life than this tendency to give up.  Living as a person of faith in the world of the seen is difficult. Jesus assures us that as long as we are in this world “you will have trouble” (John 16:33)  He goes on to say, “Take heart, I have overcome the world,” but that does not make the troubles go away.  Satan uses our troubles to apply pressure for us to give up—and many do give up.

I Corinthians 9:24-25  “Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize?  So run that you may obtain it.  Every athlete exercises self-control in all things.  They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”

The Hebrews readers were at the point of exhaustion in their spiritual marathon.  Like an exhausted runner, they were experiencing “feeble arms and weak knees.”  Their spiritual exhaustion was causing them to want to give up.

In Hebrews 12:1-13, the writer points to two things that should help us not give up.

The Great Cloud of Witnesses

Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”

What made these people examples of faith was their ability to keep putting one foot in front of the other, walking toward God, while hanging on for dear life.

Faith was following despite question or faltering.

We Still Have these Witnesses

This great cloud of witnesses that surrounds speaks to us that an absolute faithfulness to God despite difficulty and hardship is indeed possible.

But at the same time, this great cloud of witnesses takes away our excuses of faithlessness as they motivate us to a greater faith.

When you give up on living for God, you disappoint those living today. Your faithfulness affects others.

Author and Perfecter of Faith

Hebrews 12:2-3 “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or faint hearted.”

Jesus is the beginning and end of faithfulness.

If faith begins and ends with Jesus, then faithfulness begins and ends with Him as well.

Jesus is the ultimate example that we are to follow in this life of faith because He is the ultimate hero of faith.

Endurance

The Hebrew writer encourages us to endure difficulty and hardship faithfully just like Noah, Abraham, Moses and all those other heroes of the faith. But the ultimate example of faithfulness is Christ and the cross.

The way of faith is ultimately the way of the cross.  Read Hebrews 5:7-10

Jesus lived as a man, He can comfort us today.

The Way of the Cross

I Peter 2:20-21 “For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.  For to this you have been called because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.”

Summary

So to shaky saints on the verge of giving up on faith, the writer gives them a renewed vision.  In fact, he wants them to see two important things—

First, remember the faithful ones who have gone on before.  To leave the faith would be to repudiate that to which they gave their lives.

Second, remember that the cross that saves us is also the cross that calls us daily to deny ourselves and follow the One who died for us.

We end this morning marveling that one more time we have come back to the cross as the prime motivation in living for Christ.  The cross is what saves; the cross is what calls us on to obedience.

The way of the cross leads home.  Keep Running, Remember Christ

 

Living in the Real World Hebrews 11:1-7; 39-40

011God Is Not “Material”

Have you ever found yourself wanting at some level for God to make His presence known in a real and dramatic way?

Some of us have “hedged our bets” when it comes to the real world.  We go to church to sing the songs and hear the word, giving lip service to a faith all the while really focusing our lives on the world of the material.

The First Readers of Hebrews

For these struggling Christians, Judaism seemed more real.  It was the real world, and they were ready to return to it.  So after the Hebrew writer has shown that Jesus is better than the Old Testament system, he then turned to point them back to the real world—the world of faith.

In Hebrews 11 the writer appeals to his readers to remain faithful, and so he holds up before them the lives of men and women who had lived the faith in the past.

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

The first word here is hypostasis, rendered “substance” NKJV or “assurance” ESV.  It meant literally “that which stands under” and it suggests a solid place to stand or a solid foundation.  For the Christian, that solid foundation and place to stand is faith in Jesus Christ.

The second word is elegchos, rendered “evidence” KJV and “conviction” ESV.  The word was originally a legal term for “proof” or “evidence” and suggests the objective certainty of court.

The Hebrews readers needed to be reminded of their heroes. They were discouraged and tempted to give up, and they needed to see men and women who lived out what it meant to be faithful. They needed to see their lives and their victory so that they could be encouraged by both.  The “feeble arms and weak knees” could be strengthened by the examples of the real lives of real faith of those who were heroes in every sense of that word.

Two Points to Understand

They saw the unseen world of faith as the real world.

They never quite fit into the “seen” world of the here and now.

This was instructive to a church that was about to give up on faith.  It teaches them to expect hardships and difficulties. Those that live in the real world of faith should expect not to fully fit into the world of the here and now.

Summary

Faith is the ability to see what is real and what is junk.  That means that faith is the capacity to see what is of real value in a world of junk.

Those that live in the real world of faith are pilgrims and strangers who never seem to quite fit into the world of junk and garbage.

Will we fit into the world around us and accept the junk as real?

Faith looks beyond the garbage to see the city whose builder and maker is God.

 

Are We Here as Straying Pilgrims? Hebrews 4:1-11

011Read Hebrews 3:7-14

Perhaps, like the Hebrews, it is a struggle with family members who neither share nor understand your Christian commitment.

Perhaps it is the daily grind of a difficult job that constantly tires your patience and forces hard decisions between success and truth.

Maybe it is a struggle with chronic illness or pain that constantly drags us down and changes the way we see the world and relate to people.

Or maybe it is a struggle with addictive sin.

How Do We Keep From Being Straying Pilgrims?

  1. We Must Hold Onto Our Faith

Read again Hebrews 4:1-2

“They were not united by faith”

Read again Hebrews 3:6 then 3:14

Holding onto faith and confidence is exactly where Israel failed; it was also precisely where the Hebrew Christians were struggling as well. We will never find God’s rest unless we hold onto the faith.

