Posted by: mikenicholsblog | June 19, 2011

be bold

Our family had its share of faith opportunities that presented themselves as we began and traversed through last week. I suppose it would sound incredibly spiritual if I told you that we walked through them with heroic faith, no doubt and exceptional wisdom. The truth, however, is that the week included a measure of faith, a bit of concern (never say worry), moments of frustration and then thankfulness as the Father took care of us. Does that sound anything like your week? For every person, each new week starts as a venture into the unknown. For the Christ-follower, we can begin each new week with the confidence of being led by an “unseen Hand”. Just this morning I was encouraged, and also challenged, with how to navigate this (and every) week’s faith opportunities.

A quick read through the book of James challenged my thinking on how to approach the perils of life. Over the years, I’ve memorized many of the words, but often fall short of acting on their call, and enjoying the fruits of their promise. Note just a few of the words to be treasured!

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials…..
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach….
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield….
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

As we venture into the unknown for this week, what great words to use as a foundation for our confidence. But there is a catch. You and I will only live these concepts through faith. Our emotions will do battle with each and every one of those great truths. The question then will be: will we live by faith or by sight? In reading and re-reading some words from the The Prayer Experiment by Jay Dennis, I was presented with my struggle of venturing into the unknown.

Faith looks to God as the Source; sight trusts in possessions, power and people.
Faith focuses on “Who”; sight is limited to “how”.
Faith measures the size of God; sight is controlled by the size of problems.
Faith seeks God first; sight takes matters into its own hands.
Faith waits on God; sight rushes ahead with self-solutions.
Faith is based on what God said; sight is based on how we feel.
Faith’s seeing-eye-guide is the Bible; sight’s guide is only what is visible.
Faith looks beyond the circumstances to the possibilities; sight looks at how bad things are at the moment.
Faith believes God even when it seems nothing is happening; sight is controlled by the senses and feelings.
Faith doesn’t require that it works out on paper; sight demands facts and figures first.
Faith leaves it in God’s hands; sight picks it back up and worries and frets about it.

Counting it all joy, seeking Him for wisdom and effective praying are accomplished with the faith highlighted in bold. The words that are underlined present the struggle you and I battle each week. There will always be some conflict with faith and sight, but this week you and I can choose to just apply the Word by faith. Be bold as you venture into the unknown, and look for God to do what only He can do!

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