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Most of us understand that we cannot be saved without faith. But we may sometimes fail to include in our faith everything that ought to be there. We might need to say the same thing to God that a certain man said to Jesus: "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mk. 9:24 NKJV).
For one thing, faith means trusting God's faithfulness. That is to say, faith involves a trust (on our part) that God (on His part) will do everything He has ever promised. We must not only accept God's dependability as an intellectual proposition, but we must actually depend on God in the practical way we live our lives. Peter wrote to saints who were suffering hardship for their faith: "Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good" (1 Pt. 4:19). Jesus Himself did this very thing. When He faced difficulty, He "continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly" (1 Pt. 2:23).
Our trust should rest firmly on God's trustworthiness, i.e., His worthiness to be trusted. Moses described God as the God who can be trusted when he said, "Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations" (Deut. 7:9).
Too often our faith in God resides only in our head and not in our heart. Intellectually, we believe the arguments for God's existence are convincing, but sometimes our belief doesn't give us the confidence in God we ought to have. Do we really believe what we say we believe? If so, we need to work on internalizing that faith, making it real in the everyday realm of our words and deeds. Our faith needs to grow beyond mere belief and become real trust in God.
This week, let's seek to learn more of God's trustworthiness and train ourselves to rest in that trustworthiness. Throughout history God has shown that He keeps His word, and He has promised that the painful, difficult history of this world will one day culminate in the glorious victory of truth and right. We need to believe that and let it guide our thoughts and actions. God can be counted on not only to provide our individual needs, but to direct the affairs of nations toward the goal He has purposed for the world. May we trust in the God who changes not -- and teach our children to trust Him too!
Monday: Hebrews 11:1-7
Key Idea: We must believe that God really will reward those who seek Him.
Questions for Family Growth: What does faith have to do with "things hoped for" and "things not seen"? What does it mean that we must "believe" that God exists and that He rewards those who seek Him? Does "faith" mean we can't really be sure that God exists?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 18:17.
Tuesday: Hebrews 6:13-20
Key Idea: The certainty of God's promise is what gives us hope.
Questions for Family Growth: What should serve as the "anchor" of our souls? What does "sure and steadfast" mean? How can we be sure God will keep His promises to us? Has He kept His promises in the past?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 18:18.
Wednesday: 1 Corinthians 10:12,13
Key Idea: God will never allow us to face temptations that are too great for us.
Questions for Family Growth: What does it mean to "take heed" lest we fall? What should our attitude be toward temptation? If we know God is faithful to us, what difference should that make when we are tempted?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 18:19.
Thursday: 2 Timothy 1:8-12
Key Idea: God is able to keep safe everything we entrust to Him.
Questions for Family Growth: What are some of the things Paul had suffered for Christ's sake? Why did he say he was "not ashamed"? What did Paul say he was convinced that God would do? What is the "Day" spoken of here?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 18:20.
Friday: 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
Key Idea: We can count on God always to help us.
Questions for Family Growth: What did Paul want his brethren to pray on his behalf? In v.3, what does it mean that the Lord is "faithful"? Also in v.3, what two things did Paul say God would do for the Christians in Thessalonica? What was Paul's prayer in v.5?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 18:21.