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Faith Afire

We thought you might enjoy this letter of encouragement we're sending this month to our LOGOI National Missionary family of over 34,000 pastors and leaders. It’s a reminder that God remains faithful, even when our faith is weak, and all seems impossible.

It’s hot!

Reuters News reported that in aptly named Death Valley, California, temperatures reached 128 degrees Fahrenheit on July 16th. That’s the closest we’ve come in a long time to the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth which happened in 1913 in a place called Furnace Creek (which is also in Death Valley), when temperatures reached 134 degrees Fahrenheit.

It’s interesting how the word “heat” can be used. The first definition obviously refers to temperature. A different kind of heat refers to becoming more active or intense like when the athlete is “heating up.”

Heat can also describe passion and often refers to a feeling or reaction about something or someone. Heat is also used in a race such as “she’s competing in the first heat” or as a particularly pungent flavor, “that sauce had a lot of heat.” Heat is also slang for the police, for when a baseball pitcher throws a 95 MPH fastball, for a gun (he’s packing heat), for taking or giving criticism, “I took a lot of heat for that decision,” and for increasing pressure when you “turn up the heat” on someone.

I love the story of when the Lord came to Abraham during the “heat of the day.” Abraham was in his tent trying to stay cool when he suddenly noticed three men standing nearby. Scholars suggest the event in Genesis 18 came just a few months after God told 99-year-old Abraham that he and his 90-year-old wife were going to have a baby (see Genesis 17).

Now, I’m not a Bible scholar, but it seems to me God was putting a little heat on Abraham with this second visit. In Chapter 17, God promised that, in a year, Abraham and Sarah would have a baby boy. But all of us know for that to happen, old Abraham and old Sarah would need to take a certain type of “heated” action, if you will.

So here comes Jesus incarnate to help Abraham along with a gentle reminder. Isn’t that just like Jesus? He never sits idly by. He always acts. He never goes back on a promise.

As it turns out, Abraham, the father of our faith, was having some big-time faith issues. He didn’t really believe they would have a baby. After all, it was physically impossible. They were too old. 90-year-old women can’t have babies. Both Abraham and Sarah even laughed at God’s promise.

So, Jesus puts a little heat on old Abraham. He pops in for a visit on a hot day to personally remind him, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” And of course, we know that within that year, Isaac was born.

If you’re anything like me, perhaps you honestly struggle with believing God’s promises from time to time. Perhaps the situation you’re dealing with is so unbelievable, so absurd, you have even laughed at the thought. Well, you’re in good company, just ask Abraham and Sarah.

But the lesson here is even with our terribly weak faith, God will still triumph. Even with our sin of unbelief, God does not take His promises away.

“If we are unfaithful, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny who He is” (2 Timothy 2:13).

It gives me great hope to know that even Abraham had serious faith issues. Like Abraham, we need to be reminded of God’s promises repeatedly. Look them up, read them, think about them throughout your day. Doing so will help us renew, encourage, and develop our faith.

Then, like Abraham and Sarah, we will discover there is nothing too hard for the Lord. We will discover that God can triumph even over the weak faith of His people. It will help us act — and when necessary — get out of the shade and into the heat.


Ed Thompson

P.S. Thank you for being a part of LOGOI’s family. We are feeling the “heat” as we struggle with very low donations so far this year. Just like this letter says, our faith is small and weak, but we are trusting the Lord. If you are able, your gift would come at a much-needed time. Thank you for your prayerful consideration. After all, there is nothing too hard for the Lord.

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