Posts Tagged ‘trust’

Hold your peace and trust in the Lord

December 8, 2020

This morning during my time of prayer, I noticed the verse sent to those praying for Carolina College of Biblical Studies this week, one of my favorite verses related to abiding in the peace of God as we trust in the Lord, Isaiah 26:3 in the Amplified Bible. However, to appreciate more fully what the verse reveals about trust, we need to examine the following verse as well, a familiar reference that also speaks about the individual who trusts in God:

Isaiah 26:3-4 (NLT):

3 You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.
4 So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].

Psalm 56:1-4: in the New Living Translation also speaks of trusting in the Lord. This particular passage offers great comfort, as a reservoir of strength and encouragement:

1 O God, have mercy on me,
for people are hounding me.
My foes attack me all day long.
2 I am constantly hounded by those who slander me,
and many are boldly attacking me.
3 But when I am afraid,
I will put my trust in you.
4 I praise God for what he has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?

Verses 9-11 also reiterate the Psalmist’s determination to trust God:

9 My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help.
This I know: God is on my side!
10 I praise God for what he has promised;
yes, I praise the LORD for what he has promised.
11 I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?

The Word of God speaks to each believer to learn to trust in the Lord, as you renew your mind and

Hold Your Peace

So, shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

Isaiah 59:19

The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.

Exodus 14:14

These days when the enemy enters as a flood
With distress and intense pressure on every side,
Despite signs of defeat, the Lord God is still good.
In the thick of battle, in peace, we will abide.
The Spirit of the Lord raises a bold standard:
Lord of Hosts bears His arm, as Jehovah Nissi
Covers us with His love; though foes may have slandered,
His royal banner is displayed for us to see:
Faithful Adonai has never slept nor slumbered.
He is not slack but hastens to perform His Word.
Despite outward signs, we are never outnumbered,
For we know that the battle belongs to the Lord.
On the battlefield, fierce attacks seem only to increase,
But as God told Moses, “Stand still and hold your peace!”

As we walk by faith and learn to trust God more than ever before, we recall two acronyms to remind us of the meaning of T-R-U-S-T:

We proclaim that we will maintain a

Triumphant attitude” with
Rugged determination” and
Unswerving commitment,” as we further develop
Strengthened believing” and
Tremendous confidence”

We are also learning to T-R-U-S-T:

Taking Risks Under Stressful Times.

Even as David encouraged himself in the Lord in Psalm 56 and throughout the Psalms, so we too encourage ourselves, as we trust God with all our heart and do not lean to our own understanding but acknowledge Him in all our ways, knowing that He will direct our paths.

We close with a song of trust written and performed by Gary Oliver: “I will trust in you.” The lyrics refer to Isaiah 26:4 which reinforces the comforting and reassuring message God will keep us in a state of perfect peace as we trust Him. As a result, we should trust in the Lord God forever, for He is the everlasting Rock of Ages:

Who do you trust?

May 26, 2018

 

Isaiah-26--3-4During my time of morning reflection, a question flashed across my mind, which I will use as the Phrase of the Day May 26, 2018:

“Who do you trust?”

Some may challenge the grammar regarding the pronoun: who versus whom. As I recall, this question, as written, was the title of a television husband-wife game show from 1956-1963. Although the series has long since been gone, the question can still be asked of every believer today: “Who do you trust?”

Do you trust yourself, first and foremost? What about your spouse? Your best friend? A family member? Is there any individual in whom you place your trust?

Throughout the Scriptures we are encouraged to put our trust in the Lord God, Almighty. In the Psalms we find bold declarations of where to place our trust:

Psalm 56:3-4 makes this bold statement in the New Living Translation:

In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.

Listen to a musical rendering of Psalm 56:3-4:

Psalm 56:3-4 with its emphasis on trust also brings to mind Isaiah 26:3-4 (NLT):

You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Trust in the Lord always,
for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.

The phrase “perfect peace” indicates this figure of repetition where the word for peace is repeated in the Hebrew text, literally “peace, peace.” God provides a “double dose of peace” to those who trust in Him.

