Impossible Faith – Part 3

This is part 3 of a series on the impossible faith of the saints mentioned in Hebrews 11. Find part one here, and part two here.

Daniel

Daniel was given a clear choice – obey the king or obey God. There was no confusion over what King Darius’ decree meant or what God’s will required. There were no fuzzy grey areas or possible loopholes. Either Daniel obeyed the king and ceased praying for the next thirty days or he obeyed God and prayed anyway. To obey the king was clear disobedience to God and to obey God was clear disobedience to the king.

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Why Is Faith So Hard?

Why is faith so hard? Sure, there are mountaintop moments and golden summers where we feel God’s presence as real as anything. But more often than not, especially in the muck and madness of the world, God appears distant and faith seems a scandal. Both skeptic and saint have wondered how there can be both a good, all-powerful God in heaven and a world full of death and decay down below. And that is just the beginning of a landslide of questions which threaten to smother our faith and leave it for dead.

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Boasting in Our Faith

Those who have grown up within the walls of a Reformed church know well that good works do not save and are nothing to boast about. All glory to God! We hear this truth repeatedly from the pulpit, the catechism classroom and around the supper table. And so it should be. If God compares our good works to something worse than filthy rags, then what folly it is to boast in them.

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Doubting Zechariah

Luke begins his Jesus story by introducing us to an old man and an old woman. Zechariah and Elizabeth were faithfully serving God despite many obstacles to faith: barrenness, foreign occupation, national crisis, and the silence of God. It had been hundreds of years since Israel had heard or seen directly from God. In Zechariah’s day there was no glory cloud leading the way or manna falling from heaven. The walls of enemy cities were not crumbling, nor were there armies fleeing at the sight of angels. And there were no prophets bringing a fresh word from God for the contemporary moment. The evidences for God were in the distant past and his promises of an abundant future were beginning to fade from memory.

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Not A One-Time Thing

Let us run with endurance…

– Hebrews 12:1

The Christian life is not a one-time decision for Christ or a profession of faith. Rather, it is a holding fast until the end. It is a persistence; a continual turning to God and pleading before his throne of grace. Any faithful reader of God’s Word will understand this basic truth. As we follow Jesus and seek to shape our lives according to his, there can be no delusion that we have arrived and only need to maintain the status quo. Continue reading “Not A One-Time Thing”

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