[CF Devotionals] 2019-05-15 - Faith Not Fleeting

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During the dormant winter season, we sometimes forget the beauty of the ornate aspects of creation. While there are natural mechanical aspects of pollination and growth, it is also a reminder of the renewing of life. Life in the finite bodies we inhabit has seasons, just as nature presents itself in a metaphorical parallel. First it is presented with newness of emerging bright and new, then growth and maturity into fruit-bearing and flowering ornamental vascular plants. Also, many plants will disburse seed to further later growth of new generations when theirs is gone, and then will come the later stage of their time, as in leaves changing color, Then they will wither before finally dropping back into the dirt as compost, to refurbish the soil for next season, leaving trees dormant and annual flowers compost. We, too, have our seasons - yet also an opportunity to continue to renew and build our faith, even when physically we feel as though we are experiencing fleeting aspects of being in these temporal bodies. The fleeting aspects can distract us from the eternal.

We, too, can see how life has many fleeting aspects when we are around long enough to be part of those changes. Just look in the mirror at the age of twelve, then later at twenty-one and then again at fifty years of age - and fleeting beauty is clear. But the verse in Proverbs 31:30 goes on to talk about what is most important - fear (to revere; #3372 prime root yare, Hebrew word from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). Reverence builds obedience and strengthens faith. As children, we are often taught the value of rules, obedience, and how in the long run it builds character and encourages cooperation with others. This foundation for peace of mind is often confusing in this world, as the thinking of worldly values has little to do with faith, fairness and truth - and is more about immediate satisfaction. In ways I never expected, truth unclouded by selfish motivation, as found in God’s word, added depth to what I had already learned while growing up. The idea that I would be loved, protected, and given promises that could in no way be broken seemed impossible. In many ways, I felt loved by family and friends, yet the world has this way of beating you down, even when faith seems unshakeable. Family and friends can die unexpectedly, parents divorce, jobs change, people make bad decisions, natural disasters happen, car wrecks change lives, and at some point, we all meet our maker. For the most part, we live in the fleeting moments right now. The book of Job is - to me - highly focused on human frailty and how difficult it is to remain faithful to our creator due to our own lack of understanding, even with the best of intentions (If you want to be reminded of God’s strength as opposed to ours, I encourage you to check out Job chapters 38-40, after God has said nothing while Job and all the others ramble on for the first thirty-seven chapters,). Very often, we must be humbled to the point of complete weakness before realizing healthy fear or reverence is what sets us on a good path. But if we choose an upright path God sets for us, he will guard and protect us in ways we do not expect, because of our faith not being like a fleeting moment. He wants to delight in us and wants to share his delight with us. Are you delighting God with your faith and trust in Him? Do you find strength and delight in his commands, precepts, and instruction as you journey? Flowers are not beautiful and blooming all year-round, but there is purpose to each part of their existence. How do you find purpose in less beautiful moments? Seek Him faithfully, and he will make you an heir of righteousness through whatever gifts he has given to you. His promises are not fleeting, but everlasting. 😊 We should aspire and be inspired by his faithfulness.

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30 NIV)

“He holds success in store for the upright,   he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just   and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just   and fair—every good path.” (Proverbs 2:7-9 NIV)

This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.” (Zechariah 8:7 NIV)

“…let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,” Hebrews 10:22-24 NIV)

“Though I am lowly and despised,   I do not forget your precepts. Your righteousness is everlasting   and your law is true. Trouble and distress have come upon me,   but your commands give me delight.” (Psalm 119:141-143 NIV)

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” (Hebrews 11:6,7 KJV)

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All scripture references from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted


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