Faith in God & Faith in our FellowmanBro. David Chancellor
12/3/2000 6:00 PM
The disciples had seen how the fig tree withered away after Christ spoke to it. There are many things in life that can be worked by faith in God. We want to be a people that is able to take in what God can do. To prosper spiritually we need faith. We need the realization that some things can be. Christ was telling them, "not only the fig tree, but even if it is a mountain of a problem it can be done." None of us have had reason to move a literal mountain. There are, however, mountains of trouble and difficulty, that we need moved and we can seek God to move them out of the way. When we came to God, we had a mountain of sin that needed to be cast into the sea of God's forgetfulness. We need faith in God, but we also need faith in our fellowman. We need to move the mountain of distrust. Lack of trust is a big hindrance. If we can't have faith in God, it's a problem in us; we can't grasp or understand. We need to exercise faith in others. If someone lets you down, trust people anyhow. Things go much better when we have trust and confidence in others. The devil would have us to become isolated and all alone, not realizing that God and others would be our friend. If we will exercise trust in our fellowman, good will be accomplished.
He speaks of making the way of the Lord straight in the desert. It is a making even of the way. It is a changing of humanity. We will all come to the same level. "All ye are brethren..." God wants us all to be in our place and where he would want us to be. A hierarchy in the form of a pyramid is the image of the beast. God wants to level us out. God can bring us to the place where he would have us to be.
Paul didn't tell Philemon... "I'm an apostle, ... Now.. you sit and listen!" He had an appreciation for Philemon. Paul had a situation they needed to deal with and handle. We should be thankful for God's people, and praying for God's people. Why? Because we want them to be successful. Philemon had love toward God and toward the saints. We need faith to believe God's people intend that which is right. We need to have confidence in others that their desire is to serve God. We may be perplexed from time to time, but God can help us to continue to have faith in our fellowman. If people could have trust and confidence, many problems could be solved. Paul acknowledged the good things first. Paul came beseeching. Learn from his example, that trust. Paul desired to see some things mended and healed.
Paul was thanking God for them and praying for them. We should pray for each other. Faith in God's people is a natural outcropping of faith in others. God started the work, he is still working and will work to the end. Is it proper to think bad of others? Let's get on the side of trust and confidence. We all can be partakers of God's grace.
2 Thessalonians 1:3-5
Paul wrote nearly all of these letters because of troubles. Our love to the saints needs to abound. We should be able to draw closer to each other. God would have us to reach out to others as well. We don't want a closeness that excludes. As we reach out to others we need trust and confidence. We need the secure place that can give us what we need to go out and face the world. It is hard to be caring and concerned for others if you feel alone. When we are trying to see things resolved, we need to pray that we can be in our place and that it can be resolved.
He pointed them back to the time they found God and all they endured. If someone were going through persecution, would you run down and join them? You have to have some confidence in the person to join someone in being persecuted. It takes confidence to stand with someone in their difficult hour. We have a heavenly reward waiting. It should give us grace and confidence to be a help to others. It should help us in our interactions. Sometimes we may have some losses down here, but it is for gain over there. "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward." It is important to maintain faith in God.. and in our fellowman. It is the basis we need to work from to be a help to others.