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by pamela spurling

Hebrews 11.1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the
evidence of things not seen."

I have been looking forward to getting back to writing to you each
week.  The LORD has surely laid on my heart many messages that I look
forward to finishing and sending to you in the weeks to come.
The theme that has continued to come up and to replay over the last
couple of weeks has been the matter of faith.  Amazingly, on several
occasions I either read or heard a message that pertained to this
topic.  We were so filled and blessed and challenged by the messages
spoken by the Pastor at the family camp we attended last week.
Listening to him was like feasting at a banquet every day.  All this
on the heels of our time away the previous week... one of the
blessings of our trip to the Oregon coast was the blessing of time
alone with the LORD and the benefit of listening to the daily
devotions presented by the different family members.  On the last
morning, we had the privilege of listening to a taped sermon that Dad
preached. He was the guest speaker for a Sunday worship service
several weeks before his stroke. It would be his last sermon and so we
felt so honoured to be able to listen to it.

He entitled the sermon: "What happens when life doesn't turn out like
you had expected."  I'd like to write about it in my letter to you
next week, and I'd like to share some things the LORD has been showing me in His Word.

So, faith.  Why is it that we never feel we have enough faith for this
or that test and yet when we look back on the testing of our faith, we
see that God was there all along. He was ever present in the darkest
hour. He never allowed more than we could handle.  He provided for
every need.

He proves Himself to be our Jehovah Jireh. (God our Provider) Psalm
46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

How do we come to rely on this refuge and strength?  How do we
recognize this very present help in trouble?  How do we trust in the
Name above all Names?  How do we come to have faith in the Living God?

There is no key... there is no short-cut... there is no prescribed formula.

Would you know the Savior?  Our pastor preached yesterday one of the
richest messages I believe I have ever heard him preach: "Hungering
and Thirsting after Righteousness" as the title of his message.  So
rich; it was to me a confirmation of the things I have been studying
personally.  Over the last couple of weeks I have been mulling over:
drinking from the well of God's Word.  I have thought of so many times
in my life I felt dry, but not thirsty... but thirsting.  So many times starving, not hungry... but starving.  I grieve for the time lost that I could have been drinking from the well of God's Word. So foolish was I to think that I could live a day away from the well.  So ignorant was I to consider that I needed not to keep my appointment with my LORD.  So misguided was I to imagine that I did well enough on my own that I neglected the time away with my Savior.

But God.
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved
us," Ephesians 2.4
God has been building faith in my heart daily.  So many times I have
thought of my sleep more than my Savior... my busyness more than my
Bible... my plans more than my prayers.. my load more than my Lord.
But God who is rich in mercy... Now more and more I long to say to my Lord Jesus, Welcome Home... I long to meet with Him daily.  I long to make Him LORD of my life, my home His home, my thoughts His thoughts, my desires His desires, my hopes His hopes, my plans His plans.
I long to please Him.... and so: faith; "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."  Hebrews 11.6

Faith, then, must first be the sincere desire to please God.
It must be the consuming desire of the woman that would know God.  It must be as essential to the physical need of the body as hungering and thirsting... but more important than the physical need for drink and
food...and the temporal consequences of the lack thereof...  the
spiritual need is eternal.  We must think of all we place before the
eternal: the temporal need for nourishment... the temporal need for
sleep... the temporal need for comfort... the temporal need for
activities... and yet nothing compares with the eternal necessity for
the Spiritual water from the well of God's Word and the faith that
comes by the daily drinking in of the Word of God.

"Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates,
waiting at the posts of my doors." Proverbs  8.34

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
Romans 10.17

Would you endeavor to increase your Faith in the Living Lord?  Would
you know the Savior more and more?

Psalm 71.16 "I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make
mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only."
As we look to the fall and planning for the year ahead perhaps we
could make more and more effort to make our decisions based on faith
in our LORD... not on what we think we see.

pamela spurling ~ the welcome home ~ 2000-2001

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