Friday, August 7, 2015

August 8, 2015

"It (love) always trusts, always hopes....." I Corinthians 13:7

I wouldn't be a Christian for nearly 60 years if I hadn't learned to always give God the benefit of the doubt and to remain hopeful in the face of discouragement. I am thankful I learned early in life that when I wave the will God makes the way!

When I always want to trust and always want to hope, God enables me through His Spirit to do those things.

One of my inspirations in this effort is Noah! Here's his story as recorded in Hebrews 11 - the Hall of Faith:

"By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith." Hebrews 11:7

Here's the short on the story of Noah, he repeatedly (120 years?) gave God the benefit of the doubt and continually hoped for the salvation of his family.

For the rest of the story, Noah had several reasons to doubt! Let us count the ways:

Noah had never seen rain 
He had no concept of a flood
Noah had never built a boat 
Possibly he had never seen a boat

BUT, Noah gave God the benefit of the doubt at every point every day!

Imagine every day for over a century Noah arose and went to work building something he had never built to prepare for something he knew nothing about! He had to cut the trees, drag the logs back to his place, mill the lumber from the wood, make the nails, make the pitch for sealing the cracks, build the tools, and endure the ridicule of his neighbors the whole time he labored on the ark!

No wonder Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord!

No doubt, Noah found hope in the promise God had given him for the saving of his family!

The more you give God the benefit of the doubt the fewer doubts you will have and the more hope you will experience.

I think you can confidently say that Noah always trusted and always hoped. Therefore it is safe to say Noah loved God!

Will you love God today?

If you want to love Him and experience His love then give Him the benefit of the doubt at the very point where you are tempted to doubt!

As you do that you will find yourself being filled by God's hope and love!

August 7, 2015

"It (love) always trusts, always hopes" I Corinthians 13:7

There are three important reasons we are studying I Corinthians 13:4-8 this Summer.

First, these four verses describe and demonstrate the love, the unconditional "agape" love, God has you. How does God love you? Read the verses!

Second, it is important to understand how God wants you to love others.

The Great Commandment says to "love God completely and love others passionately". I Corinthians 13:4-8 shows you what that sort of love looks like.

Third, this portion of Scripture gives you a way of knowing if God's love is active in your life!

Experiencing this great Godly love begins with your decision to trust God for your salvation. Trusting God means you give God the benefit of the doubt. When you are tempted to doubt God's Word or His will or His work in your life, instead you give Him the benefit of the doubt.

That's one aspect of what it means to "always trust" - to always give God the benefit of the doubt.

Something amazing happens as you commit to "always trusting", hope begins to grow within you. There is hope when you believe God is trustworthy but not much hope when you don't believe He is.

This reminds me of Hebrews 11, the "Faith Chapter":

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible." Hebrews 11:1-3
If you want a blessing, study this 11th Chapter of Hebrews to see how these heroes of faith "always trusted" by always giving God the benefit of the doubt. When God asked them to do some BIG and DANGEROUS things, they trusted Him rather than doubting Him.
Notice how as these heroes made decisions to trust the Person of God, He gave them hope by promising them some wonderful blessings.You could say that "always trusting" means refusing to doubt the Person of God and "always hoping" means trusting the promises of God!
Enjoy your meditation!