Posted by: mikenicholsblog | November 15, 2017

a foundation for our confidence

Last Friday, our men’s group prayed for one of the guys who is going into a difficult surgery. Sunday, our class prayed for a great lady with a cancer that is progressing. Both of these individuals are confident in God, but their situations could be classified as TRIALS. It seems to me that in the course of every week I am confronted with trials of various kinds and degrees. My two friends listed above are facing major trials, but other friends and family (including me) move from one more minor trial to another frequently. In the book Divine Direction by Craig Groeschel, the author paints a true picture of how life seems to track for all of us. “My pastor used to always say, ‘you are either coming out of a difficult season in life, in the middle of a difficult season, or about to go into one’.” I certainly can’t fix our trials, but hopefully you will find hope for the next one in the words below.

A quick read through the book of James recently challenged my thinking. Over the years, I’ve memorized many of the words.  Yet, often I 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 unknowns of our next season, 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 and wisdom? 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 and seeking Him for wisdom and effective praying are accomplished with the faith highlighted in bold. The words that are underlined present the things you and I battle each week. There will always be some conflict with faith and sight, but today you and I can choose to just apply the Word by faith. Be bold as you venture into the next season, and look for God to do what only He can do!

It may be helpful to print the faith statements above and us them when necessary!

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