Faith: Put To The Test

Rough waters

Instead of continuing the study on faith using people from the bible this week, I have chosen to talk a little about my life right now and faith. As I stated when I first started this study, I was nervous about what I would have to face when talking about having faith. With having my devotional part of my blog just finishing looking at the book of Job and now I am starting this study on faith, my faith is being put to the test.

If things could go wrong, they appear to be doing so. I spent a wonderful weekend last weekend on a get-a-way with my wife. During that time we were able to spend a lot of time together, just being together and talking. We also got a lot of much needed rest.

Dog tired

Because of the various jobs I work, I already get only about five hours of sleep on the average day, not enough! But I have learned to work with that. I look forward to the few days each week I can either sleep in or take an extra nap. However, since that get-a-way, I have only been able to get about 3 hours of sleep a night, even less than not enough.

A few weeks ago a friend of ours blessed us with a new, more efficient dishwasher. All I had to do was pick it up and install it myself. I have installed many dishwashers over the years and usually it only take about 30 minutes to install one.

Dishwasher install

After having to wait a while to be able to pick it up, I was finally able to do so a few days ago. I figured it would only take about the normal 30 minutes to take out the old one and put in the new one. WRONG!

I ran into various problems removing the old one. It refused to want to come out of its location. That alone took about 40 minutes.

Then I had to install the new one. Again after having multiple challenges on getting it in and hooked up, it took about another 1 1/2 hours to finish. This was done in the evening. I finally got to bed at about 10:30pm. I had to be up to get ready for work at about 1:00 am. I was exhausted.

Along with that job from home, I had another job to do the next day with extra work outside in 100 degree heat! Between the two jobs I did not get any sleep. This is where faith kicked in. I had to trust God to give me strength to do what needed to be done.

Amazingly I was not exhausted while working either job, or driving back home after the jobs. However, as soon as I sat down that evening I started to fall asleep, totally exhausted. This was Tuesday when I worked all day with very little sleep.

Then on Wednesday, our van decided to have a problem. It came to us a few years ago with the rear bumper sides tore up from an accident. Para-cord was used to hold it together. It has worked very well since it was put on. Well, the para-cord chose to break loose, causing the bumper to ride on the tire slightly while driving slowly or in a turn.

Duct taped fender

This had to be fixed quickly or more serious damage could occur. While at church Wednesday night, my son-in-law and his father, chose to help us out. They were able to get it tied back up fairly solid. This was a great blessing, but it also meant another very late night in getting to bed. I was able to get about 3 hours of sleep.

The following morning, Thursday, I started working at teaching online. Almost immediately into the first class, I started having internet connection problems. Our internet was running too slow. For my teaching it is live video feed and cannot be slow at all.

Normally when our house satellite internet is poor, I will jump to hotspot from my phone, however, my phone only had 4g connection rate. Way too slow for what I needed. Usually it has LTE speeds that work just fine, but the last few days it has been very slow for some unknown reason.

Sleeping sloth

This meant constant problems with staying connected strong enough to do the classes. I had eight 25 minute classes, back-to-back, to do. As I was struggling through each one I got to the last class. Just as I entered the classroom, my computer decided to crash and shut down for a reboot.

It took nearly 20 minutes for the laptop to reboot, making me so late for class it is most likely to be listed as a teacher no show. With the company I work for, I am only allowed two no-shows in a six month period before being terminated. This will be a first for me in over two years and 2,000 classes taught.

To say the least I was very angry. I let my old self take over and I began to say and do things that were not right. I was not in control and was not allowing God to be in control. I had lost my faith that God knew what was going on and was still with me. I lost faith that God had this in His plans all along and had something in store for me.

Milky way at night

After a while of being able to take a step back and really look at everything, I was able to calm down. I began to realize that in the light of eternity, these hard days are just the light and momentary troubles that Paul talked about.

God is in control, regardless of how things look on this earth. He has a plan for me and it is for my good. Everything that I am going through is there for me to be built up in Jesus Christ, or to build someone else up in Jesus. I have to have faith in this, otherwise my faith in God is pointless and I really don’t have faith in God.

