Thursday, October 05, 2006

Faith, the Crown Jewel

"Don't forget to remember" goes the lyrics of some country song. Jesus reminded Peter that although Satan desired to sift him as wheat, he had prayed that his faith would not fail.

Sifting comes in its many forms, some subtle and almost unnoticed, while other enormous pressures and distractions barge in and would seem to overwhelm us. Evidently the most important thing about those storms is not the storm, but faith. The Lord himself prayed on our behalf not that we could side-step the storms, but that the centerpiece of our new nature, our faith, would not be forgotten, but stand strong in the face of adversities.

Our faith is not exactly ours however. It is a gift produced by God's grace. "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." His grace awakened us from our deadened state of trespasses and sins, and produced within us our desire for Christ.

It was the quickening of his Spirit that then jolted us out of darkness into his marvelous light. The prayer of faith was the result of God's working in us. So faith is that crown jewel planted within us by God himself, the trying of which becomes more precious than gold. Peter warns us not to be upset at firey trials, but to expect them. God gives faith, allows it to be tested, often by fire, and then strengthens it! Faith sees the Saviour inspite of the storm, and even instead of the storm!

Imagine, our very Creator looking directly into our eyes and earnestly encouraging us by name. "I have prayed for you that your faith fail not." Faith isn't just for ourselves, for next he says, "when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."

That still small voice in the midst of the storm reminds us: Don't forget to remember your faith.

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