Monday, January 28, 2013

A Woman of Faith: Why Faith is Important

I'm back!! Due to illness I was not able to post any blogs last week. I apologize and hope that you will join me again.

Now that we know what faith is let’s discuss why we need to have faith. Our first clue to why faith is important is actually in its definition. Our faith is the foundation upon which we build lives full of meaning and purpose. We can’t learn to be a woman like the woman in Proverbs 31 without first having a solid foundation of faith.

Our lives are a lot like trees, and faith is our roots. It is what keeps us anchored in the storm and in times of peace. God tills the heart preparing it for planting that seed of faith. Then when the time is right He plants that seed of faith in our hearts, He nurtures and cares for the seed and then a tree of life starts to grow. Have you ever noticed that when a tree first sprouts it doesn’t have full strong branches, but instead the seedling just bears a couple of leaves. Those leaves are hope and righteousness or salvation. God keeps tending the seedling, watering it with love and feeding it with fertilizer (see a previous post). He nurtures the seedling and it continues to grow. It grows strong and begins to branch out. As He continues to nurture it, it eventually bears fruit. More seed of faith that He can plant in the hearts that He has prepared.

Faith produces many effects in our life.

1.         It provides justification and righteousness which in turn produces salvation.
a.        “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)‘

2.        It produces hope.
a.        Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

3.        It conquers and provides protection and strength in times of trouble.
a.        In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16)

4.        It produces action or works.
a.        With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. (2 Thessalonians 1:11)
b.        We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:3)

5.        It provides healing.
a.        And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up, If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. (James 5:15)

6.         It also produces thanksgiving and joy in our lives.
a.        Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say this—those He redeemed from the hand of the foe, (Psalm 107:1-2)

A life without faith is like a tree without roots. When the storms of life come, then our lives topple. We feel depressed and hopeless. Faith is important because it is what gives life hope and meaning. It is what gives us a lasting character makeover.

Questions for reflection:
1.         Read Proverbs 31 again. Can you see how faith made a difference in her life?
2.        Can you see the fruit that faith produced in her life?
3.        Has faith made a difference in your life? Why or why not?
4.        What has faith produced in your life?
5.        Share an example of how it has produced hope in your life, protection, action, healing, and thanksgiving.

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