Have faith in God, promises kept

While watching the tides during a recent beach vacation I was reminded that nature never sleeps. It’s not a new thought, of course, but seeing the distinctions in the tides, the sea treasures they deliver and then take back, their rhythmic continuum is a wonder.

A most interesting secret from the tides lapping the sandy shore is the creation of little separate pools left behind, places for the toddlers to splash and dig wet sand without the threat of an errant wave knocking them down.

After a while the tide shifts, and those individual pools disappear to become part of the sea again, one complete unit.

Observing this shift from separate bodies of water that eventually meld into one body reminds us what scripture talks about with the church.

We are individually united to God by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit; we know who Jesus is by a personal revelation of Him.

In 1 John 2:27-28, we learn that it is the Spirit who teaches us, individually, through the scriptures. He is the one who gives various passages light and meaning. And, with the right behavior, that visible proof of a person living in what the Spirit teaches, we know God intends us to worship Him.

While we may desire a certain place and time for worship, Jesus points out in John 4:24 that worship is not a matter of location or position, but of the spirit. If we focus too much on the time and place, there is a danger that the ritual of worship will overshadow the One we worship.

In other words, we may become over emphasized on His human attributes so much that we ignore His divine nature. God is Spirit, and we relate to Him through our spirit. Yes, we live in a human body, but when we become a Christian, we are able to understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14).

The first century church was a group that did many things together. They ate together, learned together, prayed together, and worshiped together. The Bible describes worship mostly as taking place in groups for good reasons.

In order to worship God wholeheartedly, it is important to share the work of Christ, confess our sins and be in good relationship with others. We hope to encourage one another toward love, good deeds, and perseverance (Hebrews 10:24,25).

Worship unites us with God and with others. In Colossians 3:16, we are encouraged to teach and admonish one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord.

No struggle or family issue is unique to any one person. There are others within the body of Christ who have already endured similar experiences. These brothers and sisters can pray for us, encourage us, and give Godly advice to help us overcome difficult circumstances.

Having faith means that we do not know or understand everything, yet we believe anyway. Hebrews 11:1 says faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Faith is substance, let us drink mightily of our faith.

By faith (vs 3) we believe that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. Real faith is the belief that God will keep His promises, even when we do not see evidence of them yet.

From watching the tides up close we are reminded that natures never sleeps. And neither does the One who created it. Like the sandy seashore, where tides provide spaces for individual pools and then unites them as one ocean, so does our God provide for us. We have Him individually and united, as life flows through these mortal shells.

To submit a Thoughts of Faith, email jhoutman@mariettatimes.com

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