Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Do you have an ark?

My pastor said in a Sermon two weeks ago that Noah had three questions for God when God told him to build an ark.

Question 1: What’s an Ark?
Question 2: What’s a flood?
Question 3: What’s rain?

God told Noah there was going to be a flood over the whole earth and he needed to build an Ark to God’s specifications: An ark that was three stories high, the length of about 36 tennis courts and approximately 1,500,000 cubic feet of free space. When God told Noah that there would be rains coming so heavily that it would cause a great flood to destroy the earth, Noah did something that was very difficult to do. He took a step that most Christians profess they take, when in reality we don’t.
Since it had never rained on the earth prior to the flood, what Noah did for God was spectacular and he did these two things for the 100-120 years it took him to build the ark.

He had faith and he trusted God.

What Noah did, God tells us to do in Proverbs 3:5 - "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" Now think about this for a second. “Lean not on your own understanding” If Noah had leaned only on what HE knew to be true and what HE had already seen with HIS eyes (Faith is the evidence of things not seen) then he would have never built that ark and his whole family, along with every animal aboard the ark would have been destroyed.

Trusting God and having faith is not easy, at all. I am sure there were days that Noah was like…you can bring the rain any day now, Lord…people are looking at me funny!!! However, he pressed on and trusted God would one day bring this -rain stuff- that He promised.

We are conditioned to believe only what we see with our eyes and to only understand that which we can touch, feel and know to be real and true. Humans have a tendency to want to be in total control of every area of life or to even have someone to blame when things don’t work out. I believe that is why people react bitter, angry and confused when natural disasters occur. The knowledge that we can’t control everything in every area and in each second of our lives is a thought that doesn’t set well with who we are.

The reason it is difficult to trust in God and believe in His faithfulness completely is because it takes courage, faith, hope, and surrender. We have to let go of what we cannot control. We have to leave our futures, our health, our thoughts, and our needs in God’s hands. Since we can’t predict the future of our employment, or the economy, or our health or even the day we die; we have to learn to give it all over to God. God knows what is best for our lives and we have to believe that He will never give us more than we can handle. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
And despite the fact that we will worry at times or that unpredictable events occur, there is good news for those who believe in Christ Jesus. 1 Chronicles 28:20 says “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you” and no matter what troubles we may face, trusting and believing in God gives us a greater reward than we could fathom.
2 Corinthians 4:17 tells us that our troubles are achieving for us an eternal good that outweighs the bad. That is because when we give our troubles to God and we trust His word from beginning to end and accept His promises for us, it shows us that we truly have a relationship with Christ. The best reward having that relationship provides is an eternal place in Heaven beside Him and our Father. But while we are here, it provides a peace that passes all understanding when worry, doubt, and fear try to steal our joy. So when life hands you unexpected problems or when you worry over what tomorrow may bring, pray and ask God to remove the doubt and replace it with trust..pray for as long as it takes!!!!! Even if you aren't seeing His answer for years!! (I promise it won't take 100-120 years for Him to get back with you) *wink*
Ask Him to take away the fear and bring to you His peace. And remember these three things:

*He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7)
*Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:16)
*And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

We could all stand to have even a little bit of Noah’s faith and trust. If we stay in God’s word and trust that He will take care of us (even when we don’t feel Him present) then when those major floods in our lives rise up, the relationship of trust and faith that we have been seeking and building up with God, will be the “ark” that saves us from drowning.

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