Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Faith

A Life Lesson On Faith
A devotional by Patricia Russell

“Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him,
“Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. 
That’s how many descendants you will have!”
And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted 
him as righteous because of his faith.”—Genesis 15:5-6 (NLT)

Have you ever watched children try to do something for the very first time?

They try and very rarely are successful on their first attempt. Let’s take a baby for instance. They attempt to move an object but it’s stuck. So, they try another angle and it moves a little but not enough to get it where they want it. They keep pushing and pushing to move the object. Their gaze is steadfast because they believe they can do it. Would you say this little person is determined? Certainly! They have convinced themselves that it can be done.

What encourages them is seeing that thing buckle and move even a tiny bit. That tiny movement gives them hope that more can happen.

We’ve all taken time when we’ve attempted to create something, laboring patiently expecting a result. There are days when I wonder if I’ve made any progress from the morning to the evening and rather than celebrate the fact that one item on my to-do list was done, I beat myself up because I didn’t get the whole list done. That has begun to change. The change has been years in the making but I’m getting better. If there is one person who teaches us about faith and believing, I would say Abraham is a great teacher. However, he had to be a student first.

Let’s examine this real-life lesson: His name was not always Abraham, it was Abram. He is known as the “father of faith”. God called him to leave the town where he lived and relocate to a place Abram had never heard of and He didn’t reveal directions to take him there. Most of us would look up with hand on hip and ask God, “You want me to do what?” I don’t think Abram was any different (although scripture doesn’t note an argument). Abram did what God asked and left his country. God was his GPS as Abram left town with his wife and his nephew. They traveled by faith, trusting God’s direction, from city to city. Abram trusted God and proved it by doing what God asked. During the journey, his belief grew that God would do what He promised. God guided Abram every step of the way. Granted, Abram made his mistakes along the way but God was teaching him about His providence as He guided Abram into an unknown future. Abram was committed to the call and God rewarded Abram’s faith. According to Genesis 15:5-6 (NLT), one night, God told Abram to look up to the sky and try to count the numerous stars. God promised to give Abram more descendants than he could count! Abram believed and God was pleased. As a result, God changed Abram’s name to “Abraham” to confirm him in the promise.

Let’s apply this life lesson to our modern-day reality: We never know what tomorrow is going to look like but God asks us to take one moment, one hour and one day at a time as we trust Him to guide our steps. In Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT), King Solomon encourages us to:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.”

God has been faithful to direct us throughout this year. He is the same yesterday, today and forever! Just as God was with Abram, so will He be with us.

What are you afraid of? What has God put in your heart that you have never done before nor have you seen it done in your community or family history?

God may call you to a journey that you have not seen modeled before but if you trust Him and reply on His Providence as you step out on faith and follow Him, you will arrive at your destination.

Remember: If God said it, He will do it! Don’t despair or get distracted. Follow the example of father Abraham: Look up, keep moving, trust God and keep believing in Him!

Let's Pray: Heavenly Father, thank You for your faithful character. As You were with Abraham and directed his steps, we ask You to direct our steps. Help us to believe and trust You to make every dream You have put in our hearts come true. Thank You for your protection and your provision this year. We place our fears in your hands and our faith in your tried and tested Word as You lead us forward in the days ahead. In Jesus’s Name we pray. Amen.

Note from Alexis: Patricia’s message today reminds me of a song by Crystal Lewis called “Trust Me”. Listen to it here. It also reminds me of her song “I Still Believe”. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Patricia Russell is a speaker, worship leader, author, certified life coach and songwriter. 

Her gifts have been shared internationally with audiences to encourage, empower and share life lessons through words and songs. She has sung on national television broadcasts and shared the stage with several respected speakers. Over her 30 years in ministry, she has been a featured artist in musical cantatas locally and the United States of America.

Patricia had the honour of leading worship at the kick-off event for the 2006 the “Just Give Me Jesus” Toronto Revival with Anne Graham Lotz who is the eldest daughter of Billy Graham, a well-known American evangelist.

Patricia serves in ministry along with her husband Rev. Wayne Russell. Together, they have served as guest hosts on a local early morning call in program called “Nite Lite Live” that formerly aired on the CTS Television Network. They have two adult children: Raquel and Benjamin.

Patricia has recorded two CDs: “Lord I Trust You” and a live recording “Draw Me Nearer.” She is also an author. Her first book is titled Lord I Trust You: Words of Encouragement. It is meant to further encourage and share life lessons as a result of her cancer journey. She is a co-author of a #1 bestseller book titled Crushed Diamonds Still Sparkle, and she has compiled the recent #1 bestseller book titled Stronger Resilience.

Connect with Patricia:

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