Growing in Faith and Certainty
7 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.
9 Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things–things that belong to salvation. 10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Certainty or Uncertainty are the most unwelcome elephants in the room at funerals. Certainty can go either way, of course. It can be comforting or very disturbing. Uncertainty can let in some hope.
Have you had that awkward conversation with somebody you used to go to church with? One time I changed churches and it seemed like everybody I ran into thought I had fallen away. It probably didn’t help that my wife’s phone number had changed and whoever got the new number replied (probably joking) to a marketing text message with “Remove me from your list. I’m a Satanist now.” Boy did those rumors fly!
The thing is, as we are each individually trying to grow in our faith and love with Jesus, we are encouraged to see other people grow too. When we see other people stumble and fall, their lives become a cautionary tale for us. We are all in this together. We want to help one another grow and we really do need other’s help in our growth.
That’s where faithfulness and action come in. As we continue to trust and follow Jesus, we act on what we believe. As we act on what we believe, God puts His hand on that work and makes things happen. We don’t need to brag about most of it. It’s evident. Marriages are restored, children grow up and follow the Lord faithfully, the poor and lonely are cared for, and the good news of Jesus spreads across the world. These are the signs of people following Jesus with their whole lives.
The more of this evidence of God at work in us, the more we want to show it off. You really do grow and multiply in whatever path you choose.
Let’s grow in our own certainty of the power of Jesus. That will show off to the whole world and their certainty of His love and power will grow in them too.
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