April 10, 2014

“But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does good works, this person will be blessed in what he does.” – James 1:25

Recently, I was reminded of a familiar story about a young man who went on a hike in the middle of winter He came to a river that appeared to be frozen, but since he was unfamiliar with the area, he had no idea how thick the ice was. Naturally he was afraid that if he were to walk out on the ice he might fall through. Remembering what he was taught by his father in these situations he laid down on his stomach and slowly began to inch his way out onto the ice.

When he had pulled himself near the middle of the river, he heard and felt a rumbling sound draw closer and closer and became terrified thinking the ice was giving way.  Suddenly, a wagon with four horses at a full gallop shot over the crest of the riverbank, thundered across the frozen river, then disappeared over the ridge on the other side. And there he was, lying cautiously face down on the ice, feeling a bit foolish.

Bottom line, it’s difficult to trust something we don’t know much about.  This man had difficulty trusting the ice because he didn’t know much about the river he was crossing.  But it really isn’t surprising that he felt this way. It would have been stupid if he had walked up to an unfamiliar frozen river and confidently stepping on to it out on ignoring past instruction. Actually, that would make him a fool.

So it is with so many things in life.  New relationships, first job, marriage, first baby …so unfamiliar, so careful! The Bible is no different, the reason it feels so unfamiliar to most people is because the majority of people take the approach of the casual hiker, not the seasoned wagoner! Nothing builds confidence and faith –

Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another, showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way.” – 2 Timothy 3:16

God’s Word makes a huge difference in the life of those who will take the time to look intently!  Here are five things the bible suggests as legitimate ways to increase our confidence in times of uncertainty.

Mark 9:23 – Believe: All things are possible to him who believes.
Romans 8:28 – Love: All things work together for good to those who love God.
Romans 8:31 – Know: Know that God is for YOU!
Philippians 4:13 – Christ: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
I John 4:4 – Overcome: He who is in you is greater than he that is in the world!

*Note: Some of the above excerpts are from the book: “Is Christianity for You?”