What has this year done to your faith?
This year has brought so many challenges. It has stirred fears, questions left unanswered, daily routines stopped, simple tasks required thought and consideration. Extra time and energy spent contemplating how to work through the latest ever changing news and this continues to be the case.
The one thing that has remained completely unchanged is God. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8 HCSB He has not been afraid, perplexed or surprised, not one single moment. He knows everything and sees everything. Not one single action is hidden from his sight. In Daniel chapter 2 it tells us He knows everything in the light and all that happens in darkness. Scripture also tells us, The eyes of the LORD are in every place, observing the evil and the good. Proverbs 15:3 God knows every single detail, all the way to exactly how many grains of sand there are!
My faith was tested this summer. The struggle was intense and I let a whole lot of anxiety in. During this time I sought some counsel and was given some tough & real advice- I was told, “You spend so much time in Scripture, where is your faith? Use what you have been taught.”
This past week the noise and chaos of the world continued just like it has all year. I was listening to some reports, and I felt the Holy Spirit reminding me of the advice, “USE YOUR FAITH.” I began milling that over in my mind, USE YOUR FAITH.
Jesus has very plainly stated in John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. We will have trouble, but he lets us know this ahead of time so we can still have peace, even though there is trouble. He is saying believe me, listen to me, actively live this.
I pray we will take Scripture seriously, we can’t have faith if we don’t know who we are to have faith in. To get to know Jesus we have to read and study the Bible and remain connected to the body of Christ. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the day approaching Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV
When we see trouble, we must direct our minds to go straight to Scripture truth. Speak words of truth over ourselves and our situation. Claiming God’s promises. We would not then be surprised by anything we see or hear, but stand firm leaning into Jesus. Taking action praying,” I see the trouble you mentioned Jesus, I am taking heart that you are on it. You are already working it out for good. Help me overcome my unbelief, grant me the peace you have for me, my eyes are on you Jesus.” We are told to stand firm in faith; we might get some pushes and resistance, often times coming from our own minds, so we need to keep standing firm. Using our faith.
Using faith is an action, one that can be very difficult. We must be persistent in prayer, keep praying and praising, keeping conversation going with God. Lament what needs lamenting and keep looking to God. As faith is tested keep going. Encourage your friends and family. When you notice their or your own faith needs encouragement be honest; reach out and ask for prayer for your faith and pray for other’s faith. Every single one of us when faced with hard times will grow weary, or lose our joy, and need to hear encouragement. I know I was able keep on in my faith and regain the peace I had lost from the encouragement I was given and the prayers that were prayed over me and my family this summer.
Don’t let go of your faith, there are so many fascinating stories in Scripture where God does the impossible and he steps in according to his timing. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8 NIV God steps in many times, after those who pray in faith, at what seems the last minute to us, but to God it is His timing. Perseverance is key, we must keep persisting in faith and keep petitioning God for help, he hears every single prayer. No matter how high, vast or how complicated the terrain of a “mountain” in front of us might be, it is no match for the power of the Almighty God.
We have got to use our faith! We must not let fear or weakness stop our faith. Refuse to let fear in. It is imperative we continue to lift each other up, encourage each other in faith, and fervently pray for our faith to be strengthened. Pray also fervently for those in the body of Christ to have their faith strengthened! We have got to stay in constant communication with God, staying active in and connected to the body of Christ. Praying we are found to be good and faithful servants in all circumstances.
This week let’s pray and praise relentlessly, keeping our hearts and minds in faith in the One True God! He is faithful!
Peace in Faith to you,