Girlfriends in God - Oct. 1, 2009

October 1, 2009 
Changing Fear to Faith 
Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth 
"I know whom I have believed and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day" (1 Timothy 1:12 NIV).  

Friend To Friend 
We all have times when our faith begins to waver and doubts creep in like slow growing moss.  Even Jesus' cousin, John the Baptist had a bout with doubt.  Remember John? He was born several months before Jesus for the sole purpose of preparing the way for Jesus' ministry.  "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near," he proclaimed.  When Jesus approached John preaching and baptizing by the river, John announced, "Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29).  John heard the voice of God saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17).

And yet, when John was arrested and sat alone in the darkened prison cell, doubts began to creep in. He sent two of his friends to ask Jesus, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" (Luke 7:18).

Jesus did not rebuke John for his bout with doubt, but rather reassured him to have faith and cling to the truth.

Faith is trusting God's heart when we can't trace His hand. 

For close to a year, I worked on a large needlepoint piece.  I must say, the canvas turned out quite lovely.  But if you turn it over and look at the backside, it looks like a mess of tangles, knots and frayed ends.  That's the way it is with our lives at times.  We tend to look at the underside of tangles, knots and frayed ends, while God sees the finished product.  Consider the words to this anonymous poem quoted by Corrie Ten Boom in her book, Tramp for the Lord.

My life is but a weaving, between my God and me,
I do not choose the colors, He worketh steadily, 
Oftimes He weaveth sorrow, and I in foolish pride
Forget He see the upper, and I the underside. 
Until the loom is silent, and shuttles cease to fly, 
Will God unfold the canvas and explain the reason why. 
The dark threads are as needful in the skillful Weaver's hand, 
As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.

If ever there was a woman who had a messy life, it was Rahab.  Rahab was a prostitute who lived in one of the apartments built into the walls of Jericho.  When Joshua sent two spies into the city to scope out their enemies, the men went to Rahab's home.  Jericho was a bustling city and it was not uncommon for travelers to seek the house of a prostitute for lodging.

Rahab did not have the luxury of being taught the Scriptures as we do today.  And yet, she had faith in God because of what she had heard.  When the king's men came looking for the Israelite spies, she hid them under stalks of flax on the roof.  Rahab lived among people who were filled with fear because of the reputation of the Israelites and their God. But rather than being filled with fear, she made a proclamation of faith:

"I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.  We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt and what you did to Sihom and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.  When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone's courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.  Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you" (Joshua 2: 9-12).

Rahab turned her fear into faith.  Her proclamation of faith saved her and her family, and they were assimilated into God's chosen people.  Amazingly, Rahab became the mother of Boaz, the grandmother of Jesse, and the great-great-grandmother of King David and her tiny branch is even part of Jesus' family tree.

I love this inscription posted at Hind's Head Inn in Bray, England: "Fear knocked at the door.  Faith answered.  No one was there."

Fear comes knocking with a thought.  Faith answers with a word … God's Word.  As Martin Luther wrote in his masterful "A Mighty Fortress is our God …"One little word shall fail him."  The very name of Jesus will defeat the devil and drive away fear.

Let's Pray 
LORD, You are my light and my salvation…whom shall I fear?  You are the stronghold of my life…of whom shall I be afraid? I am surrounded by a host of angels who are here to deliver me from harm. You are my refuge and strength, my ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore I will not fear, but put my trust in You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Now It's Your Turn 
Today's prayer came from several of David's Psalms.  Look up the following Scripture and see what you can learn about David's source of courage and confidence. 

Psalms 27

Psalms 34:7

Psalms 46

Psalms 91

More From The Girlfriends 
Are you in need of a faith-lift?  Then Experience the Ultimate Makeover might be just the book to strengthen your faith.  Here you'll learn more about how to trust in God during difficult times.  You'll also learn more about who you are and what you have as a child of God and co-heir with Christ. Open the pages and come to God's Spa for a beauty treatment with lasting results.

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Originally published Thursday, 01 October 2009.