Greetings and good morning brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we will ponder our lives as we take the step of faith.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Step of Faith
“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John, Chapter 14, Verse 27.
Brothers and sisters, in today’s broadcast we consider the step of faith. "Let not your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself that where I am you may also be. And you know the way where I am going."
The world is full of trials and tribulations. There are wars and rumors of wars. There is poverty and famine. We are beset with every form of hatred, bigotry, and cruelty. On a personal level, we are beset by families in conflict-mothers against fathers, sons against daughters, and various combinations thereof. Before our eyes, we see losses of every kind, ranging from the death of a loved one to the death of a dream. And all of this is cemented together with fear.
Every day we see evidence of our own mortality, another wrinkle, perhaps another grey hair, declining body functions. We are all familiar with the saying: We cannot do what we use to do the way we use to do it. Every day we hear of someone being killed, snuffed out of existence by a senseless act. And of course there are the ever present funerals. And we shout out at the top of our voices, why? Somewhere deep down inside our souls, we think we perceive an answer, but the loud voice of agony drowns out any possible conscious answer as we refuse to be comforted.
Finally a sort of indifference begins to set in, a resignation of a sort to a seemingly cruel and impersonal world. Defeat. And we wonder where is God that allows all of this, while at the same time paying tribute to this same God. Is there any hope for happiness in the midst of sorrow?
But brothers sisters, we should be comforted, even though in this world, we shall have tribulations. We should be of good cheer when we consider the good news. Jesus Christ, the Son of God lived the very life that you and I are required to live. He suffered, struggled, and died just like you and I must. But he said to be of good cheer because he has overcome the world. He teaches us though him to overcome the world also. He taught us that by submitting ourselves to the Father’s will, that we could have peace, joy, and righteousness. By believing in him, we can be born again and enter the heavenly Kingdom while still living the life in the flesh. By striving to do the Father’s will, that is to be perfect even as he is perfect, we can acquire a righteous character. We can have hope in the face of material despair; joy in the face of material sorrow, and peace in the midst of material turmoil. By loving one another as he loves us, we can have all of these spiritual qualities of the fruit of the spirit.
By doing the Father’s will, we gain spiritual insight into the purpose of life. Consider this spiritual explanation of life: Life is a series of problems. The problems start out simple, and become more complex as we learn to master the preceding ones. We have all come to realize that anything worthwhile requires effort and struggle. Without effort and struggle there is no appreciation of spiritual value, and neither is there any comprehension of spiritual meanings. Therefore there is no spiritual growth.
The life that we find ourselves forced to live is not designed to defeat and frustrate us, but rather an opportunity for growth and self actualization. Life is designed to give us strong robust characters, to teach us what really has value, to teach us that the most important goal in our life is to find God, and having found him to strive to be like him.
We develop faith by overcoming trials and tribulations. Life gradually strips us of all things material, and all selfish possessions, be they cherished ambitions, loved ones, or a healthy youthful body. Life unfailingly reveals what really is important. The only thing that remains after material life has run its course is the love of God or extinction, oblivion.
While we struggle in this life, let us not forget the previous battles that we have won. Let us take comfort in the truth that all things work together for good for those who love God. The act is ours, the consequence God's, and God has decreed that all consequences shall work together for goodness. There are many different things that happen in our lives that are difficult or impossible of understanding. But there is an explanation even if it does lie beyond the power of our present understanding.
As God said to Job, "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding? What determined its measurements? Surely you know. Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together, and all the Sons of God shouted for joy?" My friends, brothers and sisters, happiness and peace of mind lies in the technique of faith realizing the over control of all things, and in the persistent position in every crisis of life, "Not my will, but Your will be done."
This concludes today's message on taking the step of faith. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.