Hebrews 12:2 (NLT) “Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith”
There are many things I sincerely hope for, but some are not initiated by God. For example, I hope with all my heart that our church in my home in Teaneck NJ will see hundreds of people come to Christ in the coming years. God has not promised this to me, but still I hope and pray that the Lord will bring the lost into His loving arms.
We all need to be careful about taking our hopes and making them into promises. We can only be assured something is a promise from God when it is confirmed through Scripture, prayer and sometimes other people of God. It is possible for us to hear the voice of our own ambitions and desires and mistake it for the voice of God.
Instead, God perfects our faith by putting those things away. Speaking as a man in midlife, I am so glad the Lord does this. There are many things I wanted in my thirties that I’m glad the Lord never gave me. In His mercy God saw what I needed, and He didn’t allow the things I wanted. By perfecting our faith, the desires God initiates—those things born of the Lord and not of ourselves—begin to rise up in our hearts. I don’t know who this message is for today?
“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen” (Hebrews 11:1). As God purifies our faith, our confidence builds. We grow in discernment, saying, “Ah, yes, this is the word of the Lord, and that other word is not. He is confirming His promise to me—through Scripture, prayer and the witness of my brothers and sisters.” Faith begins to settle the matter within us, so that as (Hebrews 11:1) says, we have “confidence that what we hope for will actually happen.”
This kind of faith was perfected in those listed in the Hall of Faith (Read Hebrews Chapter 11). According to that chapter, God commended Abel not for his worthy sacrifice of worship but for his faith. Noah wasn’t commended for being a preacher of righteousness but for his faith. Likewise, Moses wasn’t commended for being a bold deliverer but for his faith.
Point to ponder: I have at different intervals in my walk with God failed miserably , and I am so glad I still have my Faith in God! Whatever happens people of God, hold on to your Faith!
Pastor James Baker, Jr.