Foundation of faith

Faith is not about how much you believe in what you believe. Faith is about believing that the One you believe in is believable. In fact, you can have all of the faith in the world that your SUV is going to take off and fly you to Alaska cruising at 12,000 feet in the air. But that won’t change the fact that you’re still going to be stuck in traffic somewhere with all four wheels firmly on the ground.

Faith is about believing that the One you believe in is believable.

The way you find out if the one you believe in is believable is by knowing and experiencing Him.

It’s like when a child climbs up on the back of her daddy for a piggyback ride. She doesn’t get up there and start asking herself if he can hold her or if he is going to drop her. Instead, she immediately starts asking him, “Do you have me?” as she wiggles and adjusts her legs into place.

By asking her daddy, “Do you have me?” she is affirming in her mind that the one she is putting her faith in is faithful. Because if he says, “Yes, I have you,” and she rests up there only to discover that he really does have her, then the next time she climbs on for a piggy-back ride, the questions become fewer.

But until she first climbs up onto the back of her daddy, she can say all day long that she believes that he can hold her. Saying it a thousand times won’t reduce the hesitation she feels when the offer to get up there is first extended. She will never get to the point where she can experience the full pleasure of his presence until she takes that first climb of faith to discover that he is faithful.

Faith experienced is faith that is real. It is an easy thing to say that you believe. It is an easy thing to feel like you believe. But faith is not situated in our feelings. Faith is situated in our feet. That’s why the Bible calls it “walking by faith” rather than “feeling by faith.”

In His Name

Chaplain Dewberry

Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. – James 1:12

Just as my doctor puts me through a stress test every year, God allows trials and tests in our lives in order to reveal where we are along our spiritual journey. He does this to correct whatever happens to be wrong and reveal whatever needs to be revealed, strengthen whatever seems to be weak so that we might move on to what He has in store for us.

When we’re caught between a rock and a hard place, we feel trapped, stuck, and tired of where we are. We don’t know what to do, or we don’t know how to legitimately do what we feel we need to do. We’re like the children of Israel with Pharaoh on one side and the Red Sea on the other. Death seemed certain either way.

Getting caught between a rock and a hard place is a lose-lose deal. If it were a clear win-lose deal, we would know how to choose and where to turn. But what do we do when there are no clear choices? What option do we choose when both options are bad?

Have you ever been in a situation where every option led to problems, and you just wanted to find which one would cause the least trouble? I know I’ve been in situations like that, and they aren’t fun—just as huffing and puffing on that treadmill in my doctor’s office isn’t fun. But over the years I’ve learned that God has a purpose for these times in our lives. Just as my doctor is not a mean man for putting my body through all of that stress, God is not a mean God when He leads us through trials.

God is not a mean God when He leads us through trials. When God wants to reveal the real condition of your heart to help you toward His plan for your future, He puts you in one of these kinds of trials.

Trust God in all situation even when it appears it’s a no win situation. When we see the end results we will see that God has a bigger plan for you and the situation.

In His Name

Chaplain Dewberry

It’s Growing

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. – Psalm 73:26

The Christian life is a progressive movement toward spiritual maturity. Your experience of following Jesus should be taking you somewhere. The goal of your growth is to be transformed into the image of the glory of God.

So what do disciples look like when they are spiritually mature or at least moving toward maturity? Well, some of them look like people who once didn’t know how to control their anger, but now they understand how to maintain self-control. Other growing Christians look like people who at one time struggled and lost the battle against any sin that you can imagine, but now in the strength of Christ, they are living lives that are pleasing to God.

Spiritual maturity is not the same thing as sinless perfection. Anybody who tells you that you can go through life and never sin has just sinned because that’s a lie. Rather, mature Christians consistently bring area of their lives under the control of Jesus Christ.

Spiritual maturity is not the same thing as sinless perfection.So what is maturity? Very simply, maturity is thinking about, judging, and reacting to every situation biblically. When applying the Bible to your life is the rule and not the exception, when you place every area of your life under the lordship of Jesus Christ. This is biblical Christlikeness, because Jesus is intent on making you like Him. Who else is worthy for you to pattern your life after?

You only live this life once. So why not use the best example to live it.

In His Name

Chaplain Dewberry

Look for Opportunities to Encourage

But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
– 
Hebrews 3:13

Are you one of them? They’re out there right now. There are millions of them. In your city. In your neighborhood. In your church. Perhaps even in your home. You may even be one of them.

Who are they?

People in desperate need of encouragement.

Let’s face it—life can be hard. The Christian walk is a narrow road that can be smooth one minute and bumpy the next, filled with twists and turns and trials and triumphs. All of us face moments when we feel as if it takes everything we’ve got just to keep going.

In those moments, we need an encouraging word. We need someone who will speak the truth to us in love. We need the light of God’s love to fill us with the hope, faith, and strength we need to rise again.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, the apostle Paul challenged Christians to encourage one another. As followers of Christ, we should always be on the lookout for opportunities to encourage others!

Are you? Encourage someone today because you may need it tomorrow. Be Blessed until we meet.

In His Name

Chaplain Dewberry

Working in The Storm

Following Jesus into the Storm

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6

In Mark 6, we read that the disciples got into a boat at night and set out across the sea. They were obeying Jesus’ directive, but they ran directly into a storm. Their obedience literally took them into the nucleus of a disaster.

I wish I could tell you that when you follow Jesus, you’ll never have to face any storms. I wish I could tell you that when you follow Jesus, the waters of life will always be calm. I wish I could tell you that when you follow Jesus, life will be rosy and all of your days sweet.

But I can’t.

Jesus’ disciples were obeying Him, and they ran into rough seas. The disciples discovered, as many of us have also discovered, that you can be in the center of God’s will and still run into a storm.

The disciples discovered that you can be in the center of God’s will and still run into a storm. Some preachers and Christian authors will tell you that if you follow Jesus, you will never have to face any challenges in life. That wasn’t true for Jesus or any of His followers that I know of. When we follow Jesus, we aren’t immune from troubles, but we can experience His presence in the midst of the trouble.

Life comes with troubles regardless of whether you follow Jesus. The question is, do you want Him to join you in your troubles, or would you rather go it alone?

The choice is yours. Trust in the Lord and you will never be alone.

In His Name

Chaplain Dewberry