We are all familiar with the Bags of Gold Parable in Matthew’s Gospel in which Jesus tells us of the master going on a journey but gave each of his three servants a different number of bags of gold.   On their return he said to two of them who returned an increased value of gold, “Well done, you good and faithful servant.”  How wonderful it would be if at the end of our lives we could have that said about us.  Being faithful is not always easy, sometimes it is not convenient, at other times we face criticism and ridicule, threats and attacks, but God has promised never to leave us alone, that just as strength will be given to us in any situation, so shall we also gain by sharing in God’s happiness.

“…Truly if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17:20

One website defines faith in a way that I love.  “Faith is always received from God, and never generated by us.”  That definition has actually changed the way I use the word faith as well as adding and giving me a whole new meaning to the word.  I now rethink my words when I start to tell someone that I have faith that my football team will win this weekend.  I stop and ask myself if what I am putting my faith in is actually given by God?

Now I know that not everyone will agree with me.  In today’s world a great deal of store is put into having faith in yourself and having faith that you can do your job correctly etc., but to me that still comes from God.  God gives you the faith to believe in yourself and, in fact, asks you “to love your neighbor as you love yourself”.  Note – “love yourself”.

Let me finish with a quote from the 1913 Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore.

Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings to greet the dawn while it is still dark.”  That faith is God given.

Lord, I ask for your gift of faith, and the will to remain firm in the face of opposition.  Allow me to see that the real problem is not what happens to me, but rather how I react to an occurrence that makes the difference.  I need your help so that these situations will not disturb my inner peace and joy in you so that at the end of each day you will say of me “well done, you good and faithful servant”.   Amen.

By Terry Stead
Used by Permission

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