Living by Faith

Living by Faith

by Sue Harris

Each of these devotional blogs entries is meant to be read on your own or if you have family or friends you live with, to be read together aloud. A suggestion  is to do this after you have dinner around the table together.  At the conclusion, please spend time in personal reflection or in sharing with one another your answers to the questions at the end. Be sure to conclude with prayer.

Read Matthew 6:25-34

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:30-34

            It was well after midnight.  My husband and I were sitting at the dining room table doing the only thing we knew to do–pray–believing God for a miracle.  The children were snuggled in their beds without a care in the world, unaware of what the morning would be like unless God intervened.  

God had started our “faith journey” in 1973 at a camp meeting (that’s a story for another time).  Little did we know then that it was in preparation for the challenges we would encounter in the very near future.  Just a few months previous, God had miraculously opened up the doors for us to follow His directive to enter the ministry by attending Nazarene Bible College.  From the moment we said “Yes, Lord,” our Christian walk took on a whole new meaning.  We learned quickly to live by faith and trust God.  God is our Source–not our job, not the government, nor man. 

            Earlier in the week we had attended Wednesday night service at church where a missionary spoke.  At the end of the service an offering was taken for the needs on the mission field.  The only money I had was some change in my pocket, just enough to do the kids’ laundry–diapers!  The voice of God nudged me: “Give it all.”  When the basket came around, I gulped, reached my hands in my pocket, and scooped up the little bit of change and dropped it into the basket.  When we got home I told Jerry what I had done–he smiled.  We knew we were walking on miracle ground, but had no idea of what that need might be.

            2 Corinthians 5:7  “For we live by faith, not by sight.”

            Holding hands tightly we fervently prayed.  We had fed the kids the last morsel of food in the apartment.   We had no food for the next morning. The cabinets were bare; not a can of soup, jar of peanut butter, slice of bread, or sip of milk.  Nor did we have any money to purchase any food, but we had a heavenly Father that we knew would take care of us. 

            With tears streaming down our faces we continued petitioning God.  In that desperate moment, we heard a knock at the door.  We looked at each other wondering why someone would be at our door in the wee hours of the morning.  As we opened the door,there stood a bible college student with two bags of groceries.  He quickly apologized for his late-night visit and started to turn away when Jerry ushered him in.  Jerry exclaimed, “Brother, you are our answer to prayer–God sent you here!”  We shared our story of how we had obediently given to the missionary offering and how God assured us He would meet our needs.

            Brother Solomon then explained he was in bed asleep and God woke him up.  God then told him to go to his kitchen where He directed Solomon as to what food to put into two grocery bags.  He went on to say that God informed him that we needed these bags of groceries and he was to deliver them now.  He argued with God at first and wanted to wait until morning.  In the end, Brother Solomon obeyed God, got into his car, and came to our apartment to deliver the food–bread, milk, peanut butter, eggs, cereal, and other necessary items.  We began to shout for joy.  God had miraculously answered our prayer! The three of us sat around the table for hours sharing our stories, praising God and celebrating His faithfulness due to our obedience. 

            The next morning as the kids were waking up our doorbell rang again.  When we opened it, there was a loaf of bread on our doorstep.  No note and nobody at the door.  It was God’s reminder that He was going to continue to take care of our family. 

            Although I will end this one chapter of living by faith, our journey didn’t end there.  God continues to work miraculously in our lives even today.  Our journey of faith that began 47 years ago continues even today as once again our family is wholly dependent upon God to supply our needs.

            Two lessons God taught us early in our Christian walk if we wanted to experience God’s blessings were:  1) God is our source and 2) Instant obedience. 

            One of the many stories that exemplifies these two principles that comes to mind is the story of how God supplied Elijah’s needs and then through obedience met the needs of a widow that Elijah was directed to by God. 

            Read the entire story in I Kings 17:1-24.   A key verse is this: “For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.”  In this story we witness God’s faithfulness as Elijah’s needs are met through his and the widow’s obedience.

Read the words below to the hymn  “Living By Faith”.  When we started our Journey of Faith this is the song God gave us as a theme for our walk.  As you read the words, allow God to speak to you about how He wants to provide for you.

Mark 11:22-24:  And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God…Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

PS:  And for added blessings in years to come – journal your walk of faith. 

Living by Faith
by James Wells and J.L. Heath 

I care not today what the morrow may bring,
If Shadow or sunshine or rain.
The Lord, I know, ruleth o’er everything,
And all of my worry is vain.

            Living by faith in Jesus above
            Trusting, confiding in His great love
            Safe from all harm in His sheltering arm,
            I’m living by faith and feel no alarm.

Tho’ tempests may blow and the storm clouds arise,
Obscuring the brightness of life,
I’m never alarmed at the overcast skies;
The Master looks on at the strife.

I know that He safely will carry me through,
No matter what evils betide.
Why should I then care, though the tempest may blow,
If Jesus walks close to my side?

Our Lord will return to this earth some sweet day;
Our troubles will then all be o’er.
The Master so gently will lead us away,
Beyond that blest heavenly shore.

            Living by faith in Jesus above;
            Trusting, confiding in His great love;
            Safe from all harm in His sheltering arm,
            I’m living by faith and feel no alarm.