Tag Archives: faith

Faith over Fear

By Kristen Entwistle

We’re all afraid of something.

The dark.  Water.   Falling.  Public speaking.  Looking like a fool.  Spiders.

Disappointing our friends or family.  Fear of what others will think.  Fear of loss.  Fear of failure.

Fear can be a powerful motivator – one that keeps us trapped in awful situations with no escape.  One that keeps us from doing something outside our comfort zone.

Fear can keep us from living life to the fullest.

Fear can keep us from following the will of God.

Fear is a natural human emotion.  “Do not fear”  or “Do not be afraid” appear not once, not twice, but 365 times in Scripture.  It’s something that we need to hear, apparently.  And we need to hear it a lot.

It’s scary to step out of your comfort zone.  It’s scary to move away from everything you know for school or a job.  It’s terrifying to be the only one who will stand up for Who they believe in.  Stepping out in faith usually starts with fear.

Fear can enslave us, keep us from ever moving forward.  Fear can paralyze us, keeping us from spreading God’s love and Truth.  Fear can root itself in our lives and keep us trapped in abusive relationships, dead end jobs, and bad situations.

But faith is bigger than fear.

Our God is bigger than any fear that stands in our way.  Our God is stronger than any wave that threatens to knock us down.

Abram was certainly afraid when God called him to leave everything he knew and pick up and move.  Noah was certainly afraid when God told him to build a boat.  Moses was afraid when God called him to deliver the Israelites from Egypt.  The prophets feared for their lives as they spread the words of the Lord.  Mary was afraid when the angel told her that she would give birth to the Christ.  Paul was certainly afraid on many occasions during his ministry.  John must have been terrified when he received the vision of Revelation.

If these men and women could place their faith in God, a God many of them had never seen, how much more should we, who have seen death defeated by Christ, the curtain torn in two, and Christ raised, put our faith in Him?

He has called us His children, His people, His chosen, His beloved.  He has called us to be free.  We are no longer slaves to fear.  It doesn’t rule our lives.  It doesn’t trap us, consume us, or dictate our actions.  If we place our faith in the One who has conquered death, we have no reason to fear.  He will not let us fall.  He will not fail us.

Fear will always be a part of our lives.  But we are not slave to it anymore.  Praise God.

I believe. But help my unbelief.

By Kristen Entwistle

It’s never quite the way you plan it, is it?  Life?

One day, you wake up, thinking it’s all going to be all right, and then – bam.  You get thrown a curve ball that you never expected.

A few weeks ago, my family faced one of those curve balls: the unexpected and largely unexplained disappearance and death of my uncle.

What do you say when something like that happens?  How do you make sense of the seemingly unexplainable?  How do you cope with the gaping hole that is left in his place – of a father, a husband, an uncle, a friend, a surgeon, a brother?  Where do you find peace in the midst of such turmoil?

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  John 14:27

Hold on a second, God.  In the midst of all of this, I’m supposed to just not let my heart be troubled?  You’re telling me this is easy?  And just don’t be afraid.  Sure.  That’s just easy peasy.  But your peace, your shalom, can I feel that today?  Can you give me some more of that today?

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Great, thanks for that reminder, God.  This life isn’t going to be a piece of cake, and we will have trouble.  Right old ray of sunshine you are.  But, you have overcome the world, even overcome death.  At a time like this, that’s easy to lose sight of.  But thank you for the reminder, and for overcoming the world.  It made all the difference.

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“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” Ecclesiastes 2:1,4

Yes, a time for everything.  Even Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus.  But remember what He said just before He went to the tomb, to Martha? 

“I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?”  John 11: 25-26

Yes, Lord.  I believe.  But help my unbelief. 

I don’t have all the answers.  I can’t explain why my uncle’s life was ended on this earth.  I don’t know how best to fill the hole that is left in his absence.  But I do know where to start finding peace:  At the foot of the cross, in the arms of Jesus.

A Faith Walk That Matches Your Faith Talk

By Kristen Entwistle

I am an insecure, imperfect, young, follower of Christ.  I do not get everything right, nor do I always say (or write) the right thing.  But for some reason, God has given me a platform to speak His truth into people’s lives.  Me – that imperfect, insecure, young girl.  He chose me.

Fortunately, I’m not alone.  The next woman that we come to in the Hall of Faith is Rahab, a woman of not-so-great occupation, but great faith.

Before the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River, Joshua sent two spies to check out the city of Jericho.  Joshua chapter 2 records that the spies “went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.” (Joshua 2:1, NIV)

The first thing we learn about Rahab is that she is a prostitute.  Not the most ringing endorsement for a woman who ends up in the genealogy of King David, and therefore Christ, but it’s certainly not the last thing we learn about her.

