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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hope and Faith

Then touched he their eyes, saying, "According to your faith be it unto you." (Matthew 9:29 KJV)

Then He touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith and trust and reliance [on the power invested in Me] be it done to you;" (Matthew 9:29 Amplified)

Then he touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith, it will happen.” (Matthew 9:29 NLT)

I woke up today thinking (worrying, pondering, over-analyzing, strategizing, etc.) about the same situation I went to bed thinking about. It wasn't difficult to imagine that the far reaching implications of the situation could result in pain and loss for someone - maybe several someones.

It wasn't difficult to imagine at all. Anyone who's been walking with the Lord for a number of years has seen the fallout before. We watch as people in our lives make decisions that take our breath away. In our mind's eye, we instantly see the outcome, (because we have our
OWN experience with unwise decisions to remind us,) yet we feel helpless to address the situation. Such is the way when the unwise decisions are being made by someone else. We don't control all the "someone elses" in our lives do we?

So there I was, waking up knee-deep in the "what ifs" of what could ultimately happen. I found myself
hoping that God would choose to be merciful and intercede in the results of the immature decisions I was watching unfold. I was hoping that any small bits of wisdom that I had had the chance to interject previously would be remembered. I was hoping that God would remember that the burden of responsibility for this person's actions wasn't theirs alone. I was really hoping that today I would find extreme favor with God, so that maybe He'd dish out a special favor because time was of the essence. I was so hoping that He was paying attention.

Then it hit me . . . .


HOPE: the feeling that something desired may happen (cross your fingers!)

FAITH: confidence or trust in a Person or thing;
the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures.

Obviously, hope is not a bad thing. I hope everyday. I hope that my mail isn't getting drenched in my mailbox right now. I hope that my college son is getting enough sleep. I hope that my husband remembers my Starbucks order (Venti, 6 pump, non-fat, no water, extra hot Chai latte). Hope is the "wish" that I have regarding certain issues that pop up from time to time.

But HOPE is not FAITH.

Faith is the confidence we have in the person of God.

Faith is not simply "hoping" that God will come through for us. It is the absolute belief in the fact that - in all things - He knows what He is doing, despite what our eyes see and despite what our minds think they understand.
It is the understanding that God is Who His Word says He is.

He is faithful, all knowing, loving, kind, just, able, and overwhelmingly willing to move in any situation, according to His Wisdom and our need.

Faith is knowing, that the God who gave His only Son, so that YOU and I could spend eternity with Him, did so out of a love so deep and abiding that we can scarcely grasp it this side of eternity. THAT love is what we trust. THAT love is what our Faith hangs its hat on. THAT love is worthy of our absolute TRUST. THAT love cannot ever fail. We don't have to HOPE that God hears us or that He may move in our "situations". We can know! Because our FAITH is based on the immovable, unshakable, everlasting LOVE of the most powerful Being in the universe. And YOU and I are the object of that Love.

There is really only one requirement on our part. We are required to believe!

"Be it done to you ACCORDING TO YOUR FAITH."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Father, we ask you to reveal Yourself to us, your children. Show us Your Ways. Teach us your Kingdom principles. Lead us ever toward You so that we may intimately know You - The One in whom our Faith is grounded - The Author and Finisher of our FAITH. In Jesus Name.

In Him...

Visit Darnelle at her personal blog: All Things Work Together...

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Blogger LAURIE said...

Great devotion on faith and hope. thanks for sharing. -Blessings, Laurie

January 14, 2009 at 11:59 PM  
Blogger Betsy Markman said...

I appreciate your point that faith is wrapped around who God is. Too many people want to say that faith is believing that God is a slave to our every desire, and He has to do what we want Him to do. But I could not have faith in a wimpy God like that. I am glad that my God is too big to be limited by what I ask or think.

Our asking is too often flawed, too often skewed by our narrow perspective. God wants us to trust Him, to have faith in His "No" answers as well as His "Yes" ones.

He deserves our faith!

January 15, 2009 at 8:51 AM  
Blogger Darnelle said...

"...God wants us to have faith in His "No" answers as well as His "Yes" ones. "

Betsy, I love that! You've summed it up in one sentence. I couldn't have said it better myself. Thank you.

January 15, 2009 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger Alexia said...

What a great reminder to me of what faith really is - thank you! Too often I find myself praying and hoping that God is listening and will grant me my "wish" as opposed to having faith that he will truly hear me and give me an answer that is right.

January 15, 2009 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Linda - Nickers and Ink said...

Great post!


HEART OF A READY WRITER – Reading Through the Bible in 2009

January 15, 2009 at 10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love this post. It is good to make that distinction so clearly!

January 15, 2009 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Angie said...

Darnelle---I loved this powerful devotion! POWERFUL...full of FAITH...and HOPE. I have been in that very wagon of reading the Bible. With the same wheels breaking down and having to "start again".
But I begin again. One thing that does help me----I have the NT on CD--all women read---the New Century Version. Very user friendly. Also---doing a Beth Moore Bible Study also helps generate some passion for reading :)

Love you sister!

January 15, 2009 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Casey S. said...

I too want to say thank you. It's a great reminder. This is something I find myself struggling with so I know I was meant to read this today.
Thank you.

January 15, 2009 at 3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wrote on this, this week too, but I think you say it much better than my attempts :) Thanks

January 15, 2009 at 4:26 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Such a great devotion, bless you.

January 15, 2009 at 6:15 PM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Wow, very insightful, perceptive. God's wisdom shines through this. Thank you.

January 17, 2009 at 10:01 PM  

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