God builds our faith in the valleys of life. We prefer the vistas, the mountaintops, but we don’t build faith there. In fact, how do you get to the top of a mountain in the first place? You start in the valley below!
Martin Luther’s life was dramatically changed as he meditated on Romans 1:17: “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: `The righteous will live by faith.’”
Jesus’ purpose was to do the miraculous in the presence of faith. He did not then, nor does He now, cast His pearls before swine. If we know Jesus well enough, we’ll recognize His work and rejoice when it comes!
We cannot really trust God if we do not believe what He promises, just as we cannot really trust other human beings if we doubt what they say. Biblical faith involves believing the specific promises of God. We must believe God, not simply believe in God. Ask the Lord this day to strengthen your faith in His promises so that you will continue to trust in Him alone.”
Even though Satan’s carte blanche rule over man was broken at Calvary (Colossians 2:15), it’s obvious from what Paul has written that God nevertheless grants Satan and his subordinates a measure of freedom to tempt, stress, press, even afflict believers at times. God’s intention of course is that we learn to depend on Jesus, donning the full armor of God so we can recognize and resist every scheme, every attack, every temptation of the evil one, coming to maturity in Christ.
Hebrew concept of imagination includes two dynamic applications: 1) with regard to the human capacity to invent or make something, imagination is ‘the capacity to see what could be but is not yet.’ An example of this human capacity is Jer. 18:4, “But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.” And, 2) with regard to the human capacity to interact with transcendence, imagination is ’the capacity to see through what is known into the realities beyond what is known.
Any and all providences are special providences, and prayer and this sort of providences work hand in hand. God’s hand is in everything. None are beyond Him nor beneath His notice. Not that God orders everything which comes to pass. Man is still a free agent, but the wisdom of Almighty God comes out when we remember that while man is free, and the devil is abroad in the land, God can superintend and overrule earth’s affairs for the good of man and for His glory, and cause even the wrath of man to praise Him. (Adapted from E.M. Bounds, The Necessity of Prayer)
Uncertainty and fear are the result of turning our eyes away from God during times of crisis. It’s ironic that we often tie ourselves to the very things that weigh us down and further deepen our despair. There is one true source of victory over life’s trials and uncertainties. We only need turn to Him and ask for deliverance.
By faith in the promise of God, we know that we have the petitions we have asked of Him. Faith takes and holds the answer in the promise, as an unseen spiritual possession, rejoices in it, and praises for it. (Adapted from Andrew Murray, With Christ in the School of Prayer)