Romans 1:17 “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed — a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’ ”
A few days ago I drove three young men to a health clinic who had developed a nasty case of ‘lifestyle consequences’ because of their past. One young man was almost overwhelmed with worry about what the future effect of his condition would be. We spoke about all the new medicines and the advancements in medical science and I tried to encourage him. This picked him up a little bit but I could still see a lot of fear in his eyes. I thought to myself; “This man doesn’t need encouragement he needs hope!”
By turning our discussion towards the topic of alcohol and drug recovery and the central core of Harvest House teaching that faith in Jesus Christ rebuilds a shattered life, I hoped to steady this young man by giving him hope. I reminded the young man that repentance and change go hand in hand. Although consequences don’t go away on the recovery journey, a person opens up to God’s Grace which is always available to one who believes and accepts His Word. God can heal! And as the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says; “. . . God could and would if He were sought.[emphasis mine]”
After giving testimony about my healing I said to him; “God will even give you that little bit of faith – that tiny amount you need to start believing in His Word, to start living out His promises – you just have to accept it.” Scripture tells us that; “According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue . . .” (2 Peter 1:3) God reaches down into our pit and gives us a hand out. Without His help we wouldn’t be able to get out by ourselves. The next verse gives a lot of hope to the guys I work with; “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:4)
As we came up to a stop light on the way to the clinic I looked over to the young man to see if he was ‘getting’ what I was saying. He looked out the passenger window and remarked; “I like those Tacoma trucks, they’re really neat.” A lot of the guys we work with have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder). That doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t listening. It can mean that they are paying attention to you while paying attention to many other things as well. Will this young man start the journey of faith? Will he start living by faith? Certainly he has no righteousness of his own – he knows it too – so in an odd way his poor self-esteem can work for him. Time and a lot of patient love will tell.
If this young man gets to know His Word, gets to know Jesus and abides in Him, he will live and live by faith. This young man gets the ‘same deal’ from God as we do. Why? Because he, like us didn’t earn it – God loves us so much He freely gave it. His past is past; “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Praise the Lord!