“WHERE IS YOUR FAITH?”
“Look at the proud: he is inwardly not upright;
but the righteous will attain life through trusting faithfulness.”
As I am writing this week’s Devotion, people around the world are struggling with the senseless killing of the vulnerable and the innocent. In every continent crisis after crisis, natural occurrences and human-manufactured, are testing believers’ faith. We read of this in Luke 8:22-25. In this passage, Adonai Yeshua and His disciples are sailing across Lake Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee, with the Lord Jesus asleep. As a storm brews up and threatens to overwhelm the boat and crew, the disciples panic. They awaken Adonai Yeshua, imploring Him to save them from disaster. Calming the storm and settling the winds, He admonishes them with – “Where is your faith?”
As we wait for our Messiah’s return, we are witnesses to prophesy unfolding; of course, observing the natural incidents of increased storm activity and ferocity and the increase in assaults by militant terrorist groups, such as ISIS, our levels of anxiety also increase. But is this necessary?
Scripture tells us, as we approach His return, believers will become more afraid and anxious, resulting in many turning from their faith because of the testing put upon them. We read of this in the Parable of the Sower – Some fell in the midst of thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. (Luke 8:7) Contrary to general opinion, this Parable is not about new believers but focuses on those who have been saved, some for many years, and are now facing tribulation (thorns) which threaten to choke the faith within.
We know Adonai has granted us trials and tribulations to strengthen and deepen our faith; how else are we to be able to withstand the onslaught of the enemy, without His strength, resilience and courage? But, how ought we to approach these trials? Do we complain and whine, as the Israelites did in the wilderness, as they fled Egypt? Do we panic, as Kefa (Peter) did, when he walked on water towards Adonai Yeshua? Will we allow fear to overwhelm us or will we turn to Him? Do we address these questions now or during the next crisis we face? Isaiah, in his 41st Chapter, calms us with these words: “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you; don’t be distressed, for I am your God. I give you strength, I give you help, I support you with my victorious right hand.” Probably, many of us will not ask Adonai to give us deeper faith (for deeper faith only comes from Him) now, but will wait until our current faith is tested; then when we are faced with life-threats will we make our choice – react or respond. Beloved, I urge all of us to focus on the one who clearly promised safety, security and protection, if we but seek His Love and Grace. Only in a loving relationship with the Ruler of the universe and the Lover of our souls, will we have the assurance of His security, His protection. If you do not as yet have this relationship and feel pulled towards it, please place this request before our Beloved God.
CONSIDER: As we continue to hear the war rhetoric and feel the tension of sabre-rattling around the world, are you becoming more anxious and fearful? Whose potential harm fills you with fear the most, yours or those around you who do not yet know Adonai, Almighty God?
ACTION: As believers, we have no need for fear. I urge you, then, be bold, step out and share the love of God with others, help those who are facing real threats to their lives to enter into a relationship where fear no longer exists.
PRAY: Dear Abba, our Beloved Father, I no longer want to live my life in fear and dread. I no longer want to wonder what will happen to me, when I face the inevitable crises which will over-take me, when faced with natural disaster, personal injury or life-threatening illness or terrorist threat. I want to be sheltered by Your Love; I want to be protected by Your Grace; I want to be secure in the knowledge You are my Redeemer, my Guardian, My Saviour. Please forgive me for my sins, my transgressions against Your Word and accept me into Your Family. In the Blessed Name of Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus, I pray.
May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.
Dr. Michael Wodlinger is a Messianic Jew, living in Quebec, Canada. He has been a university professor and a rabbi of a Messianic Fellowship.
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