Monday, April 17, 2017

Believing the Unseen




I hope you all had a very blessed and meaningful Resurrection Sunday.

Christ the Lord is Risen!  
Hallelujah!


For the next two weeks I will be sharing about Faith - Faith boiled down to its very core.  

This week we will talk about overcoming a doubting faith. 


And without faith it is impossible to please him, 
for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists
 and that he rewards those who seek him.
Hebrews 11:6


From the time I was a very small child, I watched my dad do many innovative things - skilled ones at that!  And this before the age of You Tube where now we can just watch a video on how to fix a car or a leaky faucet and we're good to go.  In fact, I'm not sure I even remember my dad looking at a manual very often.  He just seemed to innately know how to fix or create things.

He built a mini barn in our backyard from his own plans to house gardening supplies and our lawn mower.

He rigged up our pop-up camper with privacy curtains, and an awning (all of which didn't come standard as they do now) - he was a visonary!  lol. 

He finished our upstairs attic space which became mine and my brother's bedrooms.  

He and my grandfather built a beautiful, tall rock retaining wall into our side yard which was no easy task.  He also created a beautiful rock wall which became our family's rock garden on the other side of our yard.

He installed a Franklin Stove and built up an accompanying chimney for the flue.

No car repair or home repair/project was too hard for him.  He cheerfully took on any challenge with a can do attitude, and indeed he did!

He never would have had to say to me, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" because I had a plethora of examples to draw upon which gave me utmost confidence that he could do anything!

But sadly, do I ascribe to my Heavenly Father the same confidence I have in my dad.  A confidence that can be built on the entire Canon of Scripture which details account after account of God fulfilling every promise laid out in His precious Word.

Let alone personal experiences of God moments in my own life where undoubtedly an answer to prayer came because of Him and Him alone.  Or when in hindsight I could see that circumstances He ordained brought about a miracle.  There are so many faith building moments like these that should make me a champion for all that God WILL do.

I have wondered if because I haven't seen Jesus right in front of me that doubts can creep in.  Yet, I never saw the crew building the wide expanse of the Tappen Zee Bridge, but I have total faith that the bridge will prevent my car from plummeting deep into the Hudson  River.  Or how about the people I never saw building the Southwest plane I fly on, yet I totally trust that the plane will successfully take off, stay airborne and the landing gear will work properly.  And what about the people I don't see back in the kitchen preparing my food at a restaurant, yet I have no fear that the food will be contaminated when it arrives for my consumption.

We trust the unseen activity of man, yet are not trusting in the unseen activity of God!

And then there are the Israelites who witnessed God's protection and provision right before their very eyes, seeing God in the cloud by day and in the pillar of fire by night; Almighty God who did great miracles in their midst those 40 years in the desert, yet they constantly wanted to go back to Egypt to live in safety bondage.  They persistently complained about their circumstances and essentially were not trusting that God was able to deliver them through their time in the desert.

I'm sure we can relate to the Israelites at times and find ourselves not allowing the previously seen activity of God to increase our faith.

May we never hear Jesus say, "You unbelieving and perverse generation!" 

Thomas replied, “My Lord and my God!” 
Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; 
blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed.” 
Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples, 
which are not written in this book.…
John 20:29


We live in a privileged time in God's Kingdom calendar and indeed, God pronounces us blessed.  For we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, our Lord and our God, without having seen Him in the flesh or having seen His great signs and wonders.

Indeed we are blessed!  For we see the fruit of the unseen activity of the Lord!  Like me, I'm sure there have been countless times that you have stood in awe of something amazing that has happened, that you knew without a shadow of a doubt was from God.  I think our joy might actually be greater seeing the result of God's unseen activity then had we saw God performing a miracle right in front of our eyes!

We must live in the blessing of the unseen; trusting and believing that God is always active in our lives, and is taking delight in surprising us above and beyond what we expect!

NEVER Doubt 
ALWAYS Believe
ALWAYS Expect!


When he entered the house, the blind men came to him,
 and Jesus said to them,
 “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” 
They said to him, “Yes, Lord.”  
Then he touched their eyes, saying, 
“According to your faith be it done to you.”
Matthew 9:28-29

Do you see that?  Our faith yields God's response.

But do not despair fellow doubters, for we have a Savior who is the author and perfecter of our faith, Jesus Christ.

Cry out to Him,   Lord I believe, Help my unbelief!  Mark 9:24

And after you have prayed,  BELIEVE that Jesus will remove your spiritual blinders of doubt, much like the physical blindness from the men in the Scripture verses above.   Then when Jesus asks, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" you can respond, like the blind men,"Yes Lord!  And He will say, "According to your faith be it done to you."

Lord, now I see
You only want me to believe,
Not to change
In all my failures and defeats—-
To believe what You have done,
And not in what I see.

Lord, I believe
    When all around me is defeat,
    And it seems
    That nothing’s changing outwardly.
    No, I’m not discouraged—-
    I’m believing You.

 Yes, I believe,
    And there is no demand on me.
    Simple faith—-
    Yes, that is all You want from me.
    Freed from anxious doubting, 
    I’m free to just believe.

