Do We Really Have Faith in God?
by Jim Newton
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“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the LORD. “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the LORD.
“The days are coming,” declares the LORD,
“when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch,
a King who will reign wisely
and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved
and Israel will live in safety.
This is the name by which he will be called:
The LORD Our Righteous Savior.
(Jeremiah 23:1-6 NIV)
As the prophecy foretold, the Lord Our Righteous Savior has come and is ruling over us. He appeared 2013 years ago to teach and spread the Good News that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. He was born unto lowly circumstances according to the physical world, but high circumstances in accord with our Father’s spiritual world. Nonetheless, many people, then and now, have asked, “Why would God send the world’s savior into such lowly circumstances?” Good question.
Learn this lesson: God, Lord over all, has no use for worldly gold and political power. He rules over all; physical, spiritual…he created it all, and can create an infinite amount of gold and create himself as ruler over all the nations if he desires such. God has no use for these worldly riches and empty designations.
Furthermore, our Father rules and has power over us through his divine, unconditional love. When he makes a statement, like the one above to Jeremiah, you can be certain he will carry through with it. God will carry through in his time and in his way. We become impatient if prophecies do not come about in our time and our way. If God promises or states anything, it has or will happen, but in his way and in his time.
The Israelites that Moses brought out of Egypt were led and their way lighted by God himself, as he promised. Yet, as soon as Moses was gone a short period upon the mountain to speak with God, they turned back to lifeless, powerless idols to worship. How thick headed and impatient we humans are. How sad that we cannot give our Father, who has never failed to make good on a promise, his time, in his way. He loves us so much. Surely, it makes him extremely sad that we forsake him so easily in such a short period of time. We turn to idols so quickly when he is out of our physical sight. When has he done any act that deserves such shallow faith?
Faith is synonymous with devotion and loyalty. When most people state, “I have faith in God,” do they really know what that means or fully realize what they are saying? I hope so, but think not. I know from personal experience that I did not understand what I was saying until recently. Saying, “I have faith in God,” should be stating, “I have belief in and am fully devoted to the one true God as revealed by Jesus Christ, his son and the holy Bible, and am working to become more like our Lord Jesus each day and to serve him better.
Therefore, if we have this true faith, we should have the patience to allow our Father to bring about his promises in his time and in his way and to not loose any of that faith during the period of waiting. God has not forsaken us. If anybody has forsaken anybody, it we humans have forsaken God. God has never shown us any reason to distrust him. We humans have given ample reason to be mistrusted, but, time and again, God relents and trusts us again by honoring his covenant with us through his unconditional love.
Finally, what do we get for this faith, this love and devotion? We get the most precious and astounding gift of all, eternal life and love by and with him, our God.
We come upon one of the most holy of times during the year that is a celebration of the birth of our dear Lord Jesus. Let us celebrate and worship this holy birth by focusing on the spiritual riches our Father has bestowed upon each one of us and the gift of his son. All glory to him, our most holy Father, God of all.
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