I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. (Psalms 116:1-2 NIV)
Psalms 116 is a chapter of thanksgiving to God in response to the Psalmist’s experience of answered prayers and personal deliverance (verses1-2). The trials through which the Psalmist passed had evidently brought him near to death. He found that true and genuine rest is found only in fully trusting God (verse 7). This trust is the kind that vanishes anxiety and restlessness (Matt 11:29).
When an appeal was made at an evangelistic meeting to surrender all, a man named Jaime walked with agony towards the altar. Jaime had been a sole survivor of an explosion on a merchant ship. He had been searching for answers as to why he survived and his search led him to the word of God. Through thanksgiving songs and the message of deliverance in God’s word, Jaime found the answers he was looking for! Jaime was baptized and pursued his new found purpose in life. Now he happily offers his sacrifice of thanksgiving and daily fulfills his vows (verses 16-19) in soul winning.
How about you? When was the last time you offered your sacrifice of thanksgiving and vows that touched others? Why not do so today?
Jan Harry Cabungcal
Europe for Jesus
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)
Trying to figure out the difference between belief and faith is not always so clear. In his book, “Jesus is the Question,” Martin B. Copenhaver gives this example.
Imagine you are at a circus. A skilled high-wire artist has accomplished so many marvelous feats that the audience has come to believe that he can do almost anything. The ringmaster addresses the crowd: “Ladies and gentlemen, how many of you believe that this daring man can ride safely over the high wire on his bicycle while carrying someone on his shoulders? If you believe he can do it, please raise your hand!” If you were in the audience you might raise your hand along with all the others, a great silent chorus of belief. “Very well, then,” says the ringmaster, seeing an almost unanimous vote of confidence, “Now who will be the first to volunteer to sit on his shoulders?”
The difference between belief and faith is the difference between staying in your seat and volunteering to climb on the shoulders of the high-wire artist. Ultimately, faith is not about believing certain things; it is about placing our trust in someone. So belief can often be an intellectual thing but faith involves the placing of your life, your heart into the hands of another.
So, what about you? Do you believe or do you have faith?