December 27, 2018

2 Chronicles 32:1 (NLT) — 1 After Hezekiah had faithfully carried out this work, King Sennacherib of Assyria invaded Judah. He laid siege to the fortified towns, giving orders for his army to break through their walls.

So what is this verse trying to tell us? I believe it is this: Faith has it’s problems. Just because you have placed your faith in Jesus it doesn’t mean that disaster won’t strike. In chapters 30 & 31 we read how King Hezekiah reinstated the Passover celebration, smashed all the sacred pillars, cut down the Asherah poles, and removed the pagan shrines and altars and reopened the temple worship. 2 Chronicles 20 In this way, King Hezekiah handled the distribution throughout all Judah, doing what was pleasing and good in the sight of the LORD his God. 21 In all that he did in the service of the Temple of God and in his efforts to follow God’s laws and commands, Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful.

Knowing all this is very helpful to those of us who have faith in God. Faith does not shield us from all disasters. You can cling to the Lord and the Assyrians (troubles) will still come. This does not negate the promise of God’s blessing and God’s help but the blessings can be diluted by troubles and grief. James knew this and that is why he wrote >

James 1:2–4 (NLT) — 2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Trouble is the soil that endurance needs in order to grow. Without endurance your faith will fail. Like Peter our faith might wobble and falter but in those times repent and come back to God just like Peter did. Don’t fall into the pit of despair because the Father is always there to welcome you with open arms > prodigal son. And like Jesus did for Peter always pray that your faith won’t fail.

Luke 22:32 (NLT) — 32 But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”

Notice that Jesus didn’t criticize or chastise or point a finger he just told Peter to take up where he left off.

Hebrews 11:33–35 (NLT) — 33 By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. 35 Women received their loved ones back again from death. But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection.

Faith gave these people victory over their circumstances.

Hebrews 11:35–40 (NLT) — 35 Women received their loved ones back again from death. But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. 36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. 37 Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. 38 They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. 39 All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. 40 For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.

Faith gave these people victory in their circumstances. Faith always brings victory.

Be Inspired Hilltop!