Fear Faith or Blessed Faith, b: Rivers of Faith, Part 12


Flying over the Atlantic Ocean

It all started out with a question from Jesus' disciples: "Why couldn't we drive it out?" (Matt 17:19 NIV)

Only after they truly believed: "You believe at last!" (John 16:31 NIV), did mountains start to move. "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move." (Matt 17:20 NIV)

The results?

"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles." (Acts 2:42-43 NIV)

"Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed." (Acts 5:14-16 NIV)

The disciples underwent heavy trials when Jesus was arrested. They were terrified of the crowds, for they had been seen with the One who was to be crucified: "The disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews…" (John 20:19 NIV)

But these trials served to make them stronger in the Lord. Through them they learned to depend on Him, which eventually led to being able to move mountains!

Often trials are just blessings in disguise. They are opportunities to experience the love of God. Unfortunately, we don't often see them as such.

When I was still a child, living in the old country, I enjoyed being surrounded by friends. I could rely on them through thick and thin, and I felt comfortable sharing my innermost thoughts with them. It didn't matter if we had different opinions. We respected each other. We were there for one another.

One of my biggest fears in those days was that one day I might not have such close friends. And then it happened: I moved to the other side of the world.

Initially friends were more numerous than ever. But there was something different. The change may have been due to cultural differences, and it may have been just my unique personality. Or perhaps it was a combination of both, but whatever the reason, I was too "European" for this new place and now I was also considered too "North American" in the country of my birth. I guess I had become one of those "Atlantians", lost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, as no one seemed to be able to understand me any longer. As a result, my new friendships seemed shallow. It was impossible to share who I truly was, and the inner core of my heart had to remain closed.

Was I depressed about this turn of events?

Absolutely!

Or at least I was at first. But no more! This experience opened the doors for me to get to know the One who died for me. Jesus became my closest friend and now I never, ever feel alone!

In His mercy God also gave me a partner, my wife, whose patience is beyond of this world. She is the only one, besides my Saviour, who accepts me the way I am, and with whom I can share the real me: My innermost thoughts as well as my burdens in life.

My friends from the past are gone. They have moved on now, but my Best Friend and the life companion He gave me are here for the rest of my life.

In all reality, it was my biggest blessing to not find friends like the ones I experienced when I was younger. Otherwise, I may never have learned that Jesus is my Best Friend.

Too often we don't recognize our blessings! We focus on the insignificant things and complain, but all the while we are missing the opportunity of realizing how truly blessed we are! When we are in need, we can anticipate that God WILL come to our rescue! It may not be as we expect, but He always comes through for us in ways devised for our OWN good!

Who are those who are truly blessed?

It is NOT those who have everything they want in this world. Consider this text:

"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are - no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.

"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.

"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'careful,' you find yourselves cared for.

"You're blessed when you get your inside world - your mind and heart - put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.

"You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.

"Not only that - count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens - give a cheer, even! - for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble." (Matt 5:3-12 The Message)

Let us reflect on our lives and discover how truly blessed we are. It is only when we discover our blessings, only when we begin to believe fully in Him, that we are set to experience God to the fullest.

Do you want to experience God?

Face those unmovable mountains of life with mustard-kind-of-faith! They will be moved! It may seem impossible at the moment, but they will be moved!

Do you believe it?

Have you ever visited the Atlantic Ocean?

It is a great place, believe me!

Rob Chaffart

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