How does God see your faith?

July 27, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

What are you the most confident of in this world?

What is it that makes you feel this confidence?

There are many things that are in this world that I am confident of, but everything that I am confident of are things that I can see, hear, feel and touch. Still, even these things can and do fail me. If you look at things in this manner, you could almost say that you are confident to a point, but what happens when that point is reached or you go beyond that point? For example, you are confident that the brakes on your car will help you stop, but what happens when someone pulls out in front of you and you physically can’t come to a stop?

In essence, everything in this world that we place our confidence in will at some point fail us!

Our health will deteriorate. Our strength and youth will leave us. Our homes will need repairs. Our cars will break down. Our relationships will be stressed and sometimes they will break. Even the things that we love the most in this world will eventually lose their luster.

But, . . .

If we place our faith in Jesus, we truly have the confidence in what we hope for. We have the assurance that even though we don’t see Him, He will return for us. We have the witnesses who recorded His life when He walked this earth. We have God’s promises that we can hold fast to.

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
(2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV))

Yes and Amen!

Positive affirmation and a resounding proclamation of “So let it be!” Human language can’t express the fullness, the completeness of our confidence in what we hope for in Jesus. We have assigned a very simple word to try to convey what we feel. That word is faith. I love how faith is defined for us in Hebrews 11:1, but do you have a personal definition of faith that you cling to in times of trouble? Perhaps it is beyond words.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
(Romans 8:26-27 (NIV))

There is something wonderful and powerful when you have the confidence and the assurance that the God of all creation can and does intercede for us through our wordless groans. Even when you can’t define it, God sees our faith!

How does God see your faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How is your hearing?

June 30, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
(Romans 10:17 (NKJV))

How did you come to faith in Jesus?

I realize that this is a rhetorical question, since someone had to tell you about the saving grace that could be yours through the atoning blood of Jesus. I do not know anyone who simply woke up one morning with a newfound faith in Jesus. I do realize that Jesus has made appearances to people in countries where the Gospel is banned, but even these newfound believers heard the Gospel before coming to faith.

In essence, someone had to share the Gospel in order for someone else to receive it! They had to explain that we are all born sinners and that the wages of sin is death. They had to explain that God loved the world and sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the price for our sins. Someone had to explain that because that price was paid by a sinless man, we have the ability to have our sins forgiven so that we can stand in God’s presence with our sin debt fully paid! That is how someone comes to faith in Jesus!

But, what is faith?

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV))

When you think of something of substance, you think of truth. You think of solidness. You think of something that is satisfying. When you think of evidence, you think of undeniable facts.

Another translation states it like this.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

When you think of confidence, you think of undeniable truth and strength. You might even say that it borders on assuredness. I love how this translation ties that together in the next part of the passage. We have assurance, a firm foundation built upon a promise, that what we believe is true.

Faith is built upon the hope that we have in Jesus. There is evidence to support what we profess. It is documented in the Gospels. It is documented by other historians. We are confident in what we profess. We have placed ourselves squarely and solely on the promises that God has given to us. We have a firm foundation with Jesus as our cornerstone!

How is your hearing?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you confident enough to be humble?

April 22, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.
(John 13:14 (NIV))

What is the most humbling thing that you have ever done?

Was it a voluntary action?

Imagine having so much confidence in who you are that you think nothing of doing what is considered to be the lowest legal task in society even though your position should dictate something far more fitting to your title.

That is exactly what Jesus did when He chose to wash the disciples feet. It was customary that a non-Jewish servant would be given this task for it was considered to be too low of a task for any Jewish person to perform, yet Jesus chose to do just that. From a worldly point of view, He was a Jew and this task was beneath Him. From a spiritual point of view, He was God with us and yet chose to be a servant to His creation. In other words, He willingly chose to humble Himself with multiple implications through this one act.

Do we truly understand just what Jesus did?

More importantly, do we truly understand what Jesus told us to do when He said that we should wash one another’s feet?

If you look at this just on the surface, the implications are not that bad. When you consider the time in history when this was said, you may come away with a different outlook. You may come away with a much better understanding. The common footwear was sandals. The common roadway was nothing more than dirt. This meant that a person’s feet were disgustingly dirty. Now you see why the task of washing feet was assigned to non-Jewish servants. If you look at this in context, we are called to help each other even if the things that a person needs help with are disgustingly dirty and looked upon by our society as a forbidden task.

What do you consider to be disgustingly dirty?

Adultery. Theft. Murder. Drug addiction. Alcoholism. Have I left anything out? Are these our society’s equivalent of washing feet? Are we willing to humble ourselves and help someone who is in need or are we still caught up in pride and legalism just like the Pharisees were?

Are you confident enough to be humble?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t ever forget it!

March 22, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
     whose confidence is in him.
(Jeremiah 17:7 (NIV))

Blessed?

Have you ever had a time, even though you trust in the Lord, where you feel that you are far from blessed?

Be honest with yourself. If you are human, then you have had many of those times. I know that I have.

