When Our Faith Wavers…

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Colossians 2:6-7 (KJV)

6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Once we have made up our minds to obey God, we gather courage around us like a cloak and proceed.

That is, until something causes us to hesitate and question the wisdom of this decision.

Our faith is wavering. What do we do now?

Ask yourself questions about God.

Has God promised to meet all my needs? Has He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in me, guide me, and equip me to obey Him? Did God promise to be with me at all times? Is anything too hard for Him? Search the Scriptures for answers, and let truth fill your mind.

Meditate on God’s Word.

Ask the Lord to help you find Bible verses that relate to what you are facing. Then study the passage and apply its lessons to your personal situation.

Recall the Lord’s past faithfulness.

No matter how unsteady our faith, God invites us to draw near so He can strengthen our trust in Him. When He does, accept His invitation and give Him the glory.

Assess the situation.

Ask, How critical is this decision, and whom might it affect? Is this one of those forks in the road in which my unbelief could cause me or another person a lifetime of regret?

Choose to trust the Lord.

Make the decision to believe God and obey, no matter how you feel.

As you take a step of faith, God will strengthen you through His Spirit and enable you to continue on.

Before you know it, your faith will become steady, joy will return, and you will be moving ahead once again.

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When Inner Peace Evaporates as Our Faith Weakens…

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Mark 9:21-24 (KJV)

21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.
22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Since faith is the core of our Christian experience, the consequences of wavering faith are far-reaching.

Vacillating trust can lead us to make wrong decisions.

Sometimes, after praying for direction, we might receive an answer that leads us to think, I can’t do that. 

So, instead of asking God to strengthen our faith, we make excuses.

We may choose to postpone our obedience—even indefinitely—in order to do something else we consider just as worthwhile.

But partial obedience is still disobedience, and it leads to situations that can be dire.

When our faith falters, not only can it result in poor choices, but it also is costly.

The Israelites wandered 40 years in the desert because the nation allowed unbelief to overtake their faith. Wavering trust can make us miss out on the blessings of God; it often proves detrimental to those we love as well.

Our confidence will also be affected by shifting faith.

When we are spiritually unsteady, we can easily be shaken by little things—even insignificant matters. Instead of standing firm, we may find our confidence eroding. Then we become less willing to take the risks God is asking of us.

Rather than acting with certainty, we question and doubt what we are hearing from the Lord.

We may also find joy diminishing because our wavering faith has led us away from God’s will.

The inner peace of God that we once enjoyed evaporates as our faith weakens.

No matter how unsteady our faith, God invites us to draw near so He can strengthen our trust in Him.

When He does, accept His invitation and give Him the glory.

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Persevering in Prayer…

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James 5:16 (KJV)

16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Hanging above the door in our house, my mother’s favorite plaque constantly reminded us, “Prayer changes things.”

From an early age, I witnessed this powerful truth through her example. She’d tell me about some difficulties she was facing and then have me pray about them with her. And later, she’d always be sure to give God the glory when sharing the awesome news that He had answered those prayers.

Indeed, this is our confidence: Anything we pray for that aligns with the Father’s plan will be granted.

And the more time we spend with Him, the more we’ll come to understand His will and how to pray for it.

Remember, prayer doesn’t change God’s mind, but it does transform the believer’s heart.

Some requests are granted immediately, simply because we asked with the realization that our Father loves to give us good gifts. Other requests may require time or certain divine preparations before they can be given.

We, meanwhile, must simply be diligent to persevere in prayer.

Whatever the Lord’s response or timing, we trust that He has only the very best in store for His children.

That means we might not receive exactly what we’re asking for, but something even better.

Such is God’s great pleasure, for He alone perfectly knows each heart’s desire and wishes to fulfill it.

Our most powerful tool for shaping the world and lives around us is always available.

Prayer lets us witness God’s hand in any situation.

And as we give attention, time, and perseverance to conversation with Him, we find no limit to what He can achieve in people’s hearts and circumstances.

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Stability, Even in This Unstable World….

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Hebrews 12:25-29 (KJV)

25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29 For our God is a consuming fire.

Television news is often filled with interviews and images of people who have suffered some unimaginable tragedy.

One day we’re shown tornado survivors whose homes were torn apart by powerful winds. Another day we may see massive floods sweeping through an unsuspecting neighborhood. Occasionally, we even