Our Faith

 

I know that there are many of you who have already experienced something very similar to what we are going through. You may even be experiencing it right now. And if not you, someone you are very close to and care very much about may be. So in your case I am preaching to the choir as the old saying goes.

We have already had some previous discussion with regards to a couple of attitudes I have been convicted of, two of which I labeled Our Trust and Our Thanks. One of the first reactions we have when something like this occurs is to hang on to the question, why me? This leads us to the realization that we are no better than anyone else so we must trust that God has something in store for us. For me this led to another revelation about myself that I didn’t realize was as bad as it was. I just thought I was truly thankful but the circumstances that have come my way proved that was not as thankful for the simple things as I should be. And this is where we left off last week.

Tonight I want to consider another topic which actually has both trust and thanks woven all through it. I want to consider Our Faith. This is an all encompassing subject because there are so many atttributes and parts to it that makes it almost impossible to wrap it up in a neat ball. But if we go back to the original definition found in God’s Word and use it for our basis, I think we can understand how fundamental it is to what and who we really are. Faith is; the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. We’ve read and heard these words many times through the years but I’m not sure that we understand the significance of them. Hebrews chapter 11 calls out a number of the past heroes of the faith and you find one thing in common among all of. They believed God! And their faith was counted as righteousness on their behalf.

But the question that arises for us becomes “how do we hold on to our faith during the times of dark trouble? Well, after trying to answer that question in many ways such as reading books, talking to others that think they have the answer, and even looking for some new revelation in God’s Word. I know that we are justified by faith and we are to live by faith and not by sight. These are certainly fundamentals of our faith. But can we sum it up in just a few words? Yes and here they are. Believe God!. It is that simple, just believe God. Believe what He said, believe what He did. Believe the promises that He has given us. Just believe God!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Thanks

Last week we began a discussion about the things that God teaches us during times of difficult circumstances. We began the series talking about our failures to trust Him in all things. Sometimes we deceive ourselves into believing that we are trusting Him when really we are still placing too much emphasis on what we can do. But He eventually brings us to a point that we realize we can do nothing without Him, if we continue to yield to His will. Tonight, I want to consider the subject of Our Thanks.

Last year we were in the Smokey Mountains with some dear friends and the girls were shopping in some of the quaint gift shops that you find everywhere there. I walked into one of the shops that specializes in making wood signs with inscriptions on them and as I was looking around I saw a sign up on the top shelf in the corner of the shop. This one particular sign caught my attention by the words inscribed on it. It read like this. “What if you had awakened this morning to only those things you had thanked God for yesterday?” I stood there a minute to contemplate what I had just read and suddenly there was a panic that swept across me because of the impact it had just made on my mind and heart. Wow! Could I even remember what I thanked Him for that morning or was it like it is some mornings, just a matter of routine and repetition from the previous day or earlier in the week? And there I stood with another day in front of me with everything God had blessed me with and continues to do so in spite of my own self. I made my mind up right then that I would thank Him every morning for those that I love and those precious treasures He has given me and then all of the other things he blesses me with for my own pleasure. But most of all for His precious gift of salvation.

Sometimes, and probably more oft than not, our expressions of thanks are very slim and shallow and we just go on about our business without giving Him a second thought. May God help us!!!

Our Trust

My thanks to everyone for giving me an opportunity to take a break for a few weeks and rest up for what is ahead for me. I’ll start by giving you an update on my situation and what is possibly coming up. I will then begin the Saturday Evening Post anew with covering some topics that have been on my mind over this past year or so.

After spending another week at MD Anderson Clinic in Houston having additional tests  mostly in the cardiac area, more blood work, and then a needle biopsy performed on a small lesion that was also discovered on my left adrenal gland. This was to determine if the lesion was benign or malignant. On Friday of last week we discovered that it also was malignant and therefore forced the cancer to be classified as stage 4. And this helps to determine what the chemo treatment plan should be. There is also something that is being researched right now with this rather rare type of cancer. The tissue from the original tumor that is the main source of the cancer. If they find a certain DNA Marker that is only found in this cancer type . If they find in the tumor they have developed a pill treatment that will stop the cancer in its track and it cannot grow any more this main lead to surgical removal in the tumor can be decreased in size with some radiation and chemo.

So here is where we are. We are in town and have started a radiation therapy tremens plan that will continue for 3 weeks. This is being done at the Alliance Radiation Center and being under the direction of Dr. Stanley Clarke. My oncologist, Dr. George Simon, at MDA has recommended this while he continues a very detailed molecular study of the tissue removed from the adrenal gland. This gives us the best chance to have the best chemo plan to put into place. We will return to MD Anderson on September 24, 2019 to get all of the results and the treatment plan he has designed for my situation. I just want you to know that God has been with us through every step we totally trust he is in control. My prayer is that God gets all of the glory for what is going on in our lives.

Now to our topic for this evening. It doesn’t take long when you suddenly are faced with a very difficult set of circumstances that you begin to recognize that God is about to teach you some very important truths through those circumstances and ultimately from His Word. So, as we are facing this some of those things at this point in our life it is our time to learn and pass on what God is teaching us. Tonight we will start with this: Our Trust.

When all of this cancer ordeal began to happen, I remained deaf to the real signs that there was something serious happening. I took the easy way out and assumed that I had a pulled muscle from doing storm damage cleanup at my house and on top of that convinced my regular doctor that ‘s probably what it was. And there could also have been other signs before then that I did not share with my doctors that could have been recognized by the doctors. So what was my problem? Why did I refuse to tell the other doctors everything I knew? Here it is; I hadn’t been trusting God like I should. I was allowing pride to overshadow my faith.  My prayer had slipped a little bit along with my daily bible study. To sum it up, I was not where I needed be in my walk with the Lord. But I thank God that when one of His children begins to stray He begins to convict us to the point we understand our failure. We can then sincerely confess our sin to Him with a broken heart. He then forgives us of all unrighteousness and restores our fellowship with Him. He keeps every promise He has ever made to us so we can truly trust Him. And in difficult times we need to stop and make sure where we stand with Him. In my case I didn’t do this alone. I also have some very close Christian friends that held the light for me to see my way back and they had no idea they were doing so. I pray that I never find myself in that place again. I have my total trust in Him and I know that there is nothing too hard for  my God.

I look forward to doing a new post next week where I can share something again that God has taught me through this difficult time. To God be the glory!