Not Without Hope

A few years ago, I had the privilege to meet some amazing women in Armenia who were survivors of trafficking and who endured some hard experiences.   Here is a video I worked on following that trip which speaks about one special one survivor but also captures the essence of their cry to be seen in plain sight.

Human trafficking is a $32 million per year industry. Today, $27 million people are in modern-day slavery around the world and 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year – 50 percent are children, 80 percent are women and girls.

 

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Unchartered Waters: The Reality of Faith

Our unchartered water experiences underscore the presence and reality of our faith.

First let’s read Mathew 14:22-32 when Jesus walks on the water and Peter’s faith is tested:

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”29 “Come,” he said.Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.

In these verses, Peter, in a quick moment is like a young boy in the country jumping from rock to rock to rock over a rolling river in an effort to get to the other side.  Here, Peter dives in boldly from a faith position onto an unchartered path, but takes his last leap onto doubt. What happened?

We become what we behold.

Peter, being summoned by Jesus to ‘come’ is drawn by his faith in response to the one he loves. And, in doing so, the miraculous happened—Peter walks on water!

But, he also loses focus.  The scriptures read: “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid. Since when do we see wind? What was it in the wind that frightened Peter so?

I believe Peter arrived at a place within himself where he recognized the enormity of his faith leap into unchartered waters.  He experienced the miraculous and endless possibility that he could have with Jesus—and that my friend, probably scared him silly.  The power of our potential resides with Jesus.  And, it’s this power that often frightens us.

Imagine yourself walking on water – the real possibility of it. Frightening? Yes. It’s trust without borders and a faith reality—our true potential in Jesus.

Enjoy this beautiful song and prayerfully consider where Jesus may be taking your feet:

Faith in Motion

As I continue to uncover faith in the next few posts, one thing I realized is that while faith is unseen, we can perceive it and recognize it at work.  We can perceive its movement in various life settings and recognize its deep work in our life’s journey.

So, enjoy the following images, some of which were taken from my previous travels, and see the various types of faith in motion through pictures! And know, that when you feel like “O ye, of little faith” that we all carry a measure of faith that streams through us in layers and dimensions of God’s grace.

Child-like faith

1.-Child-like-faith

Persevering faith

2.-Persevering-faith

Nurturing faith

3.Nuturing-faith

Fountains of faith

4.-Fountains-of-faith

Waiting faith

5.-Waiting-faith

Reachable faith

6. Reachable faith

Filling faith

7.-Filling-faith

Joyful faith

8.-Joyful-faith

Wonders of faith

9.-Wonders-of-faith

Questionable faith

10.Questionable-faith

Carrying faith

12.-Carrying-faithFriendship faith

13.Friendship-faith

Working faith

14. Working-faith

Avenues of faith

15.Avenues of faith

Beauty of faith

16.Beauty of faith

Unseen Faith

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
— Hebrews 11:1

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From one of his sermons on faith, John Wesley stated: “But what is faith? It is a divine “evidence and conviction of things not seen;” of things which are not seen now, whether they are visible or invisible in their own nature. Particularly, it is a divine evidence and conviction of God, and of the things of God.”

By far, this is the most comprehensible description of faith I have read to date. But, when you are facing a trial, a sickness, a financial or personal loss, what comfort does this description bring?

We live in a “got to have it now” world; a world of quick fixes, fast solutions and real, tangible answers. However, faith fits in none of these worldly categories. It’s slow, it’s very patient, and it’s never rushed. It will never respond to our fears or selfish desires.

Our desire for a quick resolution to our problem or a quick end to our sickness is often driven by fear of the unknown, our fate and our flesh requiring the comfort it so desperately longs for; all normal responses and quite understandable, especially when you are not physically well.

So, how do we believe for our healing if it’s not visible?

1 Corinthians 13:12 states, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

We can look in the mirror and see the physical manifestation of a sickness or see the pain and trauma we experienced as a child – and that can bring you down to its level. But, you can also choose to see the divine creature that God created, although not perfected, uniquely formed and made in His image. We can declare our healing as we journey to wellness.

In one biblical account, a woman with an issue of blood (Mark 5:25-34), came into real faith after having spent all she had on many physicians to heal her condition. But, her condition actually grew worse. Arriving at the end of her rope was this woman’s journey to Jesus and where her faith was formed. I know. I’ve been there.

You do all you can in the natural to obtain relief for your condition, but doctor after doctor, medication after medication, herbal supplements, and more, sometimes brings you back to square one with no where else to turn.

Perhaps, it was divinely purposed for this woman to have spent all she had, because God had to be glorified in her midst. God, had to show her something higher above her circumstances.

Faith is seeing, believing and having the confidence in what we hope for, not when something becomes visible. It is what God says about you and not what society, your own thoughts or even sickness may dictate. Faith, always unseen, must be a journey beyond our physical senses. Believe in what has not manifested yet and let faith arise through your journey to healing. It’s not the end result as much as it is the road you journey in getting there. It’s a matter of unseen faith.