FAITH!

  • Happy…Sad
  • Rich…Poor
  • Big…Little
  • Bad…good
  • Faith…

Up until yesterday, my natural inclination would probably have been to fill in the blank with the word ‘FEAR’.  But my Greek Bible taught me something which totally stopped me in my tracks.  The most appropriate antonym for the word Faith, is not fear…

It’s SIGHT!

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things NOT SEEN

Hebrews 11:1

By faith, Noah, being warned by God about things NOT YET SEEN, in reverence, prepared an ark for the salvation of his household

Hebrews 11:7

For we walk by faith, NOT SIGHT – 2 Corinthians 5:7

2 Corinthians 5:7


In the absence of sight, faith gives me flight!

Seeing is NOT believing!  Oh no my friend, it’s quite the other way around!  

Image from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Faith is going, not knowing.  It steps out in the dark.  It leaps into the unknown.  It gets out of the boat and walks on water.  It says yes when everyone else is saying no.  It can part the red sea, it can move the mountains, it pleases God, it really, really pleases Him.  It turns the worrier into a warrior, the barren into the fruitful, the weak into the strong!  It’s the currency of heaven and it only operates in the absence of sight!

Then he said to Thomas, “reach here with your finger and see My hands, and reach here with your hand and put it into My side, and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus said to him, “Because you have SEEN me have you believed?  Blessed are they who did not SEE, yet believed!”

John 20:27-29

Oh, Lord increase my faith!



Psalms and Hymns and Teacups

-For a few years now, my sister Kerry has dreamt of opening up a tea-shop, serving delicious cream teas, coffee and cakes on vintage china.  This dream has become so vividly etched in her mind, that some time ago she began visiting auction houses and charity shops and collecting tea-sets.

Kerry has boxes and drawers literally crammed with all manner of teacups and saucers and side plates.  She has scoured the internet, and most of South East London, searching for that particular teacup to complete a set, and has become something of an expert on vintage china.  She has a natural eye for colour and interior design, as this photograph shows:,

Vintage Tea set

But the trouble with dreams such as this, is that so often they are very easy to carry in our hearts, but not quite so easy to carry out in reality.  They come with a cost.  So often, they require our time, our energy, our money and our committment – not to mention a fair amount of risk-taking.

But this is not the only dream that Kerry carries.  There is one that has lingered within her, in embryonic form, since she was a little girl.   Not only is Kerry mad about teacups, she is also a gifted musician and singer.   She learnt to play the piano and flute as a young child and for as long as I can remember has always had the most beautiful, pitch-perfect singing voice.

Around 10 years ago, a visiting speaker who had never met Kerry before, spoke a prophetic word over her, that she would be used by God to lead worship and write anointed worship songs.

The trouble with giftings and promises such as this, is that so often they require our courage and faith to step out and walk in them.  Kerry, although clearly gifted and called, constantly struggles to find the boldness to step into this anointing, particularly when it comes to leading worship.

Isn’t it interesting that God so often chooses people, like Gideon, hiding in the winepress, and Moses, a man slow of speech, for callings that seem so much bigger than themselves?

A few days ago, Kerry was out walking her two boisterous Beagles, Poppy and Daisy, in the local park.  As she walked, she poured her heart out to to Lord.  All these dreams – tea-shops and worship songs – lay heavily upon her heart.  She needed guidance and confirmation about her future.  Questions and doubts went round and round in her mind…Was her dream of opening a teashop ok with God, or was it just becoming a huge distraction?  Was she really called to write worship songs?  Was she even any good at writing songs?   She certainly didn’t feel spiritual enough to lead worship.  Surely she should be reading her bible and praying a whole lot more. ( I wonder how many people can relate to thoughts like these?!)

All of a sudden, her eyes were drawn to what looked like shredded paper strewn all over the grass ahead of her.  She went over to investigate.  On closer inspection, she realised that the shredded paper was in fact pages from a bible that must have been caught by a lawn-mower.

She reached down and picked up the most intact piece that she could find.

Kerry's Psalm

Of all the pages, in all the bible, she happens to stumble across a Psalm – a song written by the biblical King David, arguably the bible’s most well-known worshipper!  Coincidence?…I don’t think so.

“Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee!  

How amazing and wonderful is our heavenly Father?  How swiftly and amazingly He hears and answers our heart-felt prayers!  How lovingly He confirms His word to us – sometimes even in tangible ways: with a piece of shredded bible that you can literally pick up and read!

Okay, so Kerry still doesn’t know all the answers to all her questions concerning her future.  But she does know this:  God loves her enough to speak to her in such a personal way.  And even though she feels unqualified, He really does want her to write those worship songs!

If you’re in any doubt today that God has plans and purposes for your life – then I hope this story encourages you!  We have a wonderful, intimate Father, who knows each and every one of His children by name – who has good works that He has prepared for us in advance to walk in.  Life can be confusing at times – dreams and hopes can seem to lie dormant within us for years.  But at the right time, God is able to come along and breathe His life over these buried desires and fan into flame the gifts that He has placed within us!

Praise His Name!

 

 

 

 

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