Faith Under Pressure

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 (NIV)

Noah’s faithfulness endured
Through 40 days and nights of rain.
Yet mockers mocked and scoffers scoffed
And called him everything but sane.

When Moses left the Pharaoh’s court
After 40 noble years,
He wondered 40 more with sheep
Until the burning bush appeared.

Without water but with the Lord,
Moses fasted 40 days.
Receiving wisdom on the mount,
God’s presence turned his face ablaze.

When finally near the Promised Land,
All 40 days the spies went out.
Their lack of trust cost 40 years
As desert’s pawns because of doubt.

Kings David, Saul and Solomon
For 40 years each one did reign.
God’s chosen ones to rule the land
By taking care of His domain.

Then 40 days of wilderness
That serpent tried his very best,
To tempt our fully human Lord
But Jesus Christ did pass the test.

Our risen Christ, He walked this earth,
All 40 days of Heav’n He spoke.
Living proof death lost its sting
The broken curse of satan’s yoke.

The Blessed One, He took our shame,
His blood spilled out by thorns and nails.
Our Holy, Blameless, Righteous One,
Proved by His Life, our God prevails.

We sow in tears yet reap in joy,
Bearing under faith’s tested shield.
Casting burdens upon the Lord,
A blessed assurance is revealed.

Poetry Type: Didactic

Interesting Sermon by C.H. Spurgeon

Have you ever considered the significance of numbers in the bible? I am not referring to the Bible Code or Numerology here, but looking at God’s intended meaning and purpose behind specific numbers found throughout the bible.   I was recently contemplating the number 40 and noticed that there are several examples of trials coming upon the people in the bible in timeframes of 40 years or 40 days. Most biblical commentators seem to indicate that the number 40 represents a complete testing or probation period usually followed by blessings. What are your thoughts about the representation of numbers in the bible?

Graphic Courtesy of Heartlight

Graphic Courtesy of Heartlight

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9 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Poetry

9 responses to “Faith Under Pressure

  1. Hi Scotti,
    I’ve often thought about the numbers in the bible and the significance and symbolism of them. I remember thinking about the number 40 as I was nearing the age of 40. I recall thinking that maybe the first 40 years of my life was like a “trial” and that perhaps the years following would be my “promised land”. Not that the first 40 years were all that bad because I certainly had many more good ones than bad. I suppose I was just being silly thinking that way, but…

    Well, eight years later I’m still looking for that “promised land”. Aren’t we all though? I know that my real and only promise is in Jesus, but my human-ness likes to rear it’s ugly head and suggest otherwise.

    Blessings to you my friend.

    David.

    < < < <

    So good to hear from you, David! I was reading how Esau and Jacob were considered ‘adults’ at the age of 40! Applying that same metric to ourselves, we are both very young adults! haha! Seriously, though, Jesus is our only True and Lasting promise. Praise His Holy Name. Scotti

  2. I don’t understand too much about numbers in the bible, but I thought it was interesting that just today I said to a friend that when I have obeyed the Lord in time of testing, that the Lord blesses after the trial. Then I came home and raad your poem. Love it!

    “Usually followed by blessings” . . . Amen!

    *******
    Hi Cathy. Thank you so much for your comments. When we are in the middle of a trial, it can be so difficult to ‘count it all joy’ but as you say, the Lord blesses us with the trial and after the trial when we remain faithul to Him. Blessings to you today and always! Scotti

  3. Matt

    This is a great reminder that our troubles are nothing to God, we need to have patience. Nothing is too small or too big for Him and we should always rejoice in His promise to us!

    *****
    So very true, Matt! He will never leave us or forsake us!
    God Bless,
    Scotti

  4. Hi Scotti. Living through these trying days of global financial crisis force us to hold our trust in Jesus more dearly. Praying for those who had lost money and homes.

    Thank you for the poem on number 40 — you have great insights and gift to put these together. What great encouragement! LOL.

