Sunday, November 18, 2007

by faith...

From John MacArthur's website (a daily devotional):

Saturday, November 17, 2007

"By faith [Abraham] lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God" (Heb. 11:9-10).

Following God's call isn't always easy. He expects us to trust Him explicitly, yet doesn't ask our advise on decisions that may impact us dramatically. He doesn't tell us His specific plans at any given point in our lives. He doesn't always shelter us from adversity. He tests our faith to produce endurance and spiritual maturity--tests that are sometimes painful. He makes some promises that we'll never see fulfilled in this life.

If following God's call is a challenge for us, imagine how it was for Abraham, who had no Bible, no pastor, no sermons, no commentaries, and no Christian encouragement or accountability. But what he did have was the promise of a nation, a land, and a blessing (Gen. 12:1-3). That was good enough for him.

Abraham never settled in the land of promise. Neither did his son Isaac or grandson Jacob. They were aliens, dwelling in tents like nomads. Abraham never built houses or cities. The only way he would possess the land was by faith. Yet Abraham patiently waited for God's promises to be fulfilled.

As important as the earthly land was to him, Abraham was patient because his sight was on his heavenly home, "the city . . . whose architect and builder is God" (Heb. 11:10). He knew beyond any doubt that he would inherit that city, whether or not he ever saw his earthly home in his lifetime.

Similarly, being heavenly minded gives you the patience to continue working for the Lord when things get tough. It's the best cure I know for discouragement or spiritual fatigue. That's why Paul says to set your mind "on the things above, not on the things that are on earth" (Col. 3:2). If your mind is set on heaven, you can endure whatever happens here.

Suggestions for Prayer:

  • Praise God for your heavenly home.
  • Seek His grace to help you keep a proper perspective amid the difficulties of this life.
For Further Study:

Read the portion of Abraham's life recorded in Genesis 12- 17.


Charity said...

That was great! I really do need to set my mind on heaven when I have those days that I am struggling! Too often I focus too much on my earthly problems! Thanks for sharing!

Bev Brandon said...

Jenny, you are Deut 18:18 - filled with God's words. You know, I just came from singing my heart out in praise to my good God at church after a harrowing weekend. And I have had this thought several times this week & so I'm gonna share it with you---someday, I want to stand next to you and sing In Christ Alone---I know we will in heaven. And all this my birthday week, I kept seeing my glorious God running to me---a thought, a vision from one of your earlier posts. God is all over you Jenny Hope!

Susan said...

Great, great stuff Jenny! Thanks for sharing this today :)

He Knows My Name said...

this is the day my dad went to be with the Lord. i just read your post. it is awesome and how timely to my circumstances.

i sure miss being on this everyday. i told bethanne i'm looking for my new normal. thank you for your prayers and hope you had a good thanksgiving.