Just as the passage from Isaiah reminds us to put our trust in God and His Word alone, Psalm 118:8-9, two verses which some believe to be located in the center of the Bible, as some would say, “smackdab in the middle,” express this same truth:

It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. (Amplified Bible)

As believers, we learn to trust in the Lord. Every day we encounter countless opportunities to learn and grow, as we follow the exhortation and walk

By Faith

Look at the proud; his soul is not straight or right within him,           

but the [rigidly] just and the [uncompromisingly] righteous man shall    

live by his faith and in his faithfulness.

Habakkuk 2:4 [Amplified Bible]

 

The practical aspect of faith is a walk, a lifestyle:

Moment by moment, we walk by faith, not by what we see,

Knowing that this kind of faith propels us to victory.

Even though some may misunderstand and seek to revile,

The shield of faith counters fiery darts of the enemy’s thrust.

We trust God, despite all the hinderer might do or say.

Fully persuaded, each day we learn to watch, fight, and pray.

We persist and obey: signs of our perpetual trust,

For faith directly reflects our relationship with the Lord.

Walking from victory to victory will not seem odd,

For whatever we desire according to the Word,

We shall have when we pray and put our trust in the Lord.

For true faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God.

God is faithful and always comes through, just as the scriptures saith:

We walk by faith, not by what we see—the just shall live by faith.

As we walk by faith and learn to trust God more than ever before, we recall two acronyms to remind us of the meaning of T-R-U-S-T:

We proclaim that we will maintain a

Triumphant attitude” with

Rugged determination” and

Unswerving commitment,” as we further develop

Strengthened believing” and

Tremendous confidence.”

Every day we are learning to T-R-U-S-T:

Taking Risks Under Stressful Times.

We close with a song of trust performed by Gary Oliver: “I will trust in you.” In actuality, the lyrics refer to Isaiah 26:4 rendered this way in the Amplified Bible:

So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].

Learning to trust

December 21, 2017

 

Learning to trust

Earlier today I read a list of quotations from a wide range of people who talked about “trust.” One particular quote caught my eye, and I selected it to be the Quote of the Day for December 21, 2017:

“Learning to trust is one of life’s most difficult tasks.”

The statement comes from the great 18th Century hymn writer, Dr. Isaac Watts, English pastor, preacher, poet, and hymn writer with about 600 songs to his credit, including the popular Christmas carol “Joy to the World,” heard so frequently at this time of the year. Another of his most recognized compositions also makes reference to “trust.”

I love the Lord, He heard my cries:

I love you, Lord; you heard my cries,
and pitied every groan;
Long as I live, when troubles rise,
I’ll hasten to your throne.

I love you, Lord; you bow your ear;
you’re ever good and just.
Then let my heart feel no despair!
Your power has all my trust.

If you behold me sore distressed,
you bid my pains remove;
I’ll turn my soul to you, my rest,
and witness to your love.

The topic of learning to trust also brings to mind a 20th Century Christian musician and songwriter, Andre Crouch, and his celebrated song of encouragement with these lyrics as the chorus:

Through It All

I’ve had many tears and sorrows,
I’ve had questions for tomorrow,
there’s been times I didn’t know right from wrong.
But in every situation,
God gave me blessed consolation,
that my trials come to only make me strong.

Chorus:
Through it all,
through it all,
I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
I’ve learned to trust in God
Through it all,
through it all,
I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.

Upon further reflection on learning to trust God, I recall two acronyms to remind us of the meaning of T-R-U-S-T. As we walk by faith and learn to trust God more than ever before, we proclaim that we will maintain a

Triumphant attitude” with

Rugged determination” and

Unswerving commitment,” as we further develop

Strengthened believing” and

Tremendous confidence.”

As we end 2017 and go into 2018 we are learning to T-R-U-S-T:

Taking Risks Under Stressful Times.

