To my brothers and sisters of the faith, created by Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I wish you blessings of a joyful New Year! As I review 2007, my husband and I are in complete agreement, it was a spectacular year of trial by fire, and in no way we will celebrate the end of a tumultuous year. Instead, we celebrate the growth it brought us as His children. Indeed our faith is MUCH MORE precious than gold, as it says in 1 Peter 1:7. The question we both discussed and entertained throughout the year was there a "mindset" or an "attitude" that we needed to acknowledge? At the year's end, it was clear to the both of us, by the Holy Spirit, that it was a simple trial of our faith.
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." -- 1 Peter 4:12-13
And what a trial of our faith it was! I cannot speak for my husband, he has his own testimony, but there were times when I wondered if we were left to fend for our selves in this cruel, heartless world. There were times when I wondered if we were left defenseless, surrounded by a faithless society who constantly criticized our lifestyle of "walking by faith and not by sight" (1Cor. 5:7). And in no uncertain terms, prodding us to worry, fret and take control of circumstances that was beyond our control.
Yes, our faith was all we had to hold on to, it kept us safe from from the stress and turmoil that we could have experienced in our spirit and psyche. It kept us safe on the path He has planned for us. It kept us grounded on the race track towards His future revelation of His Glory. It is one thing to read and study scripture and quite another to experience it when it manifests itself unto undeniable, unchangeable truth. Faith indeed is born of the heart. In all of my wondering and moments of despair, there was something that just wouldn't break, a stability I felt in the depths of my very being. I KNOW that He would never forsake me, because He dwells within me! To remove my faith would be to change the very root of me... the heart and soul that makes me and everything I am. Yes, faith is born of the heart. It is not created by good works and good intentions. It is not sparked by the keeping of certain days. It is created by the reconciliation of a child to it's parent. It's a bond, an unbreakable bond, which is love.
I am reminded of this scripture:
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. -- Hebrews 6:4-8
If we agree that the Word of the Living God is not contradictory, then we understand the word "impossible" in this scripture is describing the impossibility to fall away after a very intimate relationship with the Lord and not the POSSIBILITY of losing our salvation. If you are familiar with the Parable of the Sower found in, Matthew 13, verses 7 and 8 of Hebrews 6 makes perfect sense. ( I wrote two posts about the Parable of the Sower, you are more than welcome to revisit these posts. Parable of the Sower (8/11/07) and Parable of the Sower Addendum (8/16/07))
What a blessing 2007 was for us! I've seen the Lord's hand and His Glory! In the end, I have seen other's faith blossom by the trials and testimony He has given us. How can we rejoice at year's end, but uplift and uphold that the LORD IS RIGHTEOUS in His stead? My faith IS more precious than gold, it is truly all that I have of everlasting value. Where would I be without my belief that He is my Father and I am His daughter? What hope do I have if I have no belief in His Word? I would be as hopeless, as peace less as those who have rejected the only Son of God. I am truly a stranger in a foreign land.
I pray that that new year brings many new beginnings for you, mostly that you would prosper in the name of Jesus Christ, the Author and finisher of our Faith. Amen.
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." --John 14:27