Bible Dictionary: (Thayer & Strong’s) ~Faith * Conviction of the truth of anything; truth, assurance, to trust, have confidence in, be convinced, be persuaded of a thing concerning a person.
Heavenly Father, help us to walk by faith and not by sight, trusting in You ever more each day. Thy word says that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God,” so help us to read & meditate on Thy word in our daily walk with You. Help us to turn our eyes onto Jesus and off the things of this world that so often steals our attention from You. For this world is not our true home, You are, Lord. We love you, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
ENCOURAGING SCRIPTURES ABOUT FAITH IN GOD
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”~ Hebrews 11:1
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” ~ Hebrews 11:3
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” ~Hebrews 11:6
“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end…” ~ Hebrews 3:12-14
“For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day.
Look at the proud; his soul is not straight or right within him, but the [rigidly] just and the [uncompromisingly] righteous man shall live by his faith and in his faithfulness.” ~ Habakkuk 2:3-4 (Amplified Bible Version)
“God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” ~Numbers 23:19 (New Living Translation)
Life is a River, deep and wide,
Sometimes filled with peace,
Sometimes filled with joyous songs,
Sometimes unfilled needs.
Sometimes its waters overflow
With endless health and strength
That dwindle to a narrow creek
Of weakness and decay.
Sometimes the waters rush into
A gaping waterfall
And suddenly a life can change
To what is there no more.
Ever rolling onward,
Onward to the sea,
With each dawn the River brings
Us to another journey.
And how we all respond
To what the River sends
Is all that really matters
When we come to the River’s end.
May we honor God
With all that the River brings
Wherever the River takes us
Till we reach Eternity.
Heavenly Father, help us to understand that it’s not WHAT we endure in this life that matters, but HOW we choose to endure it. May You give us the grace to honor You in every situation, no matter what may come our way, thank You, Lord, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Psalm 23 is known as The Shepherd Psalm. It’s one of my favorite Psalms in the Bible.
Jesus Christ is our Good Shepherd. He said, “My sheep respond to my voice, and I know who they are. They follow me, and I give them eternal life. They will never be lost, and no one will tear them away from me.” ~ John 10:27,28
Sometimes our Good Shepherd may ask us to go down a path we may be afraid to follow. Yet God’s word assures us that Christ always leads us in paths of righteousness. (Psalm 23:3).
The dictionary defines the word “righteousness” as “justice, decency, honesty, blamelessness, virtue, and morality.”
The NIV bible translates Psalm 23:3: “He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.”
The way I understand it, God won’t ever guide us to do something that is contrary to His word.
In my painting above, I have illustrated the idea of our Good Shepherd inviting His child to go with Him on a journey. He looks gently into her eyes and she gazes back at Him as He holds her hand suggesting that they are good friends.
Jesus said, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” (John 15:14) Jesus loves His child deeply. Because He is the Good Shepherd as well as her Creator, He knows what is best for her. He encourages her to do what He knows is the right path for her.
Yet the child hesitates to go with Her Master. There is that tiny sense that she does not fully trust the Good Shepherd.
She stands just behind him in the painting. Her feet seem paralyzed and rooted into the sand like some sort of petrified tree as her Shepherd lovingly assures her that He will always be with her throughout the journey and that His rod and staff will comfort her.
Though she has given one of her hands to her Lord in partial submission to His will, she holds the other behind her back, symbolizing her reluctance to step out in faith with Him on their journey and her inner fears. Yet He lovingly smiles at her. He knows every weakness, every fear. He neither judges, nor condemns her.
How often do we, when presented with new unsettling challenges to our faith, or a new dark journey in life, question the wisdom of God? How often do we hold back from fully trusting our Lord when He asks us to follow Him down a new unfamiliar path?
Like the little child in the painting, we have given Jesus one of our hands, but we reluctantly hold the other behind our back and stand with our feet rooted in the ground when He asks us to please trust Him though we may not understand the way He is asking us to follow Him.
Jesus once told His disciples on the cusp of His crucifixion:“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.” ~John 16:12
He then said that the Holy Spirit would come to them and lead them into all truth.
Our Lord asks us to walk by faith, to trust Him and to listen for His voice every day, one day at a time, with our hands in the hands of our Good Shepherd.
Just as the little child in this painting is walking with her Shepherd, so we must walk. And though like her we are often afraid, despite our fears, like her we must keep our hand in our Shepherd’s hand and our eyes on Him, abiding in Him in our hearts daily if we are to hear His voice.
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” ~John 16:13
*Lord Jesus please help me give You both my hands in total surrender when You ask me to journey with You down the road You have prepared for me before the foundation of this world. Help me not doubt but believe all of your promises to me and live by faith. In Thy holy name I ask. Amen.
A copy of this painting is reproduced on my greeting card called, “The Good Shepherd.”