Finally, this passage also relates to trust:

Isaiah 26:3-4 (AMP):

“You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character],
Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].


“Trust [confidently] in the Lord forever [He is your fortress, your shield, your banner],
For the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].

We close our discussion with a song of trust written and performed by Gary Oliver: “I will trust in you.” In actuality the lyrics refer to verse 4:

Trust: Another definition

September 1, 2017

Psalm 56--4

In the midst of the tempestuous times in which we live, when we are beset on every hand by circumstances that increase our stress levels, we receive strength and comfort by the words of the Psalmist encourage us to trust in God. In thinking about placing our trust in God, I recall an acronym that reveals one way that we can define T-R-U-S-T: Taking Risks Under Stressful Times.

Psalm 56 records David’s response to an extremely stressful situation when he was taken captive by his fierce enemy, the Philistines:

Psalm 56:1-4:

O God, have mercy on me,
for people are hounding me.
My foes attack me all day long.
I am constantly hounded by those who slander me,
and many are boldly attacking me.
But when I am afraid,
I will put my trust in you.
I praise God for what he has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?

Additional verses in the Psalms echo the same viewpoint:

Psalm 56:11 (NKJV):

In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

Psalm 118:6 (NKJV)

The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

These words found in the Psalms resound in Hebrews 13:5-6 where the bold declaration of what God has said precedes the closing question of the passage:

Hebrews 13:5-7 (Amplified Bible)

5Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

6So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?

This passage brings to mind the lyrics to the powerful hymn of the Christian Church “How Firm a Foundation.” The last stanza reinforces the message of the passage from Hebrews which echoes the same sentiments of Psalm 56:4 in a particularly profound way:

“The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never, forsake!”

As believers, we are continually learning to trust in the Lord, particularly during times of great stress. In the midst of the “perilous times” in which we live, times described as “difficult to deal with,” we demonstrate our confidence that God will deliver us, as we look to the Word of God and follow the exhortation to walk

By Faith

Look at the proud; his soul is not straight or right within him,         

but the [rigidly] just and the [uncompromisingly] righteous man shall  

live by his faith and in his faithfulness.

Habakkuk 2:4 [Amplified Bible]

 

The practical aspect of faith is a walk, a lifestyle:

Moment by moment, we walk by faith, not by what we see,

Knowing that this kind of faith propels us to victory.

Even though some may misunderstand and seek to revile,

The shield of faith counters fiery darts of the enemy’s thrust.

We trust God, despite all the hinderer might do or say.

Being fully persuaded, we learn to trust and obey.

We persist and press on: signs of our perpetual trust,

For faith directly reflects our relationship with the Lord.

Walking from victory to victory will not seem odd,

For whatever we desire according to the Word,

We shall have when we pray and put our trust in the Lord.

For true faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God.

Ever moving toward the dawning of a new day, the eighth,

We still trust and obey, knowing the just shall live by faith.

We close with a musical medley of trust:  “Trust and Obey” and “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.”

Perfect peace: a double dose of peace

October 6, 2015

Isaiah-26--3-4The Verse of the Day for October 6, 2015 comes from Isaiah 26:4 where the Prophet issues a command to trust in the Lord; however, to appreciate more fully what the verse reveals about trust, we need to examine the preceding verse as well, where a familiar reference also speaks about those individuals who trust in God:

Isaiah 26:3-4 (NLT):

You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Trust in the Lord always,
for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.

The two verses are rendered this way in the Amplified Bible:

You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.

So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].

Bible scholar, E.W. Bullinger, notes that the figure of speech “epizeuxis” is used in Isaiah 26:3.  To emphasize the concept of peace, the phrase “perfect peace” acttually indicates this figure of repetition where the word for peace is repeated in the Hebrew text, literally “peace, peace.” God provides a “double portion of peace” to those who trust in Him. A similar expression is used elsewhere in Isaiah:

Isaiah 27: 5 (NLT):

    unless they turn to me for help.
Let them make peace with me;
yes, let them make peace with me.”