It is human nature to feel rejected. It is human nature to dwell on the negative, and the negative times do happen to everyone. Jesus warned us about this.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

I want you to think back on the times when you did not feel blessed. What happened that made you feel that way? In all circumstances, it was probably an attack from someone or something in this fallen, sinful world. Did you lose your trust in the Lord or did you lose your confidence in Him? After the initial heartbreak, and, yes, that is a normal reaction, chances are that you came to the realization that God is still with you, that Jesus is still with you.

But take heart! I have overcome the world.
(John 16:33b (NIV))

These simple words should make us feel blessed even when we don’t feel blessed.

We are blessed because we have placed our faith and trust in the Lord. The enemy attacks us through things of this world. We begin to feel rejected. We begin to feel that we are not blessed. It is at these very moments in life when we must remember that Jesus came into this world, lived, died and was resurrected for moments like this. We can take heart, for He has overcome the world.

When we feel that we are not blessed is the time that we should remember the words from John 16:33. It is at these times that we have the biggest blessing. We have the reassurance that these moments will not defeat us. We have the promise that Jesus is still with us and that He is our salvation even when the world tries its best to destroy us.

Blessed?

You bet!

Don’t ever forget it!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you living by faith?

November 8, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

but my righteous one shall live by faith,
(Hebrews 10:38a (ESV))

Do you try to live by faith?

Everyone who professes a belief in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior prays that they can live by faith, but in order to live by faith, we must know what faith is.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
(Hebrews 11:1 (ESV))

Another translation words it like this.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

In essence, faith is confidence, assurance and conviction that what you profess to believe is true and then you act on it no matter what the circumstances are in the world. It requires that you believe that God is real. It requires that you believe that you are a sinner in need of a Savior. It requires that you believe that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. It requires that you believe that Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected on the third day. It requires you to believe that the only way to escape the punishment of sin is to call upon the name of Jesus. It requires that you believe that Jesus has the power to save, and it requires you to surrender your life to Jesus not only as Savior but also as Lord! It requires that you trust in the promises even though you cannot see them yet.

Can you do all of these with confidence, assurance and conviction?

Noah built an ark because he confident, assured and convicted.

Abraham went on a journey to an unknown destination because he was confident, assured and convicted.

Moses led the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt because he was confident, assured and convicted.

To simplify this, they lived by faith!

Are you living by faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you confident in your faith?

May 25, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
(Hebrews 4:16 (ESV))

How confident are you of your salvation?

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

Such confidence we have through Christ before God.
(2 Corinthians 3:4 (NIV))

The early church leaders knew that we should be confident in our faith. Those who wrote these words had either seen Jesus or they knew those who had witnessed the events that we now cling to as strategic moments of faith. They had witnessed the miracles and were confident in what they saw. They had witnessed the severity of the scourging and the crucifixion and were then completely overwhelmed by the resurrection! They had witnessed the ascension and were given the promise that He would return the same way He left.

Think about that for a moment.

If you had witnessed someone beaten so badly that he was not identifiable after the beating and then they were killed by crucifixion, how confident would you be that the person was dead? If you heard that he was buried, yet was alive again, would you question your confidence in what you had witnessed? What if you met that person and he spoke to you about the things that you had done together, would you be confident that it was the same person? What if that person showed you the scars? How confident would you be that this person had died, was buried and then rose again? If you had witnessed these things first hand, you would not be able to keep quiet about what you saw and what you know. You would proclaim it with complete confidence.

That is exactly what the disciples and the early church leaders did! They were so full of confidence that they told everyone the good news of Jesus.

Sometimes I think that we, as the modern church, have lost our confidence. We read the words and we watch reenactments, but do we truly comprehend what happened? If we did, I feel that we would be doing what the disciples and the early church leaders were doing. We would be telling everyone about Jesus. I feel that we couldn’t be made to be quiet. Even the threat of persecution or death would not detract from what we boldly and confidently proclaimed.

Take a serious look at your faith. Do you believe without any doubt? Do you fully understand what you profess to believe?

Are you confident in your faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you filled with confidence and assurance?

November 12, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

With everything that is going on in the world, we see countless things that go against everything that we hope for. We see so much that goes against what God calls righteous and good. It has come to a point that many may begin to wonder if they have misplaced their faith. It is so easy to become blinded to the truth if all that we focus on are the lies of the world!

I have found myself focusing on faith quite often lately. The topic comes to mind every time that I see more news about the current state of our nation and the world. I have to remind myself that even though God created this world, it has been turned over to sin and depravity. We may find fleeting glimpses of beauty, but the true beauty has long faded and deteriorated from what God first created. It is at these moments that I remind myself of the truth that we may live in this world but we are not of this world. We must never lose sight of this truth. We must forever keep our eyes fixed on Jesus!

