Join us this Easter as we gather for one service at the McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre. Service at 10am. Doors open at 9:15am. Learn more here.

The Righteous Shall Live By Faith


In Pastor Ricky's sermon on Habakkuk 2:2-5 entitled "Living When You Don't Understand" he focuses in on verse 4 "...but the righteous shall live by faith". To help us better understand exactly what that means, we asked four of our senior saints three specific questions:

  • What are some of the major challenges you've faced in your life (i.e. losing a spouse, losing job, children ill or lost, etc.)? 
  • Was God faithful to you in those times? 
  • How would you encourage someone struggling to have faith in God during the hard times of life? 

The following are their testimonies. May they encourage us all to live by faith.

Senior Saint, Mary Ann Wheeler

1. What are some of the major challenges you've faced in your life (i.e. losing a spouse, losing job, children ill or lost, etc.)? 

"Losing my parents, my mom and dad, and Bill. God has always given me peace to get through it. You still miss them though. I lost mom in '76 and dad in '81. You still have memories." 

2. Was God faithful to you in those times? 

"Absolutely, He has been giving me a peace that passes all understanding. It’s amazing...each time."

3. How would you encourage someone struggling to have faith in God during the hard times of life? 

"I think, this is hard to say, but you need to make sure you’re not being religious and that you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you haven’t been truly born again, none of scripture will apply, because your mind has not been renewed. The Bible says in the last days there will be a big falling away and I think it's because they weren’t born again to begin with. People can have an irrational fear. It's like they don’t have a grasp that God is in control." 

My life verse is Proverbs 3:5-7:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

    and do not lean on your own understanding. 

In all your ways acknowledge him,

    and he will make straight your paths.

Be not wise in your own eyes;

    fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

Senior Saint, Bobby Long

1. What are some of the major challenges you've faced in your life (i.e. losing a spouse, losing job, children ill or lost, etc.)? 

"Lord have mercy, living alone a lot."

2. Was God faithful to you in those times? 

"Yes, lost my keys to my house, my car, storerooms for 3 days out in the desert and I just found them in a bag, so that was a blessing."

3. How would you encourage someone struggling to have faith in God during the hard times of life? 

"I'm not good at that, I’ve struggled with that myself. The only thing I can say is to pray to God and God will answer their prayer."

Senior Saint, Evelyn Wilkins

1. What major challenges have I had in my life?

"Besides losing my parents and three sisters I lost a wonderful husband of 30 years in 1984  I was only 47 yrs old.  At first I was in shock and didn't know what to do with myself but had to step up quickly and take charge of everything my husband had managed well.  I still had two sons at home.  After one year Tommy and Lisa got married so an empty bedroom was sad to deal with.  A few short years later John left home to marry and then I was truly alone for the first time.  What do I do? Then when I lost my son, Danny, I felt so alone again in an even different way deep grief and questioning.  Words could not describe the sorrow that wouldn't let me go for weeks on end, however.... here I am today with some sad memories but traveling on to that wonderful goal laid out for me in scriptures."

2. How was God faithful at that time?

"I remembered very well a word from the Lord at my husband's bedside "if you will keep your hand in mine I will go with you through this valley".  And that's what I've done... leaned ever so hard again into Jesus. Don't turn to the right, don't turn to the left, but keep your eyes on Jesus.  It was hard at times but never once did I think about letting go of my faith. Somehow felt to listen more for His voice and not turn back what would I turn back to?"

3. How would I encourage someone who is struggling with their faith as they are going through a hard trial?

"Seems like a simple answer but it's really easy to remember past times Jesus never left you, He met you every single time.  It may not 'feel' like it at the time but his love never leaves us and he never goes back on His promises.  Remember the times you were saved from making a mistake, remember the times He kept you going when it was really rough, remember the times he just listened to you cry and saw every tear.  When you start counting you will surprise yourself. When you need pastoral help go for it.  We have some very compassionate leaders to help you sort things out."

Senior Saint, Joy Marie

I prefer to call them seasons rather than challenges.  Joyful seasons like the birth of my children.  There were seasons of blessing when God led me to a church that I called “home” on my first visit. (Cross of Grace).  Seasons of new friendships that have become forever friendships.

 Yet…there were…of course…seasons of loss.  I have a son who lost partial hearing while he was a toddler.  Another son contracted tuberculosis at age 11….a lifelong health issue.  My marriage ended after 48 years.   My home and business were lost during this turbulent season. What does God mean when He tells us in scripture to, “Count it all joy?” (James 1: 2,3).  Someone once said, “God is always at work and His work is always about eternity”.  He is building my faith as He draws me into this wondrous eternal journey.  I believe we call it sanctification.

I have learned that God was/is faithful in every season.  Therefore, my joy lies within my certainty that I am centered in a Savior who will carry me through anything.  “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty”. (Psalm 91-1-16).

One of the most heartbreaking seasons of my life was the death of my infant daughter shortly after her birth.  She was 7 lbs. and beautiful but far too fragile to stay with us.  That season…that bittersweet/precious season… God held me so tightly that I could not doubt His presence.  For weeks …the Holy Spirit pressed in upon me…giving me a  “Peace that passes all understanding”. (Philippians 4: 7).  My love for the Lord only deepened in that season of my life because, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1Corinthians 1: 9).  God sustained me through grief and unbearable loss.

My son who lost hearing plays the piano, guitar, and saxophone.  My younger son stricken with TB tells me his health is better than it has been for a long time.  Three years after the loss of my daughter…her sweet sister came to us … one joy filled day.  Every season matters in our walk with Christ.  The potter knows His children, “But the pot He was shaping from the clay was marred in His hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to Him”.  (Jeremiah 18: 4).

I encourage those who desire to strengthen their faith to, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.” (2 Peter 3:18).  Press in beloved ones….press in.

Thank you Mary Ann, Uncle Bobby, Evelyn, and Joy for sharing your stories with us. We love you!