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The rewards of faith
This morning brought a gift to some of us. Normally common-place on the West Coast, rain didn’t reign this year! As thousands of acres of forest have been consumed this summer by drought, much prayer has ascended to God in the form of pleas for rain. We actually had a bit last night, not nearly enough to turn our grass green again, but we had rain. I hesitate to say much about causes and conclusions, given the reality of climate change, but in so many sectors of life, God often graciously intervenes in difficult circumstances.
Here’s a great illustration: “One day John Wesley was walking with a troubled man who expressed his doubt as to the goodness of God. He said, “I do not know what I shall do with all this worry and trouble.”
At the same moment Wesley saw a cow looking over a stone wall. “Do you know,” asked Wesley, “why that cow is looking over the wall?”
“No,” said the man who was worried.
Wesley said, “The cow is looking over the wall because she cannot see through it. That is what you must do with your wall of trouble—look over it and avoid it….”
(Source: Knight’s Master Book of New Illustrations, Walter B. Knight)
I recall as a young person some preachers lured people into trusting God for rewards. There were those who proclaimed that good health, satisfying relationships, monetary prosperity and all other good things automatically came along with serving Christ. Oh yes, those benefits also required one condition: sending those folks regular and generous offerings. Thankfully I also learned as a young person that Scripture has something very different to say.
Faith isn’t pretending that problems don’t exist, it isn’t trying to bargain for what we want, it’s believing God to be with us in all circumstances.
Aug. 9, 2021