Blessed Assurance

Ever since Sunday morning, I've been singing an old hymn. I love the new music our worship team brings us, but sometimes my soul longs for the hymns I grew up with. Sunday, Jurie talked about faith - the kind of faith that God gives us as a spiritual gift, and the kind in the song "Blessed Assurance:"
(v1) Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine
O what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood

(v2) Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blessed
Watching and waiting, looking above
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love

(chorus) This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
credit: Frances J. Crosby, 1873
During Sunday's sermon. Jurie said, “Faith is something God gives us, not something we give God.” Romans 12:3b (NKJV) says, "...as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith." Jurie’s explanation of that scripture, in context, was, “Faith is something God has given you in the context of your circumstances to do particular things well within the Kingdom of God.” 
Our life group met on Wednesday, and we talked about that bit of the sermon, seeking to answer the questions, "Are these statements different from how you’ve historically thought about faith? Do you normally think of faith as something of your orientation toward God, or His gifting to you?" One of our life group members had preached about faith as a spiritual gift and gave us an interesting analysis, "There are two kinds of faith. The faith by which we are saved is something all Christians have - it's what makes us Christians. But the kind of faith that is a spiritual gift (the kind Jurie was describing) is different. It is the kind of faith whereby a person trusts in God for day-to-day provision and sustenance. That kind of faith is given to each of us in the measure God chooses."
I found this analysis fascinating. I've always thought about faith as, "... the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1, KJV). Most of us think of it as a synonym for belief; that kind of faith is the "saving faith." Yet for the past few years, I've also been resting more and more in the Lord's daily provision and His promises. At times, I've grown almost frustrated when talking with other believers who have saving faith but still find themselves anxious about their daily troubles. But I now understand that this "walking faith" is something that God has apportioned to us in our own individual amounts.
That being said, we know that spiritual gifts must be practiced and nurtured for them to grow and bear fruit; otherwise they may wither and die. As we each have a measure of "walking faith," I think it's important to find it, feed it, and live by it as much as we can. During times of hardship, it is what allows us to move forward from fear. During times of abundance, it is what reminds us to continue to rely on God for daily provision, and to rejoice in Him.
I pray that each of you will find blessed assurance in Jesus. As Paul said in Romans 8:18 (NKJV), "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Blessed assurance - walking faith - truly is a "taste of glory divine."

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