Monday, February 26, 2018

The Just shall Live By Faith

Monday, December 15, 2008, 12:00
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by Dr. Chuck Baynard


The Bible has this phrase in three different books, one in the Old Testament and two in the New. The Scriptures tell us we should not be surprised when our faith is tested. Perhaps there is no greater test that will push your faith to its limits than the death of someone you are close to.

There is no greater loss than the one we are currently facing. There has never been a way we can prepare ourselves for losses like this. Our first reaction is most often confusion and doubt and life itself becomes a struggle. Deep within our beliefs we know that we are of a value to god and that God cares for us. However, at such times it can seem to be impossible to sense the presence of God.

Most of us will seek solitude and time to think though few of us will actually pray at this time. This is the wrong thing to do in this place. When we find ourselves facing tests that push the limits of our faith it is time to nourish our faith. Nourishment of our faith will not happen in isolation.

Books, tapes, or perhaps some of the classic religious movies can help us here. The greatest presence of God however is more likely to be found in our family of faith and the counsel they bring to us at such times. God more often than not uses the voices of those we love and trust most to speak to our hearts and let us know He is indeed present at such places of severe grief.

The Scriptures are our only source of absolute truth. The Bible teaches us that God is with us in the depth of the great abyss where life often tosses us in times of grief and stress. We must accept the reality of the situation but we can do this knowing we are not alone. As you embrace family and friends in their attempt to bring comfort and solace, you are embracing God. Christ is within believers and God uses them to speak to our souls and bring healing. Grasp God’s promises to us and hang on. The best place to nurture your faith is within the family of faith.

No two of us will face these times of deep grief the same way. None can say I know what you are feeling and be absolutely true. Grief is a part of living and there is no shame in tears. Tears wash the dust from our eyes and cleanse our souls. Take time to grieve, to remember and cherish the loved one now promoted to heaven’s gates. Such is the lot of these mortal bodies. It is written, “It is given to man once to die, then the judgment.” God alone has numbered our days and there is no untimely death with God. We are each important to God and worthy of the love and care of our sisters and brothers in Christ. Reach out, the hand you grasp will be of God though attached to the body of your best friend or another loved one. God is in the details of human life and always there even when to us He seems so far away from us. Dare to love and be loved because for this purpose we were created, to show God’s love for us to each other. The Bible teaches that man’s chief purpose is to glorify God and nothing glorifies God more than the expression of love for each other in all situations.


Dr. Baynard is an Associate Editor of the Christian Observer and Senior Pastor at Clover Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Clover, South Carolina


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