Isaiah 57:19 (NKJV)

“I create the fruit of the lips:
Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,”
Says the Lord,
“And I will heal him.”

A previous blog entry entitled “Learning to trust God: Five songs of trust” focused on Isaiah 26:3 and other related verses dealing with trust. The final song of trust was written and performed by Gary Oliver: “I will trust in you.” In actuality the lyrics refer to Isaiah 26:4, the Verse of the Day, which reinforces the comforting and reassuring message expressed in Isaiah 26:3 which promises that God will keep us in a state of perfect peace, as we trust him. As a result, we should trust in the Lord God forever, for He alone is the everlasting Rock of Ages.

Do I put my trust: Five songs of trust

May 30, 2014

Psalm-56 4

The Verse of the Day for May 30, 2014 makes this bold declaration:

Psalm 56:4

In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.

The Amplified Bible offers this rendering:

By [the help of] God I will praise His word; on God I lean, rely, and confidently put my trust; I will not fear. What can man, who is flesh, do to me?

Verse 11 of Psalm 56 reiterates the same point:

11 In God have I put my trust and confident reliance; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

Indeed, some variation of the expression “do I put my trust” is used throughout the Psalms in Psalm 7:1, 16:1, 31:1, and 71:1

I recall that on occasions when my father would be asked to bless the food before our family shared a meal together, he would say, “In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust,” the first part of Psalm 31:1:

In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.

The Psalmist also makes known that it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. As I turn from my former position of totally depending upon myself and others, I learn to put my trust in God. In thinking about trust, I developed an acrostic that expresses the essence of what it means to trust or to have trust, which is spelled T-R-U-S-T:

I proclaim that I will maintain a “Triumphant attitude” with “Rugged determination” and “Unswerving commitment,” as I further develop “Strengthened believing” and “Tremendous confidence.”

“I Am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus”

The Verse of the Day also brought to mind five songs related to “trusting God.” The first one is “I Am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,” a hymn that I was introduced to a week or so before I was married more than forty years ago. As we were driving toward our first ministry assignment, the lyrics rang in my head.

I recognize and declare the truth of these lyrics that continue to remind me that: “I Am Trusting Thee Lord Jesus”:

Here is a rendering of the hymn by the Lutheran Quartet:

“Trusting Jesus”

Recently I discovered another 19th Century hymn “Trusting Jesus” with the memorable line “Trusting Jesus, that is all.” Here is video of this a capella hymn rendered as sacred harp singing or shape note singing recorded at Mount Pisgah in Stroud, AL, May 24, 2008. Harp singing or shape note singing dates back to the colonial period and continues to enjoy popularity in the rural South and elsewhere.

Edgar P. Stites wrote the lyrics, and Ira D. Sankey provided the music:

Simply trusting every day,
Trusting through a stormy way;
Even when my faith is small,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Refrain:
Trusting as the moments fly,
Trusting as the days go by;
Trusting Him whate’er befall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Brightly doth His Spirit shine
Into this poor heart of mine;
While He leads I cannot fall;
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Singing if my way is clear,
Praying if the path be drear;
If in danger for Him call;
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Trusting Him while life shall last,
Trusting Him till earth be past;
Till within the jasper wall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

“Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.”

One of the most popular hymns of all times relates to trust: Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.” This recording features the Altar of Faith Men’s Chorale:

“I Will Trust in You”

The next song of trust is a contemporary song of worship written and performed by Gary Oliver: “I will trust in you”

“I Trust You”

The final song is another contemporary gospel song that has come to mean a great deal to me: “I Trust You” by James Fortune and Fiya.

These five songs of trust reinforce the message that “In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.”

Learning to trust God: Five songs of trust

August 27, 2013

Isaiah-26-Verse-3post

The Verse of the Day for August 27, 2014 is the same as the Verse of the Day a year ago, and I am re-posting last year’s blog entry which I have also modified:

As is my custom on occasion, I will begin my day as I meditate on the Verse of the Day when I open Biblegate.com on my laptop. The verse for today is taken from Isaiah 26:3:

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

I especially appreciate how the verse is rendered in the Amplified Bible:

You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.

