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There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying.
No Faith = No Power
One night at dinner a man, who had spent many summers in Maine, fascinated his companions by telling of his experiences in a little town named Flagstaff. The town was to be flooded, as part of a large lake for which a dam was being built. In the months before it was to be flooded, all improvements and repairs in the whole town were stopped. What was the use of painting a house if it were to be covered with water in six months? Why repair anything when the whole village was to be wiped out? So, week by week, the whole town became more and more bedraggled, more gone to seed, more woebegone. Then he added by way of explanation: "Where there is no faith in the future, there is no power in the present."
Sermon Central Staff
It’s said that when Henry Ward Beecher was a boy, he had a teacher at school who asked one of the boys in class a question which the boy answered. The teacher became angry and told the boy he was wrong and commanded him to: "Sit down!" The boy was obviously confused because he’d thought he’d answered correctly, but he sat abruptly down.
Several boys were asked the same question, they gave the same answer and promptly rebuked by their teacher. Finally Beecher was asked to stand and answer the question. He gave the same answer and was commanded "Sit down!" But Beecher held his ground and insisted that the answer was correct.
For a few moments the teacher stormed at him, but seeing Beecher wasn’t going to give up he smiled and said,
"Well, boys, you were all correct, but Beecher was the only one sure enough to stand up for it.”
Many people have lost their faith in Christ because they simply lacked the courage to stand up for what they believed. They had grown so used to apologizing for their faith that once someone mounted a serious challenge to that faith they just gave up and sat down.
(From a sermon by Jeff Strite, Confession Is Good For the Soul, 10/24/2010)
For Sparky, school was all but impossible. He failed every subject in the eighth grade. He flunked physics in high school, getting a grade of zero. Sparky also flunked Latin, Algebra, and English.
He didn't do much better in sports. Although he did manage to make the school's golf team, he promptly lost the only important match of the season. There was a consolation match. He lost that one too.
Throughout his youth, Sparky was socially awkward. He was not actually disliked by the other students; it was just that no one cared that much about him. He was astonished if a classmate ever said hello to him outside of school hours.
There's no way to tell how he might have done with dating, because Sparky never once asked a girl to go out with him while he was in high school. He was too afraid of being turned down.
Sparky was a loser. He, his classmates... everyone knew it. So he rolled with it. Sparky had made up his mind early in life that, if things were meant to work out, they would. Otherwise he would content himself with what appeared to be his inevitable mediocrity of just blending in with the crowd.
However, one thing was import to Sparky: drawing. He was proud of his artwork. Of course, no one else appreciated it.
In his senior year at high school, he submitted some cartoons to the editors of the yearbook. The cartoons were turned down. Despite this particular rejection, Sparky was so convinced of his ability that he decided to become a professional artist.
After completing high school, he wrote a letter to Walt Disney Studios. He was told to send some samples of his artwork, and the subject for a cartoon was suggested. Sparky drew the proposed cartoon. He spent a great deal of time on it and on all the other drawings he sub...
"God expects of us the one thing that glorifies Himand that is to remain absolutely confident in Him, remembering what He has said beforehand, and sure that His purposes will be fulfilled."
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. The man who believes this has calm quiet confidence, but, because his confidence is based upon Gods power and not his own power, there is never the slightest speck of egotism."
"In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result."
ALL BY MYSELF?
The story is told of an old lady who had moved to the United States from Europe when she was a child, but now she wanted to officially become a citizen of this country. After months of going through all the necessary red tape, she was finally ready to take the required oath.
"Raise your right hand, please." She raised her right hand. "Do you swear to defend the Constitution of the United States against all its enemies, domestic or foreign?" was the first question.
The little old lady's face paled and her voice trembled as she asked in a small voice, "Uhhh...all by myself?"
I know the feeling. When I read wha...
To try and fail is at least to learn; to fail to try is to suffer the inestimable loss of what might have been.
Walking in the Confidence of God
Christians walk in confidence because they serve a "Providential God:"
Christians serve a Lord whose plans and purposes come about. Psalms 33:4-11 says, "For the word of the LORD is right and true; He is faithful in all He does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing love. By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; He puts the deep into storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD! Let all the people of the world revere Him. For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm. The LORD foils the plans of the nations; He thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations."
In gratitude toward God, Job writes, "You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence you watched over my spirit." (Job 10:12) Job was recognizing that he owed God his entire life because God had given him constant vigilance and had absolute control of his life.
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia gives us this explanation of "providence." It "implies more than just seeing in advance. It is anticipation causing one to take steps to meet a need through making a plan. It is in a sense that pre-vision becomes pro-vision... Applied to God, providence obviously includes the divine foreseeing, but God's foreseeing has a fuller and broader reference in view of divine overruling. Providence, then, is the preservation and superintendence of all things by God. It is divine governance whereby all possible events are woven into a coherent pattern and all possible developments are shaped to accomplish the divinely instituted goal."
Many Holy Spirit illuminated Christians have seen the Lord provide for a real need in their lives. Walking in the Confidence of God begins with accepting His provision through Christ, who died for your sins so you may have eternal life.
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