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.
(1 John 2:15-16 (NIV))

What we are seeing is a direct result of the love of the world. Stand firm, for we are not of this world. Life is a gift. That gift was tarnished and corrupted. We may see hardships. We may even experience hardships, but we must remember that this physical world is not what is important. No matter what we may face in this world, what matters is that we keep our eyes focused on Jesus, for where we focus is where we get our strength.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
(2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NIV))

If we can stay focused on Jesus, then we can inherit His authority over the world.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
(John 16:33 (NIV))

Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
(1 John 5:5 (NIV))

Are you filled with confidence and assurance?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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It takes faith to turn to God and that pleases Him!

November 11, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
(Hebrews 11:6 (NIV))

I’ve read this particular passage many times and I thought that I understood it, but recently I had an epiphany. I had a new understanding of this passage and I don’t understand why the obvious had not made itself known to me before. It all starts with a fresh understanding of faith.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

Have you ever seen God? Are you confident that He exists? If you firmly believe that He exists, that is faith. In this physical world, it takes faith to even acknowledge that God exists. If you do not possess faith the size of a mustard seed, then it is impossible for your mind to even conceive of the idea of God. Faith is the key! Without faith, God doesn’t exist in your heart or in your mind. You have made a decision to shun the Creator of all things! That breaks the very heart of God, for He longs to draw each of us closer to Himself. It only takes a little faith to grow the idea that God is real. Once you have the faith to make this proclamation, you have taken the first step in your journey with the Lord. Each step of that journey draws you closer to the Lord and builds a stronger faith. It pleases the Lord when you draw closer to Him. It pleases the Lord as your faith matures.

How do you grow faith?

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
(Romans 10:17 (NKJV))

We must spend time daily in His Word, for His Word is His heart! When we know His Word, we know Him intimately.

Do you possess a faith that seeks intimacy with the Lord?

It takes faith to turn to God and that pleases Him!

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We must confidently cling to Jesus!

September 25, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
(Hebrews 10:35-36 (NIV))

Do you think of yourself as a confident person? Does this confidence extend to your hope and trust in Jesus?

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

In other words, do you think that your faith is solid? Are you still standing firm on the solid rock that is Jesus Christ?

With everything that the world has gone through, are you still able to proclaim your confidence and your faith in Jesus? I don’t profess to know everyone’s situation, but as for me, this year has been strange. Everyone in my family has faced something way beyond the ordinary from college classes from home, to quarantining, and even to a confirmed case. I see families that have been devastated. Unfortunately, I have seen lives lost. I have seen social unrest and violence that just doesn’t make sense. I have seen calls for the police to be defunded and then the very same people are complaining when no one responds to a 911 call. I have seen wars and rumors of wars, and perhaps the single most interesting thing that I have seen is a peace treaty between Israel and several Arab nations. On the surface, the peace treaty sounds wonderful, but, have you read anything about a peace treaty just like this in the Bible?

There is so much going on in the world. If you are not firmly rooted in God’s Word and understand God’s ultimate plan, then your confidence and faith can be seriously impacted. Your outlook is based on the events of the world from a human perspective and not from God’s perspective as laid out in His Word. If you are firmly rooted in God’s Word, then you understand that when you see these things unfolding, you will know exactly what to do.

There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
(Luke 21:25-28 (NIV))

I realize that there is some disagreement on these events, but lets take them at face value. There have been signs with eclipses, blood moons and what many are calling the Revelation 12 sign. In addition, we are seeing earth “near-misses” being reported and predicted. Nations are in anguish. People groups are in anguish. This year has seen more hurricanes than I can remember in one season, and it has just started. The only thing that I see that hasn’t come at us full force is the shaking of the heavenly bodies. Is it time to look up?

We have two basic reactions. We can look at the world and panic, or we can look at the world from a Biblical perspective no matter what we may face and faithfully and confidently proclaim that Jesus is Lord!

We must confidently cling to Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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How is your confidence?

August 5, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
(Hebrews 4:16 (NIV))

Today is not the time to be timid with your faith!

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

How is your confidence in what you profess to believe?

We are facing very unusual circumstances in today’s world. Many people believe that what we are seeing unfolding is what is foretold in the books of Revelation and Daniel. To be honest with you, there are so many evil things happening in the world during this time that it wouldn’t surprise me if we are seeing these things unfold. With this high possibility, I have one very important question for you to ask yourself.

If what we are seeing is what is foretold, will your confidence and faith bring you grace and mercy?

We have been given a blessed hope. That hope is firmly rooted in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We know that God has a plan of salvation. We know that God has a plan to defeat the enemy. We know how God’s plan unfolds, yet we fail to see the signs that say that it is unfolding.

He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
(Matthew 16:2-3 (NIV))

All through out this unusual year, I have heard numerous believers say that they wish things would get back to normal. They are planning for a return to what we used to know. They are either overlooking the idea that they will not return because they love the way things used to be more than they love the Lord, or they are too afraid to admit that they don’t know enough about what the Lord has told us. Either way, they are looking at the world and placing their hope in man and the creation instead of placing their hope and confidence in the Creator.

We have been given an insight. We know who wins. We should be confident of that as we face the hours, days and months ahead. There is a saying that comes to mind. “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.” As we face the future, we must face it with confidence in the One who holds the future.

How is your confidence?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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