August 31 - The Power of Faith
Your faith in the Lord affects all aspects of your life. Faith is not just some doctrine you believe in but how your knowledge of God changes the way that you think, speak and conduct yourself. Paul refers to “the same spirit of faith” that was present in him and other believers. This faith is to know that He who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and bring us into His presence. As we identify completely with the Lord Jesus, whatever He has done, we can do; whatever He had experienced, we are also to experience; whatever He has, we also shall have. To have such belief is to possess the spirit of faith.
With faith, Paul spoke out of belief: “I believed and so I spoke”. His presentation of the gospel was out of personal, first-hand experience and from his relationship with God through Jesus Christ. He did not only believe in the resurrection of Christ but also in his own resurrection. With such full assurance and conviction, he spoke to others about Christ with power. It is difficult to convict others when you are not totally convicted of the message. As a result, the grace of God could extend to more and more people and increased the thanksgiving of the believers and also the glory of God.
With such unwavering faith, Paul was able not to lose heart about his own physical condition. He knew that although his outer self is wasting away, his inner self was being renewed day by day. The afflictions that affected his physical body were to prepare him for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. In faith, he could declare that what is seen are transient and what is unseen are eternal. So he looked to eternal things and not to transient things. This became his philosophy of life, living each day with strength despite of all the afflictions and troubles he had to face.
Faith directed Paul heavenward. He looked to his heavenly dwelling and despises his earthly home, i.e. his physical body. No longer putting his attention on the earthly tent, he than could focus more on the building from God, a house not made with hands and eternal in the heavens. The fear of death is then overcome as we refuse to worry about our temporal lives but look forward to our heavenly, spiritual bodies that we shall put on.
The result of faith is always courage to live this life, being able to see things clearly knowing that if we are at home in this world, we are away from the Lord. This also enables us to walk by faith, not by sight. When we have faith, we can please the Lord. One day, we all have to present ourselves before the judgment seat of the Lord and give an account of our lives on earth. Are you ready to meet the Lord? Do you have this spirit of faith in your thoughts, speech and deed?
Ps 96:7-13 Job 37:1-39:30 2 Cor 4:13-5:10 Prov 22:13