I'm still thinking about the last devotional I posted that included the thought that it's trials and hardships that test our faith and help it to mature. Faith that continually needs miracles and "answers to prayer" to thrive, and wilts when our world turns upside-down, would cause us to pause and consider: "Is our faith is in some sort of "heavenly Santa Claus" who exists to grant our wishes and make life easy for us?"
Jesus told the crowd asking for more signs and wonders, "A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign," (Matthew 16:4) True faith in God is faith in His character, belief that He knows what is best and has all things under control -- even when life seems unfair and everything comes crashing in on us. Confidence in the God of the Bible says with Job (13:15), "Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;" because our faith is not in someone who promises an easy, pain free life; but in a Savior who guarantees forgiveness of sin, grace, mercy, strength, and eternal life to those who trust Him.
Faith is not just a belief, it's also an action -- read Hebrews 11 (the faith chapter). Each person mentioned there exercised their faith by doing something. They didn't always see or understand the ways of God, but they went about life acting on His promises, obeying His commands, and living lives that were pleasing to Him even in the face of persecution. This line from vs 39 stands out to me, "These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised," They walked, overcame, and persevered by faith (all actions); even when they didn't see a miracle or answer to prayer! That's what true faith looks like!
When I remember these things, it changes the way I pray because I'm less apt to just ask for what I want or think is best, and more inclined to actually seek for God's will to be done in my life and the lives of others.
For this week's paper bag journal layout I used designer paper and journaling cards from the beautiful Graphic 45 Bird Watcher set. I love that both the paper and the journal cards are double sided, it gives you twice as many options!
I made the main page interactive with flaps to lift that reveal faith Scriptures underneath, and also created a matching insert (with a tab pull) for the pocket which includes the text of this post.
Supplies from the Stamp Simply Ribbon Store:
- Bird Watcher Paper Pad (Graphic 45)
- Bird Watcher Journaling Cards (Graphic 45)
- Faith Sentiments Stamp Set
- Pastor & Ministry Appreciation Scripture Sentiments
- Versafine Clair Nocturne Ink
- Labels Dies (Sizzix - Tim Holtz)
- Washi Tape
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