Heb 11 31Download Chapter 9 now!

 

 

 

Moses: More Than The Exodus

By Kristen Entwistle

If you’ve ever seen the movie, The Prince of Egypt, or heard the stories about the Exodus from Egypt in Sunday school, you’re probably familiar with the life of Moses.  His parents – at great personal risk – hid Moses as a baby.  There came a time, though, when it was no longer possible to hide the baby.  When she could hide him no longer, his mother placed him in a basket and set him adrift on the Nile, trusting his fate to God.  The basket was found by Pharaoh’s daughter, who took pity on him and raised him as her own son.

We don’t know whether Moses was raised with the knowledge that he was a Hebrew or if he discovered this later on.  What we do know is that as an adult he went to watch his own people at hard labor.  While he was there, Moses witnessed an Egyptian who beating a Hebrew slave.  Moses, believing that he was alone, killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand.  But, someone apparently had witnessed the attack and news had spread.  Fearing that he would be caught, Moses fled across the desert to Midian.

In Midian, Moses took up like as a shepherd, married, and had two sons before meeting God in the burning bush.  At the burning bush, God directed Moses to return to Egypt, where he would be God’s instrument for freeing His people from slavery.  Moses argued with God, saying that he was not well-spoken enough and that no one will listen to him.  But God provided him with his brother-in-law, Aaron, as a spokesman, as well as signs to convince Pharaoh and the Israelites that God had indeed sent him.  Moses returned to Egypt, and performed many signs and wonders before Pharaoh.  But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not let the Israelites go.  Ten plagues fell upon the Egyptians, ending with the death of the firstborn.  Only then did Pharaoh let God’s people go… but a few days later he pursued them, only to have his army swallowed up in the Red Sea.

 

Moses continued to lead the Israelites, through the desert where the Lord provided the people with manna and quail and water from the rock, to Mount Sinai, where Moses brings down the Ten Commandments and the Law.  Although Moses was a great prophet, leader, and instrument in the hands of God, he was not perfect.  Numbers 20 records that Moses and Aaron did not follow God’s instructions and so the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” (Numbers 20:12, NIV)

Heb 11 23

Interestingly, we learn more about Moses’ story and his great faith in Hebrews 11, where we will dig deeper into Moses’ life today.

Download Chapter 7 now!

Impossible Things

By Kristen Entwistle

Impossible, according to Webster: not able to be accomplished.  There are a lot of things that I think are impossible.  But with God, all things are possible, right?  What if God asking you to do something impossible today?  What can we learn from the next person in Hebrews 11 – Abraham?

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Remember Noah?  Abram is his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson.  Abram (later Abraham) gets the biggest chunk of Hebrews 11.  His faith and obedience when God tells him to do what seems impossible are excellent examples for us to follow.  Three different situations in Abram’s life are worthy to be mentioned in Hebrews 11, each of which we’ll take a look at today.

Download Chapter Four now!

When It Rains, It Pours

By Kristen Entwistle

Rain is a very good thing.  It comes to water the earth and nourish the plants, to cool off the scorching temperatures.  But too much of a good thing can be catastrophic.  You’ve seen it on the evening news – houses submerged under the waters that breached the banks of a river, cars floating downstream, people torn away from loved ones and washed away.  Sometimes the storms of life are devastating.  Other times we can pick up the pieces and start over.  The story of Noah shows both of these outcomes – many people were literally washed away, while Noah and a small remnant were saved, left to pick up the pieces.

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Noah dealt with a lot of rain.  He probably felt very abandoned by God and yet had incredible faith to do what God had told him to.  Join me as we study a very familiar story to many of us today.

Download Chapter Three now!

Endurance, Perseverance, and Faith

By Kristen Entwistle

In college, I was a distance swimmer.  After college, I started training for half-marathons.  And I’m not going to lie to you: running half marathons is hard.  The training is brutal, and the race is long (not as long as a marathon, but still).  When I’m running those 13.1 miles, there are a thousand thoughts that go through my head.

Why am I doing this?  I can’t do this.  

I could have just run one mile.  Why did I decide to run thirteen?

Stop thinking like that.  You can do this.  

Distance running requires perseverance.  It requires endurance.  And so does faith.

Black & white image of a wooden cross against a cloudy sky - low angle view

The people reading Hebrews were ready to quit.  They were being persecuted and suffering, and were ready to throw in the towel – until the writer of Hebrews tells them: “Wait!  Remember what you went through in the past?  You made it through, even though it was terrible.  So keep on keeping on.  Let met tell you about some of the people in YOUR past that were commended for their faith.”

Will you join me this week as we look at what faith is, and what faith should bring about in our lives?

Download Chapter One now!