 Believing You,
    Because, Lord, You are my success.
    When I fail, all I must do is just confess
    And go on enjoying You.
    I love believing You!

Lyrics:  NYCYPCD



Next week we will talk about how God has already provided all that we need to bolster a faith that believes.


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24 comments:

  1. So true- God has proved himself to be faithful but sometimes it is still hard to believe, even having seen him act in the past. It is reassuring that the Israelites and Jesus' disciples struggled with this too and yet God didn't give up on them.

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    1. Hi Lesley, Amen! Our Heavenly Father never gives up on us! What a patient God we have!

      Thanks for stopping by. :-)

      Delete
  2. Hi Karen, a very timely post for me to read. Sometimes its not that I don't believe God will do something, its more I doubt will He do it for me? So, time to pray for Him to deal with my unbelief. Great post
    God bless
    Tracy

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    1. Tracy, You are preaching to the choir here. That is EXACTLY how I am. I believe big things for others and pray big believing, but assume for me "it must not be God's will" and then won't pray about it. Yet our Heavenly Father is just waiting to show US how big He is.

      I join you in praying that the Lord will remove our doubt and unbelief.

      Thanks for your kind words. :-)

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  3. How many times in our lives are we the doubters like Thomas? It seems to me that we all have those times. But as we get older, perhaps we don't doubt as much. Great thought provoking post. Blessed to be your neighbor over at Testimony Tuesday today.

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    1. Tara, Yes, I think we all can find ourselves doubting at one time or another. With age comes wisdom and testimony after testimony of God's faithfulness.

      Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by. I appreciate it!

      Delete
  4. We trust the unseen activity of man, yet are not trusting in the unseen activity of God! I meet with a bunch of women every Tuesday and we have discussed this very thing. I think some grow like a turtle in their faith and some like a rabbit. The key is we grow no matter the speed. I am grateful God did not speed on faith. Great post.

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    1. Betty, I recently read something about how it is important to focus on the growth, no matter how little it might be, knowing that God is the potter and we are the clay. As long as we remain pliable in His hands, that is what matters.

      Thanks for your kind words.

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  5. Your Dad sounds a lot like my Daddy. When I was little, I don't think there was anything at all that I didn't think he could do. Your question is very heart-searching...do we have as much faith in our Heavenly Father? This is another wonderful post, sweet friend. Thank you for always making me think. Sending much love and many blessings your way!

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    1. Hi Cheryl, Awe. Thank you for sharing that.

      And thank you for consistently encouraging me and lifting me up. You are such a treasure.

      Blessings to you sweet friend.

      Delete
  6. It is so hard to never doubt...thanks for the fabulous message.
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com
    #womenwithintention

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    Replies
    1. Jodie, It is indeed hard.

      You are welcome!

      Blessings,

      Delete
  7. The first part reminds me of my dad, Karen!

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    1. Meg, Awe. I'm glad you had a nice reminder!

      Thanks for sharing. :-)

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  8. Karen -

    I love this: NEVER Doubt
    ALWAYS Believe
    ALWAYS Expect!

    and I also love how you mention the gift of the unseen. I can't even count how many times I have repeated the passage of Scripture - I believe but help my unbelief. Thanks for the encouragement to keep on believing even when we can't see

    Thank you for linking up with #TuneInThursday today! I am so blessed to have you linking your posts as part of the community each Thursday

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    Replies
    1. Debbie, I'm so glad. :-)

      You are welcome!

      Awe. Thank you for your kind words. It is a blessing to participate!

      Delete
  9. This has always been a verse that perfectly expresses me - Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief.

    It is very easy to say "I believe" but difficult to truly believe with our hearts and minds.

    I'm right with the Israelite people who murmured and complained and forgot so easily what was done for them.

    Grace is how I survive.

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca, Thank you so much for sharing your own struggles with unbelief.

      Indeed, God's Amazing Grace.

      Delete
  10. So thankful we can trust God even in the dark, even when we can't see or feel his presence. We know he is there and will always be with us! Thank you for this reminder not to doubt but to trust.

    Blessings to you, Karen! I'm your neighbor at #FaithonFire

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    1. Gayl, Thank you for joining in the conversation.

      You are very welcome.

      It's always a blessing to have you stop by. :-)

      Delete
  11. This is so true. The one thing we should have the most faith in, so many don't. Even when they have seen the miracles that he has done.
    our Dad sounds like mine, always working on or fixing something, He and my uncle even made a sawmill so they could cut boards for both their houses when they were building them.
    Thanks for sharing at LMM Link up to see you again this week.
    Have a great week
    Connie

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for joining in the conversation. :-)

      Wow! Making a sawmill to cut the boards sounds quite impressive!

      You are welcome! I'll be there! :-)

      Delete
  12. Sometimes it is amazing to think back on the times over my years that I realize just when and how Jesus has been there. We are covered and he is such an amazing blanket. I often think of doubting Thomas and how Jesus understood him and knew he had to show his pierced hands to him with no recrimination for Thomas' doubt. It is a comfort to know he understands our sometime doubts.

    Peabea@Peabea Scribbles

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    Replies
    1. Pea Bea, Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here. I appreciate it so much!

      Blessings,

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment.