- 33 "But seek first His
kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each
day has enough trouble of its own.”
Easier said than done. But this wonderfully helpful counsel from the Son of
God is a part of the key to living successfully before God. Take care of the
business of faithful living today.
In troublesome times, this calls for endurance. The Hebrew writer wrote:
“For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God,
you may receive what was promised.” (Hebrews 10:36). There are few, if
any, endeavors in life where all the “starters” finish what they have
started - the ability to “keep going” is obviously an important one.
Again, it helps to concentrate on today's business. We'll get to tomorrow
when tomorrow comes. It takes faith to live this way. Faith does not ignore
tomorrow; it just does not let what may or may not happen tomorrow interfere
with today's progress.
Not Seen (Yet)
There are some specific qualities we need in order to keep going spiritually
- and these are qualities that can each be acquired by any child of God and
work in each and every circumstance. They are also qualities that can grow
The book of Hebrews makes the point that “unbelief” was the reason
the designated generation of Israel fell short of entering the promised
land. The letter also warns that the same could happen to us. “Unbelief” is
often the reason we fall short of our goals in the Lord.
Faith is said to be a conviction of things that are hoped for but not (yet)
seen (Hebrews 11:1). But “not seen” does not mean “without any
evidence” as many seem to think. The heavens and the earth and all
creation; the historical work and teaching of Jesus; the fulfillment of
prophecy; the moral makeup of human beings are all evidence that support our
faith in God and His promises to us. The empty tomb of Jesus signifies far
more than mere vacancy!
Unbelief and lack of obedience go hand in hand. When people do not obey, God
says the underlying problem is unbelief. The idea that one can believe but
not obey the Lord is untrue. “And to whom did He swear that they would
not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they
were not able to enter because of unbelief.” (Hebrews 3:18,19).
It is not that these people did not believe God existed. They did. They just
did not believe in Him. They lacked confidence in Him. This lack of
confidence led to their seeking another course than one of trusting
obedience. The Lord equates this disobedience with unbelief.
We Walk By Faith; Not
“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). We
“walk” by faith when our faith leads us to obey the Lord and our
willingness to obey Him is based on our trust in His promises to us even
though we have not yet seen them.
Consider how strong this faith needs to be. We need a faith that will not
only take God at His word and believe His promises, but consider the
fulfillment of those promises so sure that they become “real” to us already
. Abraham is often used as an example of what our faith ought to be. His
faith was just like this. He was so sure of God's promises that he
considered them as good as already done. “...yet, with respect to the
promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith,
giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He
was able also to perform. Therefore it was also credited to him as
righteousness.” (Romans. 4:20-22). Living by faith means making
decisions each day that are based on our being fully assured that all that
God has promised He is able and willing to perform. We continue to believe
this even in the darkest of days, enduring those days in and by our strong
hope and wonderful expectations of good things to come, though our eyes have
not yet seen.
By Faith Abraham
Abraham's faith in that which God promised was what motivated him to obey
God. “By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a
place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not
knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of
promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob,
fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has
foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:8-10).
Abraham's obedient faith testified how strongly he believed God's promises.
He believed that God would fulfill every promise concerning earthly Canaan
being given to his descendants; but more than that, he looked forward to
dwelling with God in the heavenly, eternal city. “But as it is, they
desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not
ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.“
(Hebrews 11:16). Though many say Abraham was justified by faith alone (that
is, by belief apart from obedience) Abraham knew nothing about
“justification by faith alone”. Rather, Abraham's faith was an obedient
faith (James 2:20-24).
Our ultimate goal is the same as Abraham's was. He is our spiritual
forefather who sought “the city which has foundations, whose builder and
maker is God.” We need to be able, by faith, “visualize” the
reaching of our spiritual goals so powerfully that this becomes a continual
motivator to keep working toward them (Philippians 3:12-14; 2:12). The race
will be won one day at a time by those who live each day by faith.
From The Bradley Banner 1/02/2005
Published by the Bradley Church of Christ
1505 E. Broadway
Bradley, IL 60915