You may remember that today’s guest wrote a post in January, Love Your Body with a Healthy Heart. If you haven’t read that yet, you’ll want to do that right away. It’s so important to take care of our physical heart. Today Pamela Christian talks about how to have a spiritually healthy heart. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Examine Your Faith.
Everywhere I go I find people who are barely holding on. The heavy burdens of their personal life circumstances weigh them down. Many of these precious people claim to be believers in Jesus Christ—the one whose very life, death and resurrection was given so that those who believe could have life and life more abundantly, (John 10:10). Jesus was very clear that in this life we will have troubles, but we are to take heart because He has overcome the world, (John 16:33). Why don’t we see more Christians exemplifying the victorious life Christ died to provide us?
God’s Love is Unconditional but His Promises Aren’t
Several years ago, through no error of our own, when my husband and I suffered the loss of all our material assets except our furniture, clothing, and one car, I learned a valuable lesson about God’s love and promises.
God’s love is unconditional and eternal. We can’t do anything to earn it or stop it. God’s love is ever-present. However, God’s promises are a different matter. There are conditions of faith that we must meet before we can lay any claim to God’s promises.
Think about it: The Bible is very clear that God longs for everyone to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. But only those who place their faith in Jesus—the Son of God and promised Redeemer—will be saved. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life,” (John3:16). The promise is eternal life. The condition to receive the promise is to believe in Jesus.
Faith to Live By
From what turned out to be four long years of under and unemployment, and nearly being homeless on two separate occasions, I learned a great deal about faith. It’s not enough to believe that God exists. According to the Apostle James even the demons in hell believe in God, (James 2:19). Believing that God exists and placing our faith in Him are two entirely different matters.
Faith is something I’ve spent a great amount of time studying. In part because of what God reveals in Hebrews 11:6. Many people know the first part of the verse by heart:
“And without faith is it impossible to please him [God]…” (ESV)
But consider the rest of that passage:
“…for whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that He exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].” (AMP)
This passage challenges us to have faith that God exists, but also to have faith in His character, will, and intentions. His revealed promises are available if we have a deep desire to know Him personally for who He is, not for what He can do. Matthew 6:25-34 is very clear that we are to seek God first and foremost, then all the things we have need of will be given unto us.
To Know God
You may recall a popular sit-com where instead of saying “blah, blah, blah” to indicate unimportant continuation of thought or conversation, the characters said “yada, yada, yada.” I found it particularly interesting that yada is a Hebrew word that means to know (Strong’s 3045). And in some applications, it means to have a deep, abiding and personally experiential knowledge, referring to intimate knowledge. This same word used in Genesis states that Adam knew his wife and she conceived (Genesis 4:1). This gives us some tremendous insight about the intimate personal spiritual relationship we can have with God the Father, through faith in the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
You can bet that in that very dark and exceedingly difficult time in my family’s life, I did all I could to know God. He was the only one who could help us out of our dire circumstances. Convinced of this, I diligently sought God. I wanted to fully take hold of Him. Strangely, the specific things we needed to remedy our situation grew dim. Most important was for me to know God.
Why don’t we see more Christians exemplifying the victorious life Christ died to provide us? I contend it’s because many haven’t yet become fully convinced of His truth. As I write in Examine Your Faith! Finding Truth in a World of Lies, the first book of my Faith to Live By book series: “Well-meaning people want to believe that all roads lead to the same God and heaven. But wanting something to be true is far different from truth lining up with reality. Unless you make an intentional effort to examine what you believe and why you believe, it’s quite possible you are living your life on the basis of a lie, and don’t know it.” This book is foundational in the quest to discover and enter into the victorious life. It explores essential faith.
Another reason Christians don’t live God’s gift of the abundant life is because we haven’t embraced who we are in Christ—our identity with Christ’s imputed authority and power. My second book in the series, Renew Your Hope Remedy for Personal Breakthroughs, explores how “More than ever before, most people are finding it difficult to remain optimistic about their life and their future. So much has failed—marriage, family, and personal relations, the job and economic markets, government, education and even the Church. In whom or what can we find the hope and personal breakthrough we desperately need? Clearly, there is no hope in our natural existence. There never has been. That is why Christ came to this earth in the first place!”
Faith tested through trials of adversity is strengthened faith. Such faith is born through perseverance—not magically or instantaneously appearing, but developed. As Hellen Steiner Rice wrote, “Great faith that smiles is born of great trials.” Excellent faith is the topic for my third book planned in the series, Revive Your Life! Rest for Your Anxious Heart. You may have noticed that the three books in the Faith to Live By series address, faith, hope and love—the governing attributes necessary for God’s Kingdom to occur on earth as it is in heaven.
Keys to Overcome the Troubles of this World
In our very long trial of loss, that I share in more detail in my books and when I speak, I discovered that the keys for us to overcome even the most devastating troubles of this world are found in God’s Word—the Bible.
- First, it requires essential faith—a faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord. It’s not enough to know about Him as Savior. He must also be your Lord.
- Second, it requires effective faith—a faith in God’s declarations of who you are by faith in Christ.
- Third, it requires excellent faith—a faith confident in God’s love, plan and will, that God is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do.
With a compassionate heart, I want everyone to discover and live the same life-giving truth I’ve been blessed to find. I hope you will let my journey of discovering truth and learning to overcome even the most devastating tragedies, based on the promises of God, help you do the same. Please consider getting my books, signing up for my complimentary bi-monthly ENewsletter where there are giveaways, and following me on Twitter, Facebook and visiting and commentating on my Blog.
Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Examine Your Faith.
For over twenty years, coast to coast, Pamela Christian has been helping people in matters of faith. Ministry for Pam began as Teaching Director for Community Bible study, followed by speaking at retreats and conferences, coast to coast. Expanding her ministry included hosting live Christian talk-radio in two major markets and work in commercial television. Pam has a certificate in apologetics from Biola University and membership with the International Society of Women in Apologetics and Christian Women in Media. Her fervent interests are faith, family, friends, and food, so you’ll often find her dotingly planning gatherings and cooking to bring all her passions together. She and her husband live in Orange County, CA, with their two grown children and families living nearby.