Today I'm going to share from a message I delivered in church this past Sunday. Basically from my notes with a few additions but I'd encourage you to go through the biblical references too. It's actually something that came to my mind about a year ago when I was going through the toughest season in my life so far and shares it during one of our small group fellowships. Hope it will be encouraging to you.
Ecclesiastes 3 :1-11
Psalms 37:4-8, 18-25
The Nature of Faith- you can't see it , you hope for it. If you could see it it wouldn't be faith now would it?
vs 6 without faith it's impossible to please God for He who comes to Him must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Even the very act of prayer is one of Faith as we can not see God with our own eyes but believe He is there listening to us.
In this chapter we are given numerous examples of people from the old testament who exhibited this faith.
Noah- had never seen rain before, his contemporaries scoffed at him thinking he was crazy but he didn't waiver in following God's instructions to build the ark and when the flood came he was safe
Abraham- did not know where he was going. He was in Ur f the Chaldeans living his life but when called out to a land he didn't know he went ahead. Even when asked to sacrifice his own son he trusted God and went along anyway.
Sarah- received a child even in her old age. The very thought of conceiving made her laugh no doubt because of how ridiculous it sounded but she eventually received the son of promise
There's a time for every purpose. There'll be seasons of waiting, trials, preparation but it is God who knows it all -verse 11 and He has made everything beautiful in His time. It may look during the season of preparation or of waiting that the destination seems far away but it's only for a time, a different time will come.
Ps 37- 4-8
Delight yourself in the Lord and Hill give you the desires of your heart, commit to Him, trust in Him, wait patiently for Him. The source of our joy is in God
Do not despair when you see the wicked prosper. It looks like that a lot, the guys who get ahead take short cuts, engage in illegal activities but what about the honest, hard-working people working so hard but not getting ahead? However the prosperity of the wicked is only for a while...
The steps of the righteous are ordered of the Lord. He will not forsake his righteous, neither shall their children beg for bread vs 25
An example of a man in the old testament who endured a lot in his faith is Joseph- let's see what we can learn from him
The Life of Joseph
- He received a vision Genesis 37: 3-10
Joseph gets 2 visions and shares them with his brothers but they are angry and plot against him and he ends up being sold into slavery in Egypt
- He remained faithful and diligent at all timesIn Potiphar's house he was hard working and loyal to his master- exhibited by his resisting His wife's advances.In the prison he was also exemplaryIn Pharoaoh's service he carried out his duties well
- Things went from bad to worse but he did not lose his visionchapter 37: his brothers plotted against him and sold him as a slaveChapter 39 he is in Potiphar's house as a slave but he is made overseer vs 1-5.He is Falsely accused and thrown into prison but even there he was elevated vs 22-23ch 40- he interprets the butler's and the baker's dreams but it took another 2 years for the baker to remember his promise.He is raised up by Pharaoh after interpreting his dream 41:39-40Whenever people tried to pull him down he still ended up rising to the top- you just couldn't take the favour away from him!
- He had to wait 13 years for it to come to pass
41:46 He was 30 when appointed by pharaoh, 17 when he had the vision 37: 2. Sometimes it's going to take time for you to reach your goal kind of like his father who had to wait 14 years for Rachel.