August 19, 2017 Job 17; Hebrews 11:21-40

These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.

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Strength From Weakness | Nikki Metzger

S~ Their weakness was turned into strength.  They became strong in battle.  Hebrews 11:34 (NLT)

O~ Hebrews 11 is filled with examples of people of faith.  Faith, confidence that what we hope for will happen, assurance of what we can’t see.  People of faith have their weakness turned into strength.  They become strong in battle, not before or after, but IN battle.

A~ I’m such a peace person.  I crave peace.  I crave calm.  I crave comfort.  I don’t want to be a warrior, I just want to have peace, give out hugs and say everything is going to be ok.

My Lord says that people of faith have their weaknesses turned into strength, but it happens in battle.

I don’t like battles!  Battles hurt, no matter if it’s happening inside your heart or outside with others.  Battles are not peace filled, comfortable, or calm.

But within battles is where God has chosen us to become strong.  That is where He turns my weakness into strength.

I don’t like how God grows my heart or makes me stronger for His kingdom, but His ways are not my ways.  And His thoughts are way above my thoughts.  So if God makes me stronger in battle, that’s it.

P~ Father, battle is for my good, isn’t it?  Help me to embrace that, to see Your good, Your glory in it.  Really.  Really.  Really. Lord, I’m not asking for more battles, but the ones I’m in, change my weakness to strength.  Deep down in me, at the core of my soul, change me to choose You.  In Your Name! Amen!

Team Players | Tara Wiley

S~ Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours. Hebrews 11:39-40 (MSG)

O~ God set up a system where ‘happily ever after’ is not a one-person, or even one-couple, story. In fact, He often allows our stories to be only partially completed with the need for other believers to come alongside or carry on after us. We are all part of a mission much greater… a family much bigger… and a future much broader than we can comprehend.

A~ So, when I see a woman of faith die in the prime of her life when her ministry to illiterate, unloved inner city children was just beginning to explode…

When I recognize with regret the mistakes I’ve made along the way…

When I hear of another pastor unjustly fired from a job where he was leading people to Christ and resurrecting marriages…

I can remember we are but members of a team. Another is called to continue, to flesh out, to perfect these ministries.

When I feel a longing to be in the mission field, I can remember that the people we financially support could not be there without us. My feet are not on Mexican soil, but I AM part of their team.

And when prayers go unanswered, I must not lose hope. God’s promise remain true, and I may not see the fulfillment of all His purposes and plans… but I can trust He is at work: in me, in the ones I love and pray for, and in the next generation.

P~ Lord, it is exciting and heartening to know that You have always been at work, and always will be… thrilling to know I am part of a team of faith-filled believers. The tiny slice of fulfillment of promises I witness in my life can serve as encouragement for those coming after me, as I receive encouragement from those before me who never saw fulfillment of promises and yet held on to faith-filled conviction of those things unseen and hoped for. Thank you for the Hall of Faith – the one in Hebrews 11 AND the one around me that reaches behind for centuries and for miles on every side. I can trust Your perfect plan. Help me submit to the part You are calling me to play today.

I Still Believe! | Joni Tyner

S~ All of these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised.  Hebrews 11:39 (NLT)

O/A~ I am really writing about the entire chapter of Hebrews 11.  I strongly encourage readers to read this chapter in the Bible.  It shows how time and time and time again, God called unlikely people to have faith in Him and TRUST Him.

It starts with creation, v.3,  we need to have faith that God created the earth and everything in it.  Yes, there are scientists today that are Christians and attempting to prove to the science community that the world was created by God. They go into great detail with words I can’t even pronounce—and that’s great, but there are some details that will never be explained, we just need to believe.

This chapter continues with examples of Abraham, Noah, Moses and others.  Take time to read it.  I was so encouraged by seeing how these everyday people, filled with flaws, made a difference for God.  They have had a lasting impact for 1000’s of years.  The last part of verse 39, “yet none of them received all that God had promised.”  WOW.  I’m letting that sink in.  All these great examples of faith in the Bible DIDN’T receive rewards on this earth.  Yes, they were faithful—until the end, yet they never saw, with human eyes, all that God had planned for them.

I have provided a link to a song we sang on Easter Sunday.  “ I Still Believe” by Kim Walker Smith.    I love the lyrics, “and I still believe, You are the same—yesterday, today, and forever.”  It brought tears to my eyes because, when it all comes down to it, to all of the struggles in this life, we have a decision to make.  We were encouraged to stand as the song spoke to our hearts.  It was inspiring to see people come to church that morning who had perhaps drifted from God. People began to stand as they pushed away apathy, doubt, pain and addictions. They made a choice to believe.

P~ Dear Lord, thank you for the examples of faith in Hebrews 11. I confess I get weary when I don’t always see results of my faith walk.  I need faith to press forward, keep on believing, keep on having faith.  Please help me grow in faith and lose the occasional doubt that attempts to sabotage me.   Yes, I still believe.

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