By Faith, Part 2

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“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”–Hebrews 11:1

My previous post tackled the definition of faith based on this Scripture.  Faith is substance and evidence.  In a ladies’ Bible study I just finished teaching, we spent 6 weeks unpacking faith.  One Bible story we kept referring to was in Joshua 3 & 4.  These chapters tell of when Israel was to be given the Promised Land.  God’s directions to Joshua were to take all of Israel (probably hundreds of thousands of people) and cross the Jordan River in order to capture the enemy and overtake the Promised Land.  Sounds easy?

Scripture states the river stood at flood stage during that time of year.  But much like crossing the Red Sea, God instructed the people to cross the river, and He would part the waters while they crossed on dry ground.  This miraculous feat exemplified a reminder of what God had done for them in the past (parting the Red Sea), a promise of God’s provision for them in the present, and a declaration for the Israelites’ faith to cling to as they prepared to go up against enemy armies.

This story truly depicts an inexplicable event for the Israelites, but my favorite detail comes after the people walk on dry ground.  God instructed Joshua to take 12 stones from the middle of that dry river bed and construct an altar on the side of the river where the Promised Land was located.  Joshua demonstrated the Israelites’ evidence for their faith.

“Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future your children will ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’  For the Lord your God dried up the river right before your eyes, and he kept it dry until you were all across, just as he did at the Red Sea when he dried it up until we had all crossed over.  He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever.”–Joshua 4:21-24

The Israelites had an altar of remembrance for their faith.  They were even instructed to retell their story for all to hear the power of God.  Where would you build your altar of remembrance?  Where has God shown you His power, His faithfulness, His promise to strengthen and encourage your faith?  Would you build an altar at the hospital where you witnessed a miracle of healing?  At the church where you were saved?  In your living room where you heard God speak to you?  Or in a Target store where you almost lost your life (see my blog about my testimony http://crosseyedliving.com/?p=4567)?

When you know where your altar(s) of remembrance would be built, share that story just like God instructed the Israelites to share.  Let us not grow weary, but remember His faithfulness in our story.

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