By BETTIE MARLOWE
Faith: Believing in advance
I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, “Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied, “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
Those words, penned by British author, M. Louise Haskins and spoken by King George VI of England in his 1939 Christmas message to the British Empire, describe the type of faith we need to cope with adversity.
Philip Yancey defines faith as: “Believing in advance in something that will only seem logical when seen in reverse.”
I’m glad that God is not bound by rules of logic, aren’t you? And he is not bound by our ability to keep a resolution. None of us know what will happen in 2018, but aren’t you glad we know “Who holds tomorrow.”
When Joshua and the Children of Israel were in the plains of Moab before crossing the Jordan River, God reminded them of his greatness and ability to “drive out the Caananites” (Joshua 3). At the same time, the credibility of their leader Joshua was enhanced. If their faith had not been in God, circumstances would certainly have dismayed them.
Here they were on the brink of an overflowing river and somehow they were going to get to the other side. Right. They were even going to walk across on dry land. Right.
Circumstances said, “No way,” but God said, “Trust me.”
Someone asked an ex-paratrooper how many jumps he had made. He responded by saying, “None! I was pushed out 18 times.”
This is not exactly what is meant by “stepping out in faith.”
Is this what New Year’s resolutions are all about. Rather than the negative “Gotta quit this,” or “Have to stop ...,” why not turn the negative to a positive action by “stepping out in faith.”
The priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant way out front – about a thousand yards, so that multitude of people could see the way and follow – were told to “step into the water.”
Now would we have said, “I will just as soon as I see some land to step on?”
F.B. Meyer said, “Unbelief puts our circumstance between us and God, but faith puts God between us and our circumstance.” That is worth reading again with rejoicing.
The priests didn’t hesitate. Obedience to God through faith brought results. Circumstances don’t phase those who are fully trusting in God. I don’t believe those people had to be pushed to cross the Jordan. Can’t you just see them rejoicing as they gathered speed in their eagerness to get to the other side?
Wouldn’t you have just loved to put your feet on the bottom of a river bed, knowing that God was holding up the waters so you wouldn’t be destroyed? You do that, you know, every time you surrender your circumstances to him.
God has given every man a measure of faith. “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3).
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