The Most Difficult Task

Did you know; Do you know that ‘to believe God and leaving the results to Him’ is the very most difficult act faced by anyone? And, perhaps, the single most difficult fact concerning God is this: His foreknowledge allows Him to ‘see’ what you and I are doing in ‘present time’ before what we are presently doing takes place. God has already ‘been there’ and ‘done that.’ As I write this, God has already read the result. All of this is true because He IS God. 

As you are now ‘smoking this in your pipe,’ I want to suggest what may be the most difficult face that each of us face each and every day. Manley Beasley said this, “Faith is acting as if it is so in order for it to be so because with God it already is so.” The ‘it’ is not so important as is the act of faith relating to ‘it.’ “Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:6. There is more to this than meets the eye for, “How are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How timely is the arrival of those who proclaim the good news.” But not all have obeyed the good news, for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” Consequently faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word of Christ.” Romans 10:14-17. Hold on for one more thing, “But God, being rich in mercy because of his great love with which he loved us, even though we were dead in offenses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you are saved!—and he raised us up together with him and seated us together with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, to demonstrate in the coming ages the surpassing wealth of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his creative work, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we can do them.” Ephesians 2:4-10. Herein we find that saving faith is a gift of God extended to one who is seeking Christ. I know the arguments pro and con here, but this is what Paul writes. Faith is, indeed, a gift from God provided to those who are motivated by the Holy Spirit to seek Jesus Christ in salvation. 

For this reason alone, exercising faith toward God is a difficult, no, an impossible task for anyone who does not know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We find this statement to be true also, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven! Again I say, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter into the kingdom of God.” The disciples were greatly astonished when they heard this and said, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and replied, “This is impossible for mere humans, but for God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:23-26. Without faith our actions are merely human activities, but with God-given faith all things are possible BECAUSE this is a gift of God and mere humans are truly powerless without faith. Spiritually lost humans cannot exercise faith. Many tangents are made here most tangents are not of God…do not forget that, either.

Lost souls become saved souls because of faith given by God and “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see. For by it the people of old received God’s commendation. By faith we understand that the worlds were set in order at God’s command, so that the visible has its origin in the invisible.” Hebrews 11:1-3. What every Believer in Jesus Christ understands is this, we are fully able to understand God even though we do not fully understand Him at every turn because He allows us to grasp only those things He desires. He is God and we are His instruments of His grace only. 

This most difficult task of functioning in faith now leads to this, “ For he has spoken somewhere about the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works,” but to repeat the text cited earlier: “They will never enter my rest!” Therefore it remains for some to enter it, yet those to whom it was previously proclaimed did not enter because of disobedience. So God again ordains a certain day, “Today,” speaking through David after so long a time, as in the words quoted before, “Oh, that today you would listen as he speaks! Do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken afterward about another day. Consequently a Sabbath rest remains for the people of God. For the one who enters God’s rest has also rested from his works, just as God did from his own works. Thus we must make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by following the same pattern of disobedience.” Hebrews 4:4-11.

We are able to see many things within this passage, but one idea clearly stands out that points us to another “Thus we must make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by following the same pattern of disobedience.”  Believers must remain obedient to the Word of God just as Jesus taught us to remain in Him by obeying His instructions. We fully comprehend that an entire generation of Israel did not enter into the Promised Land because of disobedience toward Yahweh. They disobeyed the Law, but we also know they were not yet born-again nor were they under the law of God’s grace…this changed everything. Today, Followers of Jesus Christ are born-again and are under His grace. I agree with Paul, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39. (Please read Romans 8:18-39 in order to keep vv. 38-39 within Paul’s context.) Salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is kept by that grace.

This Sabbath Rest is made possible by God’s grace for those who are obedient by faith in Him. This rest provides the Believer the ability to be comforted by the Holy Spirit for those moments in time that a sin is committed by a Follower of Jesus Christ. We rest in Him by faith. The joy of knowing Jesus Christ comes from His act of forgiveness at the Cross for when we do sin we are able to rest in Him, too. His grace is sufficient in all things in blessings and in forgiveness. By remaining obedient we experience His grace.

Jesus is Lord.

About Bob Williford

Conservative Southern Baptist pastor, missionary, and personal evangelist. An avid supporter of Texas Tech Athletics. Enjoy oil painting, writing and woodworking. My wife, children, and grandchildren are my joy. Reading and writing are great for relaxing......
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