Living By Faith

December 4, 2018

“So do not throw away your faith; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised… For he that is righteous shall live by faith.” (Hebrews 10:35-38)

As the author of the book of Hebrews gives doubting disciples reasons why they should not throw away their faith, he tells them in the verses above they should not throw away their faith because they need their faith for living.  Authentic disciples know they are saved by faith, but the disciples to whom he was writing did not know or had forgotten that they are also called to live by faith.

He quotes a key verse of prophecy written by Habakkuk to suffering people.  When we are suffering we especially need to be reminded that God has given us faith to persevere and do the will of God in our crisis. Until we receive what God has given us, the faith to believe will ultimately happen according to God’s promises.

I have observed a direct correlation between spiritual growth and suffering.  The Greek word translated “persevere” in these verses is a quality God grows in those who are living by faith while they are suffering. (Romans 5: 3-5)

The immediate response of many authentic disciples when we find ourselves in a difficult situation is “Lord, get me out of here!” When that doesn’t happen we are sometimes tempted to throw away our faith.

The message conveyed by these verses is “Don’t throw away your faith.  You need your faith to live through your crisis.”

Is this a message you need to hear today?

Dick Woodward, 03 December 2010


Caution: Divine Providence at Work

July 18, 2014

“When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do£?” (Psalm 11: 3)

Greek is a very precise language.  Hebrew is not.  That’s why we frequently find footnotes that suggest alternate readings in the margins of our Bible when we are reading Old Testament Scripture passages.  The NIV translation of Psalm 11:3 has such a footnote.   The alternate reading suggested for this verse is: When the foundations of your life are breaking up, “What is the righteous One doing?”

In a long life I have experienced several periods when it seemed that the foundations of my life were breaking up.  I have found the suggested alternate reading of this verse to be a reliable response that turned many of those crises into very significant spiritual datelines in my journey of faith.

My faith walk began in 1949, and along the way I dropped two words out of my vocabulary: “fortunately” and “coincidentally.”  Because I believe in Divine Providence, I no longer believe in luck.  And I agree with the spiritual “heavyweight” who stated that when a devout believer thinks they have experienced a coincidence that just means God prefers to remain anonymous.

The Chinese characters for “crisis” are the characters for “danger” and “opportunity.”  I believe we should factor into all our crises this knee jerk response: “What is the righteous One doing in my life now?” I find that He is always up to something and ultimately it is always something very good.  It is not primarily for our good but it is what accomplishes His good for His glory.

Dick Woodward, 02 July 2010