Read again Hebrews 3:12, 13

  1. We Must See The Urgency of Staying Faithful

Read again Hebrew 4:6, 7

Those who will receive God’s rest are those who take care of it now.  Borrowing the imagery he quoted from Psalm 8, the writer wants us to realize that faith is far too serious to put off.  Some will not receive God’s rest because they did not understand how urgent this business of faith really is.

“The stakes are too high for you to go give up.”

3. We Must Understand The Final Destination

Read again Hebrews 4:9-11

There will be times in our life when we will be bone weary.  We will feel like we are trying so hard to do the right thing, and yet we are not appreciated.  Life piles on us to the point where we just feel like we can’t go on.

There is a place of rest.  There is a Promised Land flowing with milk and honey where God will wipe away every tear and satisfy every complaint.

Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

Sometimes the only thing that gets us through the day is the knowledge that someday the final today will come.  In order to not stay as pilgrims as they traveled through a harsh and weary land, we have to keep our eyes on the final destination.

Summary:

Hold onto your faith and keep faithful people around to encourage you.

See the urgency of the journey; someday will one day become today.

See the final destination; fix your eyes on Jesus

 

 

The Testing of Our Faith: Submission I Peter 2:13-25

 

0009Live As People Who Are Free

Freedom in Christ isn’t an excuse for evil choices, our freedom is not absolute.

Our Focus on freedom is in the context of submission (2:13, 2:18 and 3:1).

So living as free people in Christ sometimes also means submission to others.  The word “submit” (hypotasso) is a military term meaning “to order or rank under.”

Peter insists we submit to other people “for the Lord’s sake” (2:13).  We submit to an ungodly government or an abusive master because of God.  Peter says submission is part of the faith that allows us to live as free people.

Paul says in (Galatians 5:1) “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

But before we start shooting off fireworks celebrating our independence let’s read Galatians 5:13 “For you were called to freedom, brothers.  Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

We are free in Christ, but we are not free to sin or free to act in unloving ways. 

I Cor. 9:19 “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.”

Freedom is a declaration of dependence—we are free for one another.

Free in Christ means that we focus on Christ and His grace for all people.

Freedom means that I recognize that I answer only to Christ alone.

Freedom means I will often give up rights for others to see Christ.

Pierce My Ear

People with no way of support in the OT could sell themselves as slaves. After 6 years, the slave was freed, and had right to buy their family’s freedom.   But what if you loved your master and life, and didn’t want freedom?  You could be a slave for life by going through a ceremony.

Exodus 21:5, 6 “But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out free, then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost.  And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.”

Irony of Have Jesus as Master

The only way to have freedom is to become His slave. We are set free at the cross to be the slaves of God.

Romans 6:18 “having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.”

Has God pierced your ear?  Have you exercised your freedom and submitted to Him?

 

The Testing of Our Faith: Giving Your Future to God James 4:1-17

 

0009Three things get in the way of our faith:  Pleasure, Pride and Plans.  Are we willing to give our future to God?

1. What Gets In the Way Of Faith? Pleasure, Read James 4:1-3

James says that conflict comes from “desires” or our “passion” (ESV, NET)

Thorny soil was what kind of heart ?  It was one “choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures” (Lk 8:14)

Jude speaks of  false teachers, “idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight” (13)

James warns that selfishness can focus us on our pleasure and not God (4:3)

Two Reasons Why We Should Trust Our Future To God (Mt. 6)

First, God provides our needs; for example, He feeds the birds (6:26) “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.”

Second, we don’t have much control over our future anyway (6:27) “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

Two Different Faith Problems Leading to Conflict

First, we don’t pray and ask God and then trust Him to answer (Jam 4:2) “You desire and do not have, so you murder, you covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.”

We can get so focused on getting what we want that we FORGET to pray.  That’s a faith problem; to leave God out of our desires is faith problem!

Second, we do pray, but we do so only focused on our own desires (Jam 4:3)  “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”

2. Our Pride Prevents Us From Trusting God With Our Future

Read James 4:4-6 again

The more we focus on ourselves and our desires, the less we will trust God.

So nothing will keep us from trusting our future to God more than our PRIDE.

Pharisee and Tax Collector Luke 18

(Luke 18:14)   “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other.  For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

To trust our future to God, we have to keep check on our pleasure and our pride.

3. Our Plans Prevent us From Trusting God With Our Future

Read James 4:13-16 again.

God is not opposed to plans; some have the gift of administration, planning (1 Cor. 12:28). What God is opposed to is the fiction that we have any control over future

Don’t even think about the future without thinking about God’s will.

Faith trusts the future to God.

Safety/Security and Us

Point: It’s easy to talk about trusting God whenever everything seems safe. When everything is safe, you might not be trusting God but yourselves. When things go well, it is easy to get focused on your pleasure, pride & plans.

Testing of your faith is this, “Will God be enough when God is all there is?”  God promises to take care of you, but not in the way you desire or plan. When you face those times, will you be willing to trust your future to God?

God’s plans don’t always turn out pleasant or easy—just look at the cross. God’s plan for his own Son was a cross, and that plan turned out pretty good. Are you willing to trust your future to God… that is the testing of your faith!