Kathy Bernard - Publisher

“Fear may tell you that you can’t, but faith tells you that you can” Unknown

I remember meeting by chance an older lady who later became a very dear friend of mine.  When I saw her I noticed she was wearing the most beautiful diamond ring on her finger so I asked her about it.   “ It is a fake”, she replied laughing hilariously, “you can buy one at the drug store where I work for only $25.00.”  As time went by, I got to know her and she told me she lived alone and was always watchful of people she did not know.  She later confided the ring was the real thing and we had a good laugh.  Her faith in me as a good person and worthy of her trust, such simple perceptions, was a heartwarming connection.  For many years, she was one of my best friends, and we found ourselves going from her apartment to my house, getting into “trouble” by buying silly little trinkets on impulse and laughing about them later.  There were also the big life things we soberly talked about and shared and soon she became like my mother and my confidant; becoming all the things that make up a true and precious human relationship.  We shared dreams and hopes, always willing to spend serious time discussing things that lay heavy on our hearts; worries about family and other personal issues.  When we left each other after our visits we were better for the time together. Sadly she is gone now, struck down by old age and infirmity.  But I will always remember the basic human faith we had in each other.

Now the faith we have in Jesus Christ is even more precious.  It is our personal expression of trust and dependency on Him, which transcends all human friendship.  We know what He did for us was sufficient to pay the penalty for our earthly sins and He goes a full step further by offering His hand to help us on our perilous journey through life.  In turn we give Him our faith because we feel confident He will never disappoint or let us down.

Sometimes this faith becomes shaky and we resort to trying to repair our lives our own way.  We simply are afraid to just depend on our faith and we worry needlessly, never seeing beyond the hardships to ask for God’s help.  Only when we fail in our efforts to make things right do we, in a last ditch effort turn to Jesus.

It is time for us to stop focusing on our problems and start building faith in Jesus Christ.  In the gospel St. Mark 4:35-40 it tells us a story of the disciples who forgot their faith when their boat came into trouble even with Jesus there.   They forgot about the mighty power of the One Who was right there in the boat with them.  St. Mark reads ‘the disciples took Jesus along in a boat as He was.  And other little boats were also with Him.  And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.  But Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a pillow.  And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”  Then He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace be still!” and the wind ceased and there was a great calm.  Jesus Said  “Why are you so fearful?  How is it that you have no faith?”  If our Lord can get the wind and sea to obey Him as it did in the bible, how is it that we do not have faith in what He can do for us?  Why are we fearful?

Okay, so what is faith?  To define faith the bible tells us it is the substance of things hoped for, when there is no evidence to be seen.  It means that although we cannot see the One we have faith in, through faith we believe, through trust we follow.  “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”  2Corinthians 5:7 tells us.  As Christians our faith is daily being put to the test as we face challenges, problems, and obstacles.   But “without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to Him must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews11:6.   If we believe, we become dependent on His promises because as Christians we are in His friendship.

Lest we forget, faith can only be strengthened through challenges.  If we do not face trying circumstances, we cannot test the faith that we profess to have.  Unless we can experience what it is like to be dependent on the Father, we many times forget His great power and our faith then remains weak with no hope of increasing.  The bible tell us our faith must be tested over and over during our lifetime until we measure up to what God requires of us.  If we want to strengthen our faith, we must look at each struggle we face as spiritual growth. 

If we carefully examine ourselves, how real and how strong is our faith?  In Saint Timothy, Chapter 4: 7 Paul eloquently tells us: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”  How many of us can say these truths with sincerity?  Jesus said to His disciples in Luke 17:5 when they asked Him to increase their faith, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea, and it would obey you.”   Then through prayer we can confidently ask God to increase our faith in Him, knowing that through the trials we face we are being tested and strengthened more and more in our beliefs because each pitfall makes us stronger.  It is God’s way of multiplying our faith in Him.

If we can hold on when miseries and misfortunes of this life come our way, if we can finish the work God has set out, if we can undergo the divine necessities required of us, we will pass our test of faith. When we lean and depend on the Lord through faith, trials and tribulations will give way to joy, peace and power.  The suffering in this life will make us more steadfast in our trust in eternal God.  We must hold tight to our unwavering faith in an everlasting power for someday we will be able to truly say, “I have gone through the fires of doubt and uncertainty and the flames of insecurity.  Like water that has been heated to the boiling point to get rid of all impurities, I have been purified by God’s test of adversity and torment.  I, like Paul, through God’s grace and mercy will have finished the race and kept the faith."   

 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; “it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”  Romans 2:8  


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