Note from Janet
For those of you who have completed the first half of the Foundations of Faith Bible Study, I hope you will join us for the second half of the study.
The first lecture (Abraham & Sarah – Lesson 12) is now available to view on the website.
Each lesson will focus on a person/persons from the Bible who demonstrated faithful obedience to God and will offer insight on how we, too, can live in faithful obedience to Him.
If you haven’t yet registered for the Bible study, now would be a perfect time to join us.
A man was sick and didn’t know if he would get well. He had lived a long life, a prosperous and influential life, but knew that his accomplishments couldn’t provide what he needed most. Healing couldn’t be purchased or acquired by hard work. Healing was a gift and a blessing.
The man lay on his bed, appreciating the fact he could still breathe. He was grateful for those who came and went, trying to help him live. He spent his time thinking because thinking was all he was capable of.
His thoughts naturally turned to the One who had given him life. The One who could give him more. He wanted more. He had lived his life always wanting more.
He pondered all that he would do if he could only get well. He also pondered all he would fix, if he only could. He wished for second chances knowing there was really no such thing. All choices have consequences that live on in the people affected.
“Why, Lord? Why do I always want more? Will I always want more? What is enough? I’ll try to do more for you, Lord, if you will just give me the chance. I know I can do better.”
The man listened to the beeping sound that indicated he was still alive. Each beep was another moment he could have been doing something else.
“Why, Lord? Why am I here? Why is this happening?”
Beep. Beep. Beep.
“Are you there, Lord? Is this my time? Are you coming for me now? Am I ready?”
Beep. Beep. Beep.
“Whatever you are going to do, Lord, will you just do it? I’m tired of waiting. I just want to know.”
Beep. Beep. Beep.
“Lord, I don’t care anymore. Whatever! I don’t even know what to think. I’m weary in well-doing.”
Beep. Beep. “Don’t be.”
“What? What do you mean ‘Don’t be?’”
“When you get well . . . you can look it up.”
“I will, Lord. Thank you so much.”
The man did get better. As soon as he could, he found the verse, then the passage, then the wisdom he knew had been God’s gift to him during his long wait.
Hope was the gift and blessing. Healing was simply an answered prayer.
GALATIANS 6:9 WAS MY ANSWER
Most of us get “thought-filled” at the beginning of a new year. That’s probably especially true this year. 2020 was a year that provided all of us extra time to think. The parable above isn’t anyone’s story. It’s everyone’s story. I don’t know how it is yours, but God would like the chance to tell you.
Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” That part of the parable above is my personal story.
Years ago, I was at a particularly low time in my own life when I prayed, “Whatever, Lord!” I was feeling like so much of what I had worked for was just a “vapor” that had blown away. It was comforting to remember that was how King Solomon felt too.
I was praying to God one morning. Actually, I was whining to God. I poured out a bunch of thoughts, fears, concerns, and frustrations, and I finally told the Lord, “I’m just weary in well-doing!”
Almost instantly, I heard my next thought: “Don’t be.”
I remember laughing out loud! My answer from God was so like God: simple, complex, and always biblical truth.
I heard him that day and knew it was time to move ahead.
This blog post is one result of that prayer time.
GALATIANS 6:1–10 IS OUR WISDOM
Before you read the passage below, stop and pray.
Ask God to speak to you as you read.
There are words in the passage below that apply to your new year. God won’t tell me what he wants to say to you. I will provide his word; God will give you his direction from it.
Pay attention to the verses you need to reread or that seem to be directed to your heart. We call Scripture “God’s word” because it is God’s voice.
Paul closed his letter to the church in Galatia saying:
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.
Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:1–10)
YOUR PARABLE OF HOPE FOR A NEW YEAR
2020 authored a lot of thoughts in everyone.
What did God tell you last year?
What did God just tell you as you read his word?
Hope is a powerful comfort while we wait for a chance to get well, get vaccinated, and get on with better days.
I like to think about watching the news and not hearing about the “numbers” for the day. I like to think about going to a baseball game and joining the crowd who jumps to their feet, cheering loudly after a home run. I especially like to think about hugging my family and friends without a thought of reservation.
We will do all of those things. If we stay well, we will be well. We have a lot to hope for in 2021.
But, the real gift and blessing of 2021 will not be a vaccine.
We should spend the rest of our lives knowing that hope is the blessing we have already received.
“The one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good” (Galatians 6:8–9).
The hope of a vaccine is real. The hope of eternal life has always been real for those who have asked for and received God’s salvation through Christ. Let’s not grow weary waiting for hope we already have. Live in, through, and because of God’s hope.
We are already blessed!
“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).
May your 2021 be filled with God’s hope.