Where is Your Faith?

There is a season in our faith just as there are seasons in the year.  During the “spring” of our faith, we feel alive and full of growth.  Life seems to bloom all around us.  During the “summer” of our faith, it is not unusual to feel the pressures and demands of life in such a way as to dry our spirits.  The “fall” of faith is a time when we begin to sense the slowing down of the pace of life.  And, of course, there are those “winter” times of our faith when we seem to be lying dormant.  Every believer will pass through these seasons of faith at one time or another.

While it is true that we all go through these times, some of them are more difficult to deal with than the others. Especially during the “winter” we need to be encouraged and nurtured with the example of others in the faith.  People of faith are always an encouragement to be around. Through the Scripture God has placed many of these faithful in our path. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Joshua and a host others faith will challenge and encourage our faith. Today, we can look at one of them. Abel is such an example to us. Listen to the writer of Hebrews:

 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. (Hebrews 11:4 ESV).

The thought that really speaks to me “being dead still speaks.”  The book of James tells us that faith without works is dead. Abel’s life was full of works that gave testimony of his faith even after his death.  This is not to say that somehow Abel earned his eternal life through his good works.  Eternal life is only possible through the gift of God’s grace in Jesus Christ. However his life centered in good works that were a result of his faith. These allowed him to live above and beyond the trials he faced.

A century ago, Robert Louis Stevenson devised a number of rules to help people to live happier, more productive lives. These rules may be a century old, but they are still excellent guidelines. They are practical ways to center your life on faithful good works.

  1. Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.
  2. Make the best of circumstances. No one has everything, and everyone has something of sorrow.
  3. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  4. Don’t let criticism worry you. You can’t please everybody.
  5. Don’t let your neighbors set your standards. Be the person God wants you to be.
  6. Do things you enjoy doing, but stay out of debt.
  7. Don’t borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than actual ones.
  8. Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish enmities and grudges. Avoid people who make you unhappy.
  9. Have many interests. If you can’t travel read about places.
  10. Don’t hold postmortems or spend time brooding over sorrows and mistakes.
  11. Don’t be the one who never gets over things.