Week 10 - July 28th, 2019

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Week 10 - July 28th, 2019

Hebrews 11:29-31 “By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.”


Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Faith That Endures For Kids




Day 1: 

Hebrews 11:29-31 “By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.”

Overcoming Obstacles -

Obstacles are something we’re all familiar with. We’ve all been at those places in life where it feels like your world is crumbling and all of your plans and hopes for the future are uncertain, or even dashed. Obstacles are those things that seem like insurmountable problems for your faith: the things you can’t see past or work around. These obstacles could be illness, death, job loss, debt, persecution, or any number of things. It is a fallen world we live in, but our God in His faithfulness and sovereignty uses these painful and overwhelming trials to strengthen our faith in Him, and to show His might and wisdom in rescuing us from them.

When the Israelites were looking at the Red Sea, then the walls of Jericho, and Rahab was looking down at the body of Israelites invading her city, they must have felt this sense of facing the insurmountable. When our ‘rational’ minds tell us that there is no way out of a situation, often what follows is sheer panic. Instead, what these people found was faith. They believed the promises of God and responded out of obedience, trusting His word.

When circumstances show up in our life that feel irreversible and impossible, we must do exactly what these others did in their seemingly inescapable situations. We must listen to what God would say to us, trust Him to keep His promises, and respond with actions of obedience based on faith in His word. Our small minds can’t fathom the incredible things that God can bring out of our suffering, and the incredible way He can bring us through them. Trust Him to care for you and hold tightly to His promises when you cannot fathom a way out. You serve a God who parts seas, throws down mighty walls, and rescues even the least of us.

Dear Jesus, thank you for faithfulness to us even when we feel all alone. Help us to know that however large our trials seem, you are unimaginably bigger and more powerful than anything we can fathom. We pray that we would rise above our circumstances in faith, relying on You to be our lifeline in the dark. Help us to hold steadfast when we don’t understand and help our love for you to be deepened and strengthened in the midst of pain and suffering. Renew in us the joy of our salvation regardless of our earthly situations that are so fleeting. Help us to remember where our lasting joy is found and to rest in You.

In Your Name we pray, Amen.




Day 2: 

Hebrews 11:29-31 “By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.”

Faith requires a promise to believe

None of these people looked at their impossible situation and rationalized a way out, hoping really hard that it would work out for them. Moses didn’t lead the Israelites to a rushing river hoping he could figure out a way to get them past it, nor did Joshua think that walking around a city for a week was a particularly good military strategy, nor did Rahab lay her life on the line for a few random strangers because it seemed like a logical course of action. Each of these people listened to God’s word and trusted His solution to their problem, instead of fighting for control and resisting in order to find their own way.

Our job is to trust God, and the promises He has made. It’s that simple. Our hope is steadfast, His word is sure. He has never broken His word, and He never will. We are constantly failing ourselves and others, and yet we still struggle against surrendering our lives and our plan for them, to Him. When obstacles come, when plans go awry, and when you feel out of control, trust the one who is in control of every obstacle, every plan, and is in supreme control of the entire universe. His reach and power is completely beyond our ability to comprehend. Trust Him in the pain, in the heartache, and in the sorrow.

“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:4-5

Lord Jesus, thank you for being a God who understands our pain. You did not stay in heaven and forget us, you came down to earth and suffered in our place. Thank you for your sacrifice and Your deep love for us. Help us to remember the suffering you endured and that you are with us in every trial. We love you, Father. Give us faith. We believe, help our unbelief.

In Your Name we pray, Amen.




Day 3: 

Hebrews 11:29-31 “By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.”

Faith requires obedience

Obedience is counter cultural. It doesn’t make sense to the world. His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). To the people around us, it may look like we are doing crazy things that make no rational sense. Moving to a bad neighborhood in order to minister to struggling neighbors, remaining cheerful during prolonged illness and suffering, losing a job in order to maintain personal integrity, the list of things God might require of us that go against the very grain of culture is infinite.

Our fallen natures tell us to do what we can for ourselves to find immediate happiness and approval. When we choose to suffer for what’s right, or to engage in behaviors that have no immediate benefit for us, the world will stop and pay attention. When our faith in God outweighs our own selfish impulses, it is clear to everyone that we are answering to Him.

When Moses led the Israelites to a dead end, when Joshua marched around impregnable city walls, and when Rahab put her life on the line when by all accounts she was safe inside that city, they chose not to do what made immediate sense with their limited rationale, but to obey God because they had faith that He would keep His promises. They trusted Him, not just in theory but in the face of pain and suffering. They put it all on the line to obey Him.

God is bigger than your situation. We are so quick to question Him and to second guess if what He said is really what He meant. We must step back and look at the big picture and remember that He is so high above us. He is infinitely wise, powerful, and good. These truths alone should be enough for us to fling aside our own plans and schemes and immediately place everything in His hands. Where in your life are you unwilling to relinquish what makes sense to you, in order to do what He has commanded you to? Trust Him today, trust His ways and His judgement. Trust Him and live out that faith in obedience to His word.

Dear Heavenly Father, help us to lay aside the petty thoughts and emotions that tell us we should rely on ourselves. Silence the voice in us that thinks we know better than You. Help us to be willing to go against the world around us in order to walk with You. I pray that our words and our actions would be evidence of our devotion to You, and that the world would see hearts that are sold out for You in the way we live our lives. You have told us that where our treasure is, there our heart is (Matthew 6:21). May You be our outmost treasure. Change our hearts, Lord.

In Your Name we pray, Amen.

 



Faith That Endures For Kids: