Wait a Minute

Hello, Beloved Reader! I’m Faith. Thanks for visiting me today.

“And the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” –Galatians 5: 22-23

“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;” –Romans 12:12

“Now, we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.” –1Thessalonians 5:14

“Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” –James 5:8

Everyone finds themselves impatient at some point. Sometimes it’s a lot of points. Patience is easy to lose, especially in today’s world. Every little thing can get to you. Do you ever look at someone and think, “How in the world can they take that? I would have lost it by now.”

Think about this though: Jesus could have lost it.

He was stripped and mocked. He was beat and spit on. People – His own creations – rejected His love and cried out for His crucifixion. They crowned Him with thorns and ripped out His beard. They drove nails in His hands and feet. How patient was Jesus while dying on that cross?

I know for a fact that none of us could ever die like Jesus did.

Think of how patient Jesus is with our faults! Think how patient is He with our fears, our worries, and our doubts! Again, and again we let Him down and still He picks us up and shows us the way. Do you realize how much patience He has toward us?

Why not give out a little of that patience?

Yes, things annoy me too sometimes. Yes, the ones closest to us know just how to get on our last nerve. Yes, the world can get overwhelming. And yes, sometimes we want what we want when we want it.

“And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” –Hebrews 6:15

Your promise awaits you. Enduring is part of the long game. Patience is key to obtaining your promise. Wait a bit. Sit back, relax. Take in the peace of the moment. You don’t have to worry about getting the promise. It’s already guaranteed; it’s coming. All you have to do is be patient and endure.

— Faith Cross

Joy in the Trials

Hello, Beloved Reader! I’m Faith. Thanks for visiting me today. 

“But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.” –Psalm 5:11

“”Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” –Psalm 16:11

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” –James 1:2-3

Joy is a concept that some may confuse with happiness. So, for the sake of understanding let’s define each. Happiness is a state of the mind, yet the mind can change rather swiftly. Joy is a state of the heart. Joy comes deep within. Even though they might seem like the same thing, they aren’t.

Joy is a state of happiness, but it lasts longer than just within a moment of contentment.

“Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” –Philippians 4:11

You can be in a state of disease and still be content? You can be dying and still be content? You can have the world falling in on you and still be content? How??

It’s not saying be happy that you’re sick or dying. It’s saying be joyous even through the trials. It’s difficult, believe me, I know. It seems impossible to be joyous when you’ve just lost a loved one, or your finances are in shambles, or your heart is heavy. I know. I’m not saying you can’t be sad for a little bit. I’m saying get back up. Don’t wallow in the sorrow. Don’t stay there.

After all, why not be joyous?

You’re a child of God, aren’t you? Don’t you have the promise of eternal life? Don’t you have a Friend that walks by you everyday, who talks to you and gives you peace and comfort when times are rough? Don’t you have a Father who loves you so much to give his Son as a sacrifice for you to have an opportunity for salvation? Why not be joyous? Why not be content? After all, this world and its troubles fade away, right? It’s hard work, but we can do it.

–Faith Cross

Peace in the Chaos

Hello, Beloved Reader! I’m Faith. Thanks for visiting me today.

“And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” –Colossians 3:14-15

“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.” –Psalm 4:8

“The Lord will give strength unto his people: the Lord will bless his people with peace.” –Psalm 29:11

“Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.” –Psalm 37:37

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” –Psalm 119:165

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” –Isaiah 26:3

I think you may be able to tell where I’m going with this. Peace is defined as “freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.”

The world is breaking. Cities burn. Buildings collapse. Cars crash. People scream and cry out in agony. Then, the camera moves to one person who isn’t screaming, but is calm and has a set determination on their face. The whole world fades about them and the noises die down, until the only thing heard is the beating of their heart. The chaos doesn’t affect them because they have one set goal, one absolute mission, and that is their sole focus. Sounds like a scene out of a movie, doesn’t it?

The Bible tells us that if we have our mind stayed on God, He will keep us in perfect peace.

Right now, the world is breaking. Cities are burning and people are screaming. We are plagued by fear. We are surrounded by evil and darkness. And in the middle of all this is the Christian who is trying their hardest to be a righteous child of God.

There’s something funny about peace in a Christian’s life.

Someway, somehow, you can have peace with the earth crumbling. People can be telling you that everything you’re doing is wrong. But somehow, if you know you’re following all God’s commands, through all the confusion, there’s peace. Peace that passes all understanding. Peace that comes from God, and God alone. Peace that the world can’t give nor take away. From God comes a peace, strange and beautiful, even when the world is falling apart.

In God’s peace, we know that everything will be alright soon, no matter how bad it is now.

Don’t watch the world. Keep your focus on God. I know it’s hard with everything going on. Death and destruction slash at us from every side. But, we have a loving Father who has blessed us abundantly with peace we can’t even understand. When the world hates us and does everything in its power to destroy us, we can rest. We don’t have to worry about it. If we do our part, God does His. He’s fighting for us. Everything is going to be okay. In fact, it’s going to be wonderful. Keep pressing to God. Keep on fighting to maintain focus on Him. Keep seeking His Kingdom first. Keep on keeping on. His peace will flow over you like a river. You won’t understand it, but it will be there, and you’ll know it can only be from God.

–Faith Cross

You Have to Die Every Day

Hello, Beloved Reader! I’m Faith. Thanks for visiting me today.

I’ve experienced death in my life. I’ve been to some visitations and funerals. I know death comes to all, and sometimes it’s swift, sometimes it draws out, sometimes you know when it’s coming, and sometimes you don’t. But, today, I’m not talking about the last breath we breathe at the end of our lives. 

Today, I’m talking about the death we all must accept every day.

As Christians, we are children of God, bought with a price of blood, and given the promise of eternal life. But, as humans, we mess up. We say the wrong things. We give in to temptation from time to time. Sometimes we don’t try as hard to get it right because trying to get it right is hard.

“I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” — 1 Corinthians 15:33

We, as humans, must die every day. Not literally die, but figuratively. We have to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow God. We must decrease so He can increase. To be a Christian is to be Christ-like and, therefore, we must be less like ourselves and more like Jesus.  Do you see what I’m getting at here?

 We must die, so He can live within us.

If you are a born-again Christian, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. Sometimes we have to stop and think. Sometimes we have to be reminded of what the Lord’s will is. Sometimes the world and all its problems weighs down on us like a ton of bricks. Evaluate your options when you’re faced with a choice. Find the one that best suits what you believe Jesus would do in your situation. Not what you would do. You have to deny yourself, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you. God is the Father and we are the child.

God is the Chief, and we follow Him.

He is our prime example. Just think of how the world would change if more people denied themselves. Think of how lives would be changed and hearts touched. Think about how many problems could be solved, and how many mistakes could be avoided, if we all died a little more each day, and let Christ live through us.

I think the world would be a much better place.

–Faith Cross

What Are You Looking At?

Hello, Beloved Reader! I’m Faith. Thanks for visiting me today.

Before we get started, I’ve got some reading for you to do. Check out Matthew 14:22-33.

Now, this is an event that a lot of people have heard about. Even some who aren’t Christians have heard the tale of Peter walking on the water with Jesus. It’s a story that most of us are well familiar with. So, why am I bringing this up? Let me ask you this first:

What are you looking at?

What is catching your attention right now? What consumes your thoughts at the moment? What is your brain engrossed in every second of the day? What do you have your eyes set on?

“But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” — Matthew 14:30

There are three things Peter did here. 

He saw the boisterous wind.

“But, Faith, you can’t see wind,” you might say. No, but you can see its effects. You can see what it moves. The wind made the sea toss the boat. It created crashing waves and splashed water upon them. Peter looked at the storm, at the trial, around him. He looked at that instead of looking straight ahead.

Keep your eyes and ears on Jesus. Don’t look to the left or right. The world is full of storms and trials. Stop looking at them. Stop listening to the enemy. Don’t give him any room in your heart. For if you do, the second thing happens.

Peter grew afraid.

He got scared. He had doubts his faith would take him through. He doubted he could conquer. He doubted he could make it to Jesus, “He’s too far! I’ll never make it! This storm will surely pull me under. I will have the sea as my grave.”

And that is what brought him down. The funny thing is, he brought himself down. He let the fear get a hold on him. He dwelled on the doubts. He watched the contrary sea and listened to the lies the splashing waves sprayed in his face. He believed it, and so, he began to sink.

Then the third thing happened; He cried.

He cried out, calling for salvation with one desperate plea, “Lord, save me!” And God reached down, pulling him up. But what would have happened if he had never taken his eyes off the Lord? How would the story have changed?

How would your story change? Are your eyes on Jesus? Are you listening to the waves or the call of the Lord? Is the sickness consuming your thoughts? Are the worries of the world catching your attention? Are you setting your eyes to the Lord for help?

Peter called out to the Lord. He couldn’t save himself, and he knew it. The only One he could look to was Jesus. He looked at Jesus and made his way toward him, but when he gazed at the problem, he faltered. Don’t listen to the enemy. Don’t even listen to yourself. A person’s mind can fly out of control sometimes. Instead, look at Jesus. Listen to Jesus. Then, and only then, can we truly endure to the end.

So, take a moment and figure out where your eyes are, and where they need to be.

–Faith Cross

Follow the Instructions

Hello, Beloved Reader! I’m Faith. Thanks for visiting me today.

“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake no the law of thy mother:” — Proverbs 1:8

“Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.” — Proverbs 4:1

“Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.” — Proverbs 4:13

“Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.” — Proverbs 8:10

“He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.” — Proverbs 15:32

You’ve seen those scenes in movies where a couple buys a new piece of furniture that they have to put together themselves. Usually, the man lays aside the instructions to impress his woman, “Pfft,” he says, “I don’t need the instructions.” Then he commences to ruining the whole thing because he loses parts, or he doesn’t know where certain parts go. The man may gain a supposed victory as the furniture stands before him in a form unlike the image on the box, but soon it may fall to the floor in a giant heap of screws, boards, and random pieces. The man is defeated, and usually quite embarrassed. But if he had followed the instructions, he would have a beautiful piece worthy of display in his home. A piece that he could be proud of and that would please his wife.

If things end up so badly when we refuse instruction, then why do we so easily refuse it?

God knows man and his heart. God knows that if we follow our own path, we will ruin everything and cause problems for ourselves. So, He gave us instruction through His Word. Oh, what a loving Father!

Everyone, even you and me, we have thought at some point that we could make it on our own. Laying aside the instruction from God we thought wasn’t necessary and trying our own method. How did that end up? Not good? When we learned that our way wouldn’t work, we repented and tried God’s way. And what happened? It was all good.

Some people know the instruction, yet don’t follow it.

That’s why America, and the whole world is in the shape it’s in. There are few who don’t know of God. People know that the Bible is His instruction. The thing is, they look at the Bible and then at their own way, and turn from the Truth to follow a lie that drags them to Hell. Because the lie pleases their flesh for the moment, while the Bible’s guidance pushes to deny yourself.

“And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,” — Romans 1:27-29

So, people know of God, but they don’t like to retain Him in their knowledge. They want to do their own thing. They want to please themselves instead of pleasing God. I will be honest with you. This saddens me and makes me angry. The Bible is such a blessed thing. God is so kind to give us this instruction, and yet we throw it away and fulfill our own lusts. This should not be.

As true Christians, we should read and follow the Bible, God’s instructions. We can’t do this by ourselves. We can’t even live without the grace of God holding our breath in His hand. We are at His loving mercy. Why betray that love and cause heartache for ourselves?

Why not listen and do? I’m sure the world would be a much better place if more people would follow the instructions.

Faith Cross

Watch Your Mouth

Hello, Beloved Reader! I’m Faith. Thanks for visiting me today.

“My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.” — Job 27:4

“Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.” — Psalm 34:13

“I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.” — Psalm 39:1

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” — Proverbs 18:21

“Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.” — Proverbs 21:23

And now go ahead and check out James 3:1-12.

We as humans have this little thing that lives in our mouths called a tongue. And the tongue is a strange little fellow. He lacks the hard strength of bones, but is mighty enough to slay a giant. He is nothing but muscle and mischief if allowed free will, becoming more fierce and skilled with use. His sharp words will cut like a dagger, and his sounds pierce like an arrow through the heart. He will speak the true nature of man’s heart, whether he be foolish or wise. And he can kindle great fires and destruction in his path. The power of the tongue can bring death.

The tongue can yield words of goodness. Kindness can flow from its syllables. It can build up and encourage a person. It can bring about great speeches and words from God that prick the hearts of many and strike them with wonder at the glory of the Lord. The power of the tongue can bring life.

But there is something we have to remember: No fountain can yield both sweet and bitter water.

How can we bless God and then curse men? How can we speak good of God, yet break our brothers with our words? Have you ever heard the saying, “Silence is golden?” In all honesty, if people were silent more often, the world would be a better place. So many things are said that shouldn’t be, and they start little strivings that turn into huge ordeals, when in the first place if a kind word were spoken it would all have gone a different way. We can say something bad and then something good, but the bad will corrupt the good and make it all bad. It’s kind of like a sweet vanilla ice cream that has a roach in the middle, or a plate of roaches with ice cream on top. See the roaches are nasty, and it doesn’t matter how good the ice cream is, you’re not going to eat it because of the bugs. At least, I wouldn’t.

We are all human. There will be times where we mess up. We will say something we aren’t supposed to and then it snowballs into a mass of chaos.

So, here’s a challenge for you:

The Bible says to be quick to hear and slow to speak. I challenge you to listen. Get all the facts. Learn about the whole situation by observing and STAYING SILENT. Then, think, but don’t trust in your own understanding. Ask the Lord for help. Take your situation to Him and He can tell you what to say. Then, speak, and see how it goes for you.

Faith Cross

The Inside Counts First

Hello, Beloved Reader! I’m Faith. Thanks for visiting me today.

“There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.” –Mark 7:15

“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart: and they defile the man.” –Matthew 15:18

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” –Jerimiah 17:9

The heart of man is an evil thing, selfish to the core. It wants nothing but to please itself. It thinks wickedly all hours of the day. It basks in corruption and maliciousness. It is villainous and vile, and to follow it would spell doom for the soul.

