Discoveries in Faith

Short, uplifting Bible lessons designed to build faith and inspire obedience. 

The Heart of a Champion

“I’ve never not envisioned success” ~ Kyler Murray

1. Who is Kyler Murray? He is an outstanding athlete.

  • 2018 Heisman Trophy Winner

  • Won 3 straight Texas High School football championships, finishing his career with a perfect 42-0 record as a starting quarterback

  • Drafted 9th overall in 2018 Major League Baseball to play baseball for the Oakland Athletics

2. Are his words, “I have never not envisioned success” important?

  • Technically speaking, the double negative is bad grammar but,

  • his optimism is impressive!

3. What does his statement have to do with the Christian life?

  • As Christians we are “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37)

  • We “can do all things through Christ who strengthens us” (Phil. 4:13)

  • We go “from strength to strength” (Psalm 84:7).

  • “Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies” (Psalm 60:12).

  • “The Lord will make you the head not the tail, you will always be at the top never at the bottom if you faithfully obey the commands of the Lord your God” (Deut. 28:13).

“God grant me a prevailing optimism, a strong confidence in You. Help me to face life with the heart of a champion, and never imagine failure as I follow Jesus Christ”

The Mistake Paul Made: Perceiving not Believing

It was late in the fall when Paul sailed to Rome. As the Apostle studied the wind and waves he made this prediction: "Men I pereive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives" (Acts 27:10). 

Paul made a mistake here, what was it? Was he being too pessimestic? Was he a poor weather forecaster? The mistake Paul made was perceiving, not believing.

Several years earlier, God promised Paul: "Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testisfied for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome" (Acts 23:11). God told Paul he would make it to Rome, but evidently Paul forgot or stopped believing the Lord's promise and instead started relying on his senses. 

When God gives us a promise, like he did to Paul about going to Rome, we are to proceed with confidence. Unfortunately, like Paul in this instance, sometimes we are misled by our perceptions. Too often we are governed, not by the word of God, but by what we see, hear, and feel. And thus, we make the same mistake Paul did: we become perceivers not believers. 

The scripture says we are to walk by faith not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

2 Corinthians 4:18 says, "We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

What promise or command has God given you? Will you trust your senses or will you believe God?

Symptoms of a Double-Minded Person

James, the half-brother of our Lord Jesus, twice used the expression "double-minded." What is the meaning of this term? And more importantly, how do you know if you've got this condition? Here are two symptoms of double-mindedness.

The first symptom is unanswered prayer. James bluntly states, "let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord (James 1:7)."

Instability is the second symptom. James says the double-minded person is "unstable in all his ways (James 1:8)." He "is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind (James 1:6)." 

What do you do if you suffer from double-mindedness? Tomorrow, we will look at the cure for double-mindedness.

 

God's Finishing School

In times past, wealthy aristocrats in America would send their daughters to "finishing schools." These schools, located primarily on the east coast, taught young ladies etiquette in posture, dining, conversation, and all other matters of refinement necessary to be a proper young lady. 

The Lord is working on us Christians too. God's plan for us is to make us more like His Son Jesus Christ. 

In order to accomplish this transformation the Lord has to knock off our rough edges. And to do so, the Lord sends us to finishing school also. His school is not sophisticated or elitist. God's finishing school involves trouble. Through difficulty and heartache God polishes us. James 1:2-4 tells us to rejoice when we go through trials because patience completes us, perfects us, and matures us. The Greek word "finish" is found twice in verse 4.

Herein is one major difference in the mature Christian and the baby believer. Predictably, the young Christian moans and groans and whines and cries when they go through trouble. But the mature Christian is full of faith. They say things like, "I am sure God is teaching me something. Somehow I know this will work out for good. I'm trusting Jesus in this trial."

Have you ever seen a polished stone come out from a rock tumber? After being tossed and turned in the tumbler the stone emerges smooth, shiny, and attractive. Take heart child of God, that's what the Lord is doing to us. We are in His finishing school and when this topsy turvy thing called life is over, we will emerge victorious looking just like God's Son, Jesus Christ. So don't complain when you have troubles, instead rejoice.