    *****
    Yes, gleechoo, what you say is so true. So many are counting on politics and economics for their security. These things are just sinking sand compared to the firm foundation of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. God bless you always!

  5. Pingback: FAITH UNDER PRESSURE « PEACEMAKERS

  6. Hi Scotti,

    I really like the way you wove the number 40 throughout the poem, and I like the phrase “desert pawns” refering to the Israelites wandering in the wilderness. There seem to be several significant numbers in the Bible. I remember hearing as a new convert that 7 was God’s perfect number, and as a 16 year old highschool student rejoicing, because my student number was 77777. Thanks again for sharing your insight. I just wrote a poem today that I hope to post soon, dealing with David’s faith under pressure. I woke up with a portion of Scripture on my mind, …”but David encouraged himself in the Lord”, and God gave helped me put it into a poem. I’ll try to share it soon. Hope you have a good weekend!

    Blessings,

    Carol

    *****
    Hi Carol,
    Thank you for your insights and I look forward to your new poem! May the Lord’s peace be with you always,
    Scotti

  7. people4people

    God bless you Scotti,

    I have very much enjoyed your poem. I have also come across the truth that numbers are of some importance in the Bible. Jesus was on the cross 7 hours, Elijah prayed 7 times until the rain finally fell, the seven signs performed by Jesus as revealed in the Gospel of John. Jesus spending 40 days in the wilderness, Moses spending 40 days with the Lord at the top of Sinai, Elijah spending 40 days and 40 nights journeying to Mt. Horeb. Jesus feeding the multitude with 7 loaves of bread. The 7 seals, The 7 trumpets, the 7 bowls of wrath. 12 apostle’s, 12 tribes of Yisra’el, 70 original nations according to Genesis. The 72 disciple’s Jesus sent out, the 70 elders who had a covenant meal before God. The seven branched lamp in the temple (Menorah).

    God is very thorough and organized. It seems that He has a signature way of doing things that always Glorifies His Name. That said some people do go overboard and make an idol of numerology, taking away the beauty of the Truth of how God uses numbers and patterns and types in Scripture and life. Soon it becomes ugly and the truth is lost and instead what is left is a pseudo truth lacking the weight of Truth and the beauty of God’s purpose. Things like the Bible-code and numerology are the product of this type of thinking usually the result of ‘secret seeking.’ Balance is needed in all things so that beauty, Truth and Goodness are always seen. God does use patterns and sequences, thats why we have calendars, seasons etc
    thank you for sharing this illuminating truth!!

    God bless you!

    ****
    People4People -Thank you for all of the additional biblical references and for your comments. Our God is a God of order and not chaos. My son and I were just discussing our man-made system of time and calenders. He wanted to know why our calender does not line up with the 28 day cycle of the moon. It’s an interesting question. It is marvelous to consider how the universe operates on concrete mathematical principals. As you say, it is so important that we worship the One who created it all and not the creation itself. Blessings, Scotti

  8. Scotti, You are a beautiful woman of Christ and the Lord is proud of you. Malachi 3: 16,17

    *****
    Hi Stan, you have truly blessed me with your encouraging words. Thank you! I was just looking at this very scripture yesterday in my Community Bible Study class!!! We were discussing how the ‘heros of the faith’ found in the OT were saved. As this verse states, they feared (revered, respected) the Lord and honored His name.

  9. We must NOT shy away from the purity of thought that marks Jesus’ ministry —

    The seven stars or angels of the Presence, the seven lampstands of the earth or churches, forgiveness that comes from releasing the contrite seven times seventy-seven (or seventy depending on the version).

    Ultimately our fate is entirely dependent on God’s grace and power poured from on high. Without this radical re-birthing, it is going to be impossible to overcome and many will fall away…

    *****
    Shevaberakhot,
    Thank you for stopping by and commenting. May God’s faithful ones continue to pray for the regeneration of lost souls. It is by God grace – through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ – that we are made right with God and as you say, radically rebirthed! I praise God for His mercy and for His patience for all to come to repentence and receive His free gift.
    Scotti

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