A man or woman can do good to others, go to church, and just be one of those good ole’ people. But if they never receive Jesus into their heart, sadly, they die and leave this world for an eternal torture.

What you do matters, but what’s on the inside matters first.

Interesting thought: Who you are on the inside will dictate what you do on the outside. Why do we label drinkers as ‘drinkers’? Think about it. You label a drinker a ‘drinker’ because that’s what they do. They drink. The same goes for a smoker, or a chef, or a farmer. I label myself as a ‘writer’ because that’s what I do. I write. But the thing is, a farmer wouldn’t plant crops all the time if that wasn’t what he wanted to do. A chef wouldn’t cook all the time if that’s not what his heart was drawn to. They are labeled those things because that’s what they do, but they wouldn’t do them if that’s not who they were on the inside.

Now, here’s the thing. The heart of man is evil and that’s what’s inside him. So, he will do what his heart wants. But when God comes in, the story changes.

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgements, and do them.” –Ezekiel 36:26-27

God gives us a new heart when we accept Him as Savior. We are new creatures in Christ. There’s a label given to people like that. They are called born again Christians because now it’s in their heart to be Christ-like. They have a desire to walk in God’s statutes, keep His judgments, and do them.

So, it matters what you do, but that is dictated by who you are on the inside, or rather, Who is inside you.

Stewardship

Hello, Beloved Reader! I’m Faith. Thanks for visiting me today.

“Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” — 1 Corinthians 4:2

“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” — 1 Peter 4:10

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” — Colossians 3:23

And one more, Matthew 25:14-30.

Stewardship is a word that most Christians are well familiar with. And about everyone understands the word’s meaning. Stewards faithfully take care of what their master places in their management.

So, what has your Master placed in your management?

Look around you. It’s all in your hand. In Genesis, God gave Adam dominion over all living things, but He also gave Adam responsibility to take care of the garden of Eden.

“And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” — Genesis 2:15

I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. God blesses us with gifts and talents. They are not ours to keep, but are placed with us to multiply, to bless others with, and fulfill God’s purpose for us. Every human is born with a purpose and talents and gifts to help fulfill that purpose. But if that human doesn’t choose to manage those gifts and nurture those talents, they are wasted. That is not good stewardship.

God didn’t have to let you wake up this morning, but here you are. Time is something else God has placed with you today. And there are so many ways we can spend it. You could spend all day roaming on social media. You could use the time to call a distant relative and let them know you’re praying for them. I could go on forever. But the thing to remember is that we are given time. As good stewards,  we need to manage our time in a way that glorifies God.

God has given us so much. The promises and blessings are overflowing. The love and mercy is never-ending. There should be nothing we aren’t willing to do for Him. Granted, we get scared sometimes when what He commands us to do gets us out of our comfort zone. And yes, sometimes we flat-out don’t want to do it. And sometimes, we can’t see how He could provide the means for us to do it.

So, you can hide it in the dirt, or use it for His glory.

When He gives us something, time, energy, talents, whatever it may be, we are to faithfully take care of what He’s given. Remember, the good and faithful servant entered into the joy of his Lord.

–Faith Cross

A Peer’s Pressure

Hello, Beloved Reader! I’m Faith. Thanks for visiting me today.

Before we get started, I want you to take a look at Proverbs 1:10-19 and James 1:12-18.

I wanted to talk today about something that everyone goes through. Adults, teens, and children alike, go through this and sometimes it’s hard to turn away.

What I’m talking about is peer pressure.

The internet defines peer pressure as “influence from members of one’s peer group.”

You can have a child tempting another with stealing a cookie when their mother told them specifically no dessert before dinner. You can have a teen offering one of his non-smoking friends a cigarette, promising not to tell a soul. I heard a story about a man presenting another who did not drink with an alcoholic drink multiple times, but at each time he refused. These are examples of bad peer pressure.

Temptation is a nasty thing. Lying in wait around street corners, patiently awaiting your arrival so it can say, “Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause.” And it doesn’t even have to be necessarily huge bad things. It can be little things, too.

But here’s what you have to remember.

God has the ability to look at each and every person as if no one else in the world exists. He can look at us all as individuals, and wants us to have an individual relationship with Him.

That being the case, He doesn’t compare us to anyone else. Likewise we don’t need to compare with others either. “Jake only fasts once a week. I don’t think I need to fast three times a week.” “Carol doesn’t pray five times a day. I don’t think I need to.”

Don’t give in to the temptations of life, or enticements of the devil. 

You should look at yourself and say, “What do I need to do to get closer to God? What can I do to strengthen my walk with Him.”

It’s just you and God in this instance. What other people do doesn’t matter. It’s what you do that helps or hinders your relationship with your Heavenly Father.

–Faith Cross