E.W. Bullinger points out that the figure of speech “epizeuxis” is used in Isaiah 26:3.  The phrase “perfect peace” indicates this figure of repetition where the word for peace is repeated in the Hebrew text, literally “peace, peace.” God provides a “double dose of peace” to those who trust in Him.

The verse from Isaiah caused me to recognize that I must put my trust in God and His Word alone. I am continuing to learn where to place my trust.  Psalm 118:8-9, which some believe to be located in the center of the Bible, express this truth:

It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. (Amplified Bible)

In thinking about trust, I developed an acrostic that expresses the essence of what it means to trust or to have trust. As I turn from my former position of totally depending upon myself and others and learn to put my trust  in God, I proclaim that I will maintain

a most “Triumphant attitude”

with     “Rugged determination”

and      “Unswerving commitment,”

even    “Strengthened believing”

plus     “Tremendous confidence.”

“I Am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus”

The Verse of the Day also brought to mind five songs related to “trusting God.” The first one is “I Am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,” a hymn that I was introduced to a week or so before my wife Brenda and I were married forty-one years ago. As we were driving toward our first ministry assignment, the lyrics rang in my head.

I recognize and declare the truth of these lyrics that continue to remind me that: “I Am Trusting Thee Lord Jesus”:

I am trusting Thee, Lord, Jesus,
Trusting only Thee;
Trusting Thee for full salvation,
Great and free.

I am trusting Thee for pardon;
At Thy feet I bow;
For Thy grace and tender mercy,
Trusting now.

I am trusting Thee for cleansing
In the crimson flood;
Trusting Thee to make me holy
By Thy blood.

I am trusting Thee to guide me;
Thou alone shalt lead;
Every day and hour supplying
All my need.

I am trusting Thee for power,
Thine can never fail;
Words which Thou Thyself shalt give me
Must prevail.

I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus;
Never let me fall;
I am trusting Thee forever,
And for all.

Here is a rendering of the song by Hope, recorded live at Faith Church.

“I Trust You”

The second song is a contemporary gospel song that has come to mean a great deal to me: “I Trust You” by James Fortune and Fiya.

“Trusting Jesus”

Recently I discovered another 19th Century hymn “Trusting Jesus” with the memorable line “Trusting Jesus, that is all.” Here is video of this a capella hymn rendered as sacred harp singing or shape note singing recorded at Mount Pisgah in Stroud, AL, May 24, 2008. Harp singing or shape note singing dates back to the colonial period and continues to enjoy popularity in the rural South and elsewhere.

Edgar P. Stites wrote the lyrics, and Ira D. Sankey provided the music:

  1. Simply trusting every day,
    Trusting through a stormy way;
    Even when my faith is small,
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.
    • Refrain:
      Trusting as the moments fly,
      Trusting as the days go by;
      Trusting Him whate’er befall,
      Trusting Jesus, that is all.
  1. Brightly doth His Spirit shine
    Into this poor heart of mine;
    While He leads I cannot fall;
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.
  1. Singing if my way is clear,
    Praying if the path be drear;
    If in danger for Him call;
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.
  1. Trusting Him while life shall last,
    Trusting Him till earth be past;
    Till within the jasper wall,
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.

“Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.”

One of the most popular hymns of all times relates to trust: “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.” This recording features the contemporary music group “Casting Crowns”:

“I Will Trust in You”

The final song of trust is written and performed by Gary Oliver: “I will trust in you.” In actuality the lyrics also refer to Isaiah 26:4 rendered this way in the Amplified Bible:

So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].

These five songs of trust reinforce the message of Isaiah 26:3 which promises that God will keep us in a state of perfect peace, as we stay our minds on Him, proving that we trust Him.

Faith: the foundation of my life

August 26, 2011

The foundation for my faith was laid when I was a youth, and I continue to build upon it, as I move from faith to faith and victory to victory.

