Where is Your Faith?

There is a season in our faith just as there are seasonsin the year.  During the "spring" of ourfaith, 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 thepressures and demands of life in such a way as to dry our spirits.  The "fall" of faith is a time when we beginto sense the slowing down of the pace of life. And, of course, there are those "winter" times of our faith when we seemto be lying dormant.  Every believer willpass through these seasons of faith at one time or another. 

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

"By faith Abel offered toGod a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witnessthat he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he beingdead still speaks." (Hebrews 11:4 NIV)

Thethought that really speaks to me is "beingdead still speaks."  The book ofJames tells us that faith without works is dead. Abel’s life was full of worksthat gave testimony of his faith even after his death.  This is not to say that somehow Abel earnedhis eternal life through his good works. Eternal life is only possible through the gift of God’s grace in JesusChrist. However his life centered in good works that were a result of hisfaith. These allowed him to live above and beyond the trials he faced.

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

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

2011 is but a day away. Make your commitment to theseprinciples for this New Year!