God is allowing my faith in Him to be tested, to find out if I really believe what I know and teach, or if it is just a bunch of words. I trust that I will come out of this shining for God as His witness, as Job had done.

Take a look at your own life and think about the struggles you have been through or maybe are going through right now. Know that God is right there beside you and will never leave you, nor forsake you. Know that God has your best interest in mind when He allows things to happen, both good and bad. God uses all these things for His glory or your best.

Worship God

Have faith knowing these things. Have faith know God is really in control of everything. Have faith knowing that God will take care of your despite all the problems in life. There will still be challenges, but God is with you.

Give God praise for His faithfulness as you have faith in Him.

 

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Job 36:13 Be Careful Of Riches & Wealth

Yacht

Be careful that no one entices you by riches; do not let a bribe turn you aside. Job 36:13 

Wealth is something that a lot of people are searching for, especially in America. People want more money to be able to have more things and do more things. It is often believed that money buys happiness and freedom, so many people will run after it.

All one has to do is do a ‘make money’ search on the internet and millions of hits will occur instantly. There are millions of ways to make money. However, most of those ways are scams. People trying to make money by taking money from others. People fall for the scam in the search for wealth.

Elihu tells Job to be careful not to be enticed by riches or bribes. This was as though Job was being enticed to speak as he does. Job did not have this problem in his life.

Having lots of money always seems to look like a good thing. Making money easy always sounds like a good thing. However, money is not made easily, but by hard work and perseverance.

While money will buy things, it does not provide happiness and peace. Often it will lead a person away from God, because he no longer trusts in God, but in his possessions. The search for wealth will also often lead a person to do things that go against God.

This can occur even within side the church. Believers give up giving and tithing in the search for wealth. They quit going to church to be able to work more, rather than seeking God and trusting Him. Some get angry with God as they see those in the world ‘living it up’ while living in sin, and they a fighting to put food on the table.

Do not allow yourself to seek after a wealth that does not last for eternity. You cannot take the wealth with you when you die. It does not transfer to heaven. Seek God and His righteousness and will. Do what He desires and you will have joy and peace that the world cannot have, nor understand.

Running after the wealth of this world will only leave you empty and wanting more. No matter how much you get, you will want more. Do not let this world convince you that you need what they have. You need to convince the world that they need what you have–Jesus.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will guard your hearts from the love of money; that God will guide you in what you need; and that God will protect you from the lies of this world. 

Philippians 3:3 Where Is Your Confidence?

 

Sun by rock

For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh–Philippians 3:3

It is common for people to trust what they can do or what someone else can do for them. They want to be seen as able to do whatever needs to be done. Scouring the internet one can find millions of videos on how to do whatever a person wants to do. They world says that one can do whatever he wants and accomplish anything.

Most people also have confidence in someone else. They have confidence in their leaders, friends, neighbors, and others. They believe that they can do what needs to be done in the right way.

Throughout time, men have accomplished many different things that are good. However, there is a limit to what man can do. And even in the midst of all of those accomplishments there are many failures. One thing that a person can count on is people will fail at some point. Even the individual will fail.

Although the world states that a person can do anything that he wants, God does not say that. Paul says he does not put any confidence in the flesh. People fail and sin. No person can save himself from the sins he has committed against God.

Regardless of how many times a person has repented of sins, he will continue to sin. Each time should be different, so that he is turning away from sin more and more, but there is always room to grow in the Lord and ways to learn not to sin. The flesh will fail, though the heart is there with God.

As a believer in Jesus, you cannot trust yourself to do the right thing all the time. You cannot trust yourself to save yourself. No matter how much good you have done, you will still fall short.

Your confidence must be in God and God alone. He is the only One who can save you from your sins. Jesus is the only one who can make you in right standing with God. You, nor any other person, can ever do these things for you.

Do not trust men to make this world better, only God can do that through His children. Men and things will fail, but God will never fail. Trust Him.

I pray today that you will trust God in all things; that you will put your confidence in God alone; that you will serve God with all of your life; and that you will be His witness to this world.