“When you are in a difficult situation, go back to the first word; it still works.” Recently I thought of those words from Apostle John Tesola, as we began a series of teaching on faith at our church, Equip U Ministries in Columbus, Ohio. My mind went back to a Wednesday Youth Night at Camp Gray, a Presbyterian camp in Saugatuck, MI. When the request came forth for a young person to deliver a short inspirational message, I volunteered, and I put together my first Bible teaching, choosing the topic of faith. Using the Bible and study material of one of the camp counselors who was a seminary student, I focused on Hebrews 11:1, 6—two verses that have contributed to the foundation upon which I have built my life as a teacher and minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Since that time 54 years ago, I have discovered the Amplified Bible, and I especially appreciate how these verses are rendered:

Hebrews 11: 1, 6:

 1NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].

    6But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].

In a recent teaching on faith we examined a number of accounts in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus Christ mentions faith. Two of the most notable examples occur in the encounter with the centurion who comes to Jesus Christ with a request that he heal his servant and the account of the Canaanite woman who seeks Christ’s healing presence on behalf of her daughter who is “grievously vexed with a devil.” In both of these instances, Jesus Christ responds, describing both of them as having “great faith.”

I recall a similar designation when I received a personal prophecy from Dr. Kingsley Fletcher in 2000 regarding the dimension of faith in my life. A personal prophecy or prophetic words are inspired words from an individual operating the gift of prophecy to speak to a specific individual or group. These insightfully penetrating words are revealed from God and provide edification, exhortation and comfort to the individuals to whom they are addressed. On this specific occasion when Dr. Fletcher ministered at our church, he called me forth and spoke a message from God to me. I transcribed those words and added them to my prayer journal/scrapbook. Numerous times I read and re-read those words as I prayed after being diagnosed with prostate cancer that same year. I especially concentrated on this excerpt:

 The anointing of the Lord is upon you. You shall walk through doors, and you  shall bring the people of God behind you. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Mighty man of faith! When you declare, it shall be done. You shall affect many through your faith, for out of the faith you shall see my faithfulness. . . . And you shall declare this is the way of the Lord, and they shall follow. For you shall stand and declare just as Caleb declared. You shall stand and say, ‘If God said it, it shall come to pass. If God declares it, I believe it. If God points the way, I will follow.’ And the people of God shall be inspired by your humble faith. For you are a man that has pleased me, and I’m delighted in you. This is the word of the Lord to you, Lonnell. To Lonnell, the word of the Lord. You shall walk in faith and not by sight.  

I used that particular prophetic word as a contact point for focused intercession regarding my particular situation with the prostate cancer, which proved to be a time of the testing of my faith.

At times when my faith seemed to be diminishing, I would recite Scripture, listen to teaching tapes, in many cases my own messages whereby I taught myself over and over again. During this time of intense prayer, God was teaching me a valuable lesson about faith: “Prayer is the key . . . but faith unlocks the door.” I was reminded of these lyrics from an old gospel song, as I prayed fervently throughout this situation which seemed to be drawing from within me to become the “mighty man of faith” that God called me to be.

The renowned folk artist and minister, Elijah Pierce, completed this painted bas relief woodcarving entitled “The Power of Prayer” in 1960. It is from the private collection courtesy of Keny Galleries, Columbus, Ohio.

A woodcarving depicting the Power of Prayer with Faith as the key that unlocks the doors to God and His Son Jesus Christ.

John Starnes offers a powerful rendition of “Prayer is the Key to Heaven.”

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xomn5SMDSlw&feature=related]

            One of the poems that I wrote regarding faith makes reference to the Centurion with “great faith” and my designation as a “mighty man of faith.”

Will He Find Faith?

When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed

“Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith,

not even in Israel!

Matthew 8:10

 

As servants of a king assess his vast treasure,

When the Lord returns will he find faith on the earth?

When He appraises my faith, what will it be worth?

When all is said and done, may I add my measure,

Though small as the grain of a tiny mustard seed,

A faith so pure in essence that nothing defiles.

