This blog entry is another in a series featuring “a daily dose of “words to the wise,” poetically expressed from the Book of Proverbs.
This morning as I began to reflect upon wisdom as expressed in the Book of Proverbs, I happened to think about an important component of my spiritual life: “faith.” My mind went back to what I recall as my “first teaching based on the Bible.” I was a rising sophomore in high school when I volunteered to prepare a message for Youth Night at a church camp that I attended in Northern Michigan that summer. For some reason, I was led to share on “faith” and opened with Hebrews 11:1, 6:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
But without faith, it is impossible to please him, for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.
Over the years, faith has been a subject that I have studied and endeavored to understand and apply to my life, in my efforts to be “the mighty man of faith whom God called me to be.”
A number of years ago, my daughter, Melissa, asked me to write a commentary on faith for her website, and this is what I shared:
To unleash our true purpose and passion and then turn it into profit, we must establish a firm foundation upon which we build. As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, faith is the bedrock of our lives. We define faith as confident assurance, trust and conviction that we will prevail. Faith–“the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”– operates beyond what we see, for we walk by faith, not by sight.
In the midst thundering echoes of “No!” faith says “Yes!” Voices shout “You can’t” but faith proclaims “We can and we will!” At the point of total exhaustion, faith says, “Take one more step.” After more failed attempts than we can number, faith gives us courage to try one more time. Faith is tenacious—you hold on and never give up. Although the diagnosis, bank statement or other evidence says “No way!” faith responds with “God will make a way.”
In terms of illustrations of faith, we find excellent examples from the Bible and from the lives of great men and women who achieved impossible dreams. Despite a barrage of reasons why they would fail, they transformed failure into success. Without faith it is impossible . . . but with faith, the impossible becomes possible. We, who live in the state of Ohio, recognize and rejoice in our State Motto: “For with God all things are possible.”Indeed, faith is our solid foundation. Like the wise man who built his house on the rock, when the storms of life approach, if we have laid a firm foundation, the house that we build will stand, for faith is our sure foundation.
Following a similar pattern of building, we must also apply wisdom to our lives, for as Proverbs 9:1-3 remind us:
Wisdom has built her house; she has carved its seven columns.
She has prepared a great banquet, mixed the wines, and set the table.
She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come. She calls out from the heights overlooking the city.
In looking over some of the poems that I have written with wisdom as the subject, I found this piece that speaks of these two vital elements of our lives as believers:
Wisdom and Faith
“Through words of wisdom and faith, I call forth blessing
to come upon me and overtake me.”
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men,
but in the power of God.
I Corinthians 2:5
Through words of wisdom and faith, I call forth blessing
Upon blessing to overtake me and abound,
As I press toward the mark, while each day progressing
Until all who love His appearing will be crowned.
Through wisdom and faith, I call forth that which is not,
As though it were and follow faithful Abraham,
The father of all who still believe, no matter what.
I declare that I am all that God says I am
And align my life in synch with the coming Kingdom.
Through the Blood of the Lamb and my testimony
I overcome by faith and the power of Christ’s wisdom,
For nothing can deter me from my destiny.
I press toward the mark, the prize I am destined to win,
By faith, hand in hand with wisdom, her gracious twin.
Here is a link to another blog entry discussing faith with accompanying musical selections, more “good medicine” from the shelves of Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe:
Faith and Wisdom are two vital components of building our lives as committed believers who walk in the power of God.