Settled


Our lives go through constant shifts and changes.

Sometimes it can seem that the one constant in our lives is change.  We have mountain-top experiences and we also seem to walk through the valley of the shadow of death.  We face challenges that can seem overwhelming.  Sometimes bad things happen and there is no logic we can use to make sense of the event.  Some of things that we go through in life have the ability to shake our faith; challenge our world view and tempt our consciences.

Our faith in Christ and His word should be the anchor of our lives.  We can use as many clichés as possible.  It is our compass, our true north, the bedrock and foundation of our lives, etc., etc., etc.

There comes a great confidence in our lives as we come to know God and His Word.  Church alone cannot provide this.  Christian fellowship alone cannot provide this.  Singing songs about Jesus alone cannot provide this.  Ministry and helping others alone cannot provide this. All of these may be a part of the whole, but our confidence of faith is built upon relationship and knowledge; relationship with God and knowledge of His word.

This confidence is possible because of who God is, His faithfulness and the fact that He does not change.

Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands. (Psalm 119:89-90)

If we will stand firmly on the word of God and trust Him above all else we will find that our faith can be settled in the same manner that God’s word is.  Faith is not powerful because of the strength or endurance of our beliefs.  If that were so than we as individuals could take credit and believe just about anything as long as we believed it sincerely.  Faith is powerful because of whom faith is placed in.

The object and subject of our faith is the key.  Jesus Christ and the scriptures are the object and subject of our faith.  If we will stand firmly upon Him and what He has said we can be confident and truly settled in the midst of the constantly changing world in which we live.  If Jesus Christ and the scriptures are not the object/subject of our faith then our faith is not forever settled.  Our faith is placed in something that may change, may turn out to be incorrect, or even may fail.

Is it important for our faith to be strong?  Of course it is.  Our faith is strong when our relationship is strong.  Our faith is strong when our knowledge is strong.  Our faith is strong when we can endure the things that challenge our faith and believe that what God has said will overcome what we are presently experiencing.

  • Settled
  • Settled on the word
  • Settled on Jesus

This is where we want to live.  There are many scriptures that speak of standing firm in our faith.

But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it. (Colossians 1:23)

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)

We’re not in charge of how you live out the faith, looking over your shoulders, suspiciously critical. We’re partners, working alongside you, joyfully expectant. I know that you stand by your own faith, not by ours. (2 Corinthians 1:24)

Christ has liberated us into freedom. Therefore stand firm and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

My dear, dear friends! I love you so much. I do want the very best for you. You make me feel such joy, fill me with such pride. Don’t waver. Stay on track, steady in God. (Philippians 4:1)

It gives us new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 3:8)

The New Testament is not filled with stories of men and women who lived without resistance, struggle and trials to their faith.  On the contrary, the New Testament is filled with stories of men and women who endured great affliction, persecution and many temptations and trials of their faith.  Some of these where delivered out of their problems.  Some of these were martyred.  Some endured their trials for many years.

In the midst of this some gave up on Jesus.  They departed from the faith and chose to return to a life that provided temporary relief from their problems.  Most, however, endured.  They stood firm, and it is these men and women of God who delivered the gospel to a lost and dying world.

Sacrifice is Christianity 101.  Our faith is based on Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself.  His command to us is to take up our cross and follow Him.  There will be sacrifice, trial and tribulation ahead.  Our faith can remain settled forever in heaven with God’s word.  Our temporal experiences will not change the eternal world of God.  God’s Word, however, can change how we deal with the experiences of this life.

“It is well with my soul” is a hymn written by Horatio Spafford.  This hymn was written after several traumatic events in Spafford’s life. The first was the death of his only son in 1871 at the age of four, shortly followed by the great Chicago Fire which ruined him financially. Then in 1873, he had planned to travel to Europe with his family, but sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sailing ship, and all four of Spafford’s daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, “Saved alone.” Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Horatio Spafford

There are things that will happen to you and to those whom you love that will give you the opportunity to turn towards God or to turn away from God.  It is in these events, these moments of life where we find out how settled our faith truly is.

Will we trust God when it appears that things are not going our way or even if it appears that our world is falling apart?  Is our faith settled?

  • Is He worthy of our trust?
  • Is He faithful in the fulfilling of His word?
  • Does He have the resources to execute what He has promised?
  • Does He have the power to perform what we need Him to do?

Our God is able and nothing is impossible to those who believe.  He is able to deliver you.  He is able to intervene.  He is able to turn the tide.  He is able.

We all love the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  Their deliverance from the fiery furnace is an awesome testimony to God’s wonder working power.  The statement these men made to the king who was placing them in the fiery furnace is just as powerful.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18)

This is faith that is settled.  They believed God and had settled it in their lives to trust Him and obey His word regardless of the consequences.  This is where I need to be and this is where we all need to be.

We are settled that God’s word is true, Jesus Christ is resurrected from the dead and that He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  The immutability of God and His word allows our faith to dig deep and deny any and every attempt to move our feet off of the foundation that is Jesus Christ.

Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. (Jude 24)

This is the Message I’ve been set apart to proclaim as preacher, emissary, and teacher. It’s also the cause of all this trouble I’m in. But I have no regrets. I couldn’t be more sure of my ground—the One I’ve trusted in can take care of what he’s trusted me to do right to the end. (2 Timothy 1:11-12)

God may kill me, but still I will trust him and offer my defense. (Job 13:15)

Conclusion:

Faith is for those things that deal with eternity and faith is for those things that deal with today.  If we cannot settle our faith for the things that take place today, the things that challenge our faith; that tempt and try us than we cannot settle our faith for heaven.  He is the great I AM not the great I WILL BE.  He is the God of the eternal present tense.

If God’s word is true and we know that it is then it is true (period).   Settle your faith.  Burn your exits.  Nail your feet to the floor.  Know the Lord and know His word.  He is not a man, He does not lie.  He is the only person in the universe that our absolute trust can be placed and He is faithful.

May your faith be eternally settled in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Share
Faith, Spirit-Filled Life , , , ,

Comments are closed.