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 seek to understand how faith stabilizes us.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Stabilization of Faith
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it, the elders obtained a good report." Hebrews Chapter 11, Verses 1 and 2
Brothers and sisters, this morning we shall see how faith stabilizes us. As we continue our journey through life, we soon leave the smooth seas of ease and enter the rough seas of difficulty. Sometimes these seas are so turbulent and the waves so forceful and high, they soon overwhelm us. During these times, we need stability. During these times, it is extremely difficult for the mind to recall the many truths that we have gathered during times of smooth sailing.
And though we may not be consciously aware, times of great adversity are times of great revelations of truth. When we are in such a storm, our vision becomes cloudy and we cannot see our way. From the material mind’’s point of view, we don’’t know which direction we are heading. We can’’t tell north from south or east from west. We are adrift on the whirling currents of life, and the mighty waves of trouble constantly submerge us. We need stability.
The struggle seems relentless, and we wonder if we will ever clear the raging storms of life. We pray and pray, seeking deliverance. We seek an answer, but our emotions have seized our minds by the throat and have drowned out the conscious merciful assurances from the Father. Day in and day out, we continue with the struggle, being repeatedly submerged under the waves of tribulations. We hear at first the faint knocking of despair at the door of our souls, and then the knocking gets louder and louder, threatening to break down the door of goodness. As the knocking of despair grows in intensity, we intensify our petitions to the Father, which by now having taken on a tone of frank desperation. And we seek and seek and knock and knock on the door of mercy, seeking an entrance, seeking a safe harbor from the storms of life.
During brief moments of clarity, we recall from some very distant place in our minds that he promised to be with us. We recall that he said, ““let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”” ““Be of good cheer.”” ““I have overcome the world.”” ““Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give your rest.”” I am able to finish that work in you that I started.
We try to magnify the meanings of these promises and grasp them like a drowning man grasping at straws. But still the storms rage on and on. Sleep becomes elusive, like a person trying to chase his shadow. Just when he thinks that he has caught it, the sun disappears behind the cloud and the shadow vanishes temporally. And even when we finally fall asleep, we cannot remain at the depths needed for restoration, as our minds continue to wrestle with tides of adversity trying to find some way out its control. Around and around our minds go like a merry-go-round, and as the morning hours approach, it seems to go faster and faster until it finally wakes us up. Not being able to fall into the blessed sleep of release, we try to pray but our thoughts eludes us even before we can formulate them.
It is like we are fighting an invisible enemy, we can’’t seem to find anything to target. And even if we could find the target, we lack the driving power of focus to direct our bullets of resolve. It seems as if the physical, emotional, moral, and spiritual problems have been directed at us all at once, each one seeming to exacerbate the other. What can we do? As we look around our social environment, we see that we are not alone. From our perspective, we see that others are being ravaged also, and we feel ashamed to even complain about our troubles, which seem so insignificant when compared to some others.
But this is scarce comfort for our struggling souls. Being empathetic, the thought of others’’ suffering increases our own sense of suffering. So off we go again, feeling like a pin cushion, dazed by it all. We stand quivering, being vibrated by pain and suffering.
We do not understand the rules of engagement. How do we conquer these problems that seem unconquerable? How can we get a handle on them? We continue to pray and pray, even to worship. At some point, we realize that the Father wants us to go through these storms, that the Father wants to teach us something vital. And the Father is not sending us through them alone but is going with us through each and every one. With his Spirit of Truth, he guides us through these storms of life. But still we continue to pray and pray, realizing that we are becoming fearful.
We have gone through many storms before, but none like these. Our souls shrink at the prospect of continuing in these painful storms and depression covers our minds and souls. We pray for courage and inspiration, for guidance and direction. We pray to comprehend the divine values and meanings of this experience. We emerge from our prayers with a combination of fear and courage, inspiration and dread. We continue to ask the Father for help, even mercy and grace, but still the storm rages on relentlessly. We can’’t see where we are going in this life, with all of this pain and suffering.
From somewhere deep inside of our minds and souls, a question arises: Do you still desire to do the Father’’s will? And we answer yes. We realize that even if we should decide not to continue with the Father’’s will, this will not solve our physical, emotional, or moral difficulties. All that such a decision would do is eject us from the arms of love and place us completely in the arms of despair. Better to stay with the spiritual Father and the liberating laws of love, though we are forced to admit that we do not feel very liberated at the moment.
We feel so weak, so inadequate, so helpless and powerless in the face of our many-sided difficulties. We often repeat in our minds during the struggle that we do not believe the Father brought us this far to leave us now. We believe that the Father loves us and is helping us, but we do not yet realize the nature of that help.
Day by day, we pray to adjust to this new painful reality, although we could not see how we could adjust to pain and continue to be productive. We have had so much pain that now we were becoming afraid of the fear of pain. But a soft voice responded: "Fear not, for I am with you. My presence is the assurance that no real harm can befall you."
There are certain qualities that we must develop, and they are best developed by and through adversity. We have begun an endless journey into the exploration of the Father’’s reality. The Father is infinite, eternal, and absolute. There is no end to him. As we gain divine values and meanings of his reality, we must have these qualities become part of your soul, or we will truly fail and not appear to fail as you think now.
Consider these truths:
Faith: You must learn to exercise unshakeable faith. This faith must withstand all tests of time before it can be used in the exploration of eternity and infinity. It is by and through your faith that you know me, that you become like me--perfect in spirit. It is through your faith that allows for the divine values and meanings of our relationship. Faith transmutes that which is only potential into an actual reality. It is through the exercise of your faith that allows you to commune with me.
Trust: You must learn to trust me without reservation. You can acquire trust by going through experiences that call for it. There is no need to trust me unless the need is made manifest. These experiences exhaust self-sufficiency, allowing divine sufficiency to function and well as impart security to your soul. Without absolute trust in me, there can be no peace in the mind or soul. You must learn that nothing of spiritual value is lost; the best way to learn that is be divested of loyalty towards temporal values. When temporal values are divested of supreme value, what remains will be spiritually valuable.
Hope: You must learn to develop hope, an essential quality that imparts some pleasure and satisfaction to your journey. Hope allows you to see beyond the present moment, to even glance at the eternal moment. Hope allows you to withstand the withering effects of struggle by showing you the vision when all struggle is a thing of the past. Hope shows you the finished product. If you allow it, it will sustain you and pull you through the trials and tribulations. And this hope is best developed when their seems to be no hope. This seemingly hopeless situation creates a void that is filled by the Father’’s hope.
Patience: You must learn to be patient. Patience is your friend. It takes time for growth and development, but even so you are going to be exploring endless cycles of eternity. There is no need for rushing or impatience. And this patience is best learned by being placed in a situation, where you have to learn it. You simply must learn to love patience.
All of these trials and tribulations unfold upon the surface of my love. Temporal events may appear to be absolute, but only my love is absolute. It is only my mercy that is being applied so that your soul will acquire these valuable and necessary qualities. It is the only way that you learn that your soul is indestructible. It is the only way you can become perfect even as I am perfect.
This concludes today's message on understanding how faith stabilizes us. 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.