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Faith Rewards

April 23, 2023

Dr. Paul Cannings

Many times, when we feel alone or petrified, even deserted by God, we need to recognize that many in the scriptures felt the same way. It is not like during these excruciating circumstances; these Biblical characters did not fail. Some characters, like Abraham, were called righteous, some, like Elijah, were revered, while others, like David, were called a man “after God’s own heart.” Yet they were overcome by fear, intimidation, and lustful temptation. When feeling this way, how did they learn how to experience God’s forgiveness, restoration, and renewal?

Emotional pain can be devastating because it can grip the very depths of a person’s soul. Think for a minute of Christ. With the beating ahead of Him, before He could be hung on a cross, He took time out and prayed all night, constantly asking Peter, James, and John to pray with Him, YES Christ! It had to be agonizing because the scriptures say, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death….” (Matthew 26:36-46). If Christ can experience this kind of grief and great men of God fail when exposed to challenging circumstances, what can we learn to make it through?

People like Job and Daniel teach us many lessons; here are a few. Job, Daniel, andChrist never stopped praying, the same with Habakkuk. Maybe this is why Paul told us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). They did not stop bringing themselves to trust God in His Word despite their pain. Christ would say, “I must be about my Father’s business.” Job would say, “Naked I came, naked I leave, blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21; 2:10). Daniel was the same way in Daniel 1:8. He was determined to do what the Lord told him to do even if it took him into a Lion’s Den. They all believed in the power of the Word (Hebrews 4:12), that it does not return void (Isaiah 55:11). Their faithfulness in trusting the Word was their victory. They were, therefore, committed to waiting on God (Isaiah 40:27-31).

Those that failed did not fail because God failed them; they failed because when Abraham was overwhelmed with fear, he chose fear rather than to trust in God’s Word. The same happened with Elijah. When lust dominated David, the difference between him and Joseph was Joseph’s commitment to not violate God’s Word  no matter how tempting the circumstances. This, however, meant Joseph had to wait on God.

Trusting God by releasing ourselves to His will can be frightening, but trusting God delivers the victory. One of the reasons I believe the church exists is so that we can learn to endure,  learn to wait (James 1:2-4) through the ministry of spiritual gifts and the teaching of the Word. 5:7-11). Christ put it this way; “By your endurance, you will gain life” (Luke 19:21) because faith rewards. (Hebrews 11:6).