Should the Lord come during the Age of the Gentiles,

May I be walking by faith in word and in deed,

For God is ever faithful and His Word is true.

May such great faith descend from the centurion

To a faithful son who bears this criterion:

Whatever God shall speak, this shall He also do.

I press toward the mark, reaching toward my destiny:

As the mighty man of faith you called me to be.

In the New Testament the word faith is translated from the Greek word pistis, one of whose synonyms is “trust.” In thinking about faith and its relationship to “trust,” two songs related to “trusting God,” came to mind.  I was introduced to the hymn “I Am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus” almost forty years ago. As I was driving toward my first ministry assignment, the lyrics rang in my head:

I am trusting Thee, Lord, Jesus,
Trusting only Thee;
Trusting Thee for full salvation,
Great and free.

I am trusting Thee for pardon;
At Thy feet I bow;
For Thy grace and tender mercy,
Trusting now.

I am trusting Thee for cleansing
In the crimson flood;
Trusting Thee to make me holy
By Thy blood.

I am trusting Thee to guide me;
Thou alone shalt lead;
Every day and hour supplying
All my need.

I am trusting Thee for power,
Thine can never fail;
Words which Thou Thyself shalt give me
Must prevail.

I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus;
Never let me fall;
I am trusting Thee forever,
And for all.

Here is a rendering of the song by Matthew, Jeffery and Andrew Waldvogel along with Chi-en Chen and Frank Constanzo of the Ridgewood Pentecostal Church:

The second song is a contemporary gospel song that has come to mean a great deal to me.  “I Trust You” by James Fortune and Fiya conveys the same message but with a different flavor:

(verse)
Even though I can’t see
and I can’t feel your touch
I will trust you, Lord
how I love you so much
Though my nights my seem long
and I feel so alone
Lord my trust is in you
I surrender to you

(bridge)
So many painful thoughts
travel through my mind
and I wonder how
I will make it through this time

(chorus)
But I trust you
Lord, it’s not easy
sometimes the pain in my life
makes you seem far away
but I’ll trust you
I need to know you’re here
through the tears and the pain
through the heartache and rain

I’ll trust you

(verse 2)
Everything that I see
tells me not to believe
but I’ll trust you lord
you have never failed me
My past still controls me
Will this hurt ever leave?
I can only trust you
no one else like you do

(bridge)

(chorus)

(vamp)
***I can
I will
I must
trust you **repeat**

***I will
trust you ***repeat***

(modulate)

***I will
trust you ***repeat***

(modulate)
***I’ll trust you (x3)
I will***repeat***

God will make a way (x4)

 

Recently one of the messages delivered on a Sunday morning focused on the practical dimension of faith, as Pastor Michael Spears of Equip U Ministries expounded upon the subject “By Faith” which inspired this poem with that title:

 

By Faith

Look at the proud; his soul is not straight or right within him,

but the [rigidly] just and the [uncompromisingly] righteous man shall 

live by his faith and in his faithfulness.

Habakkuk 2:4 [Amplified Bible]

The practical aspect of faith is a walk, a lifestyle:

Moment by moment, we walk by faith, not by what we see,

Knowing that this kind of faith propels us to victory.

Even though some may misunderstand and seek to revile,

The shield of faith counters fiery darts of the enemy’s thrust.

We trust God, despite all the hinderer might do or say.

Being fully persuaded, we learn to trust and obey.

We persist and obey: signs of our perpetual trust,

For faith directly reflects our relationship with the Lord.

Walking from victory to victory will not seem odd,

For whatever we desire according to the Word,

We shall have when we pray and put our trust in the Lord.

For true faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God.

God is faithful and always comes through, just as the scriptures saith:

Obey, persist and sacrifice—the just shall live by faith.

I conclude this blog on faith with this amazing YouTube video that provides a living illustration of the creative power of God with the lyrics to the familiar hymn “Trust and Obey” as a backdrop that expresses the simplicity of our walk by faith.