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SOLD, 37cm x 30cm (14.5″ x 12″), Pastel
“…I [Jesus] tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20-21)
“Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].” (Hebrews 11:1, AMP).
Sometimes, according to our own human perception of things, we find ourselves in “impossible” circumstances. However, “…nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).
The man in this picture was in a place where he had doubted God and forgotten God’s faithfulness. However, even in the midst of his impossible circumstances, he came to his senses and looked to God in faith and instantly he was saved (See Matthew 14:22-33). No matter our circumstances, faith is always the golden key to deliverance, anywhere, any time.
I like the way one person defined “faith” to me a long time ago when I was struggling with unbelief, “Faith is believing that God is faithful.” Though I could not find faith to believe in one of God’s promises, I had faith to believe that God is faithful in his character; therefore, he would be faithful to his promise which I was struggling to believe. Faith in God’s faithfulness carried me over the stumbling block of my unbelief.
It is a lot easier to put faith in a faithful Person to fulfill his Word than to approach things backwards by trying to assert a mind-over-matter mentality in an impossible circumstance, hoping that the outcome will prove that God is faithful. Faith is not a matter of the mind but of the heart.
This drawing came about through a particular battle I had with my unbelief and experiencing God working faith within me to overcome it. The only way I could think to visually describe what this was like was to do the pastel drawing I have done. (Only after completing the work did I realize I had actually drawn the Scriptures without even knowing it:)
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” (James 1:2-8)
When we forget God’s character and when we forget his faithfulness to us in the past, our faith falters because we cannot see a way of deliverance for we have factored the God of the impossible out of the equation. However, the Word of God tells us of those, “…who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection.” (Hebrews 11:33-35).
Sometimes we also forget that God is in the constant business of refining our faith (many times through “impossible” circumstances)!
This is why Peter tells us:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:3-9)
Our faith is of greater worth than gold because its goal is eternal salvation. How precious is our salvation! Remember that gold is not refined by scrubbing or polishing but by ‘perishing’ in the fire. I have learned that complete “faith meltdowns” are actually part of the process by which God refines our faith (if indeed our faith is genuine, otherwise if our “faith” be made of any other element than genuine gold, it will be utterly consumed in the fire (Luke 8:13, 2 Timothy 2:17-19).
Nevertheless, we humans sometimes view the ‘perishing’ of our faith in fiery trials as something terrible and scary; however, both Peter (1 Peter 1:3-9) and James (James 1:2-8) tell us to rejoice in the refining of our faith (trials and suffering). We are not to fear or dread the testing of our faith but to be thankful and joyful because we know exactly what God is doing and we know exactly what his purpose is in it. Though our faith may have ‘perished’ and may have gone through a complete ‘meltdown’, when we come through the other side of the trial our faith is amazingly purer and stronger. It has not ultimately perished but has actually been refined— “…your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine” (1 Peter 1:7) ! Instead of getting downcast, scared or disappointed in our unbelief, we can believe and joyfully watch the hand of God deliver us. “As the Scripture says, ‘Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.'” (Romans 10:11). See also Numbers 13-14.
(See also “Walking Above the Waves”(Believer’s Road Series), “The All-Surpassing Power in Jars of Clay”(Believer’s Road Series), and “Submission To The Breaking From The Hand of My Master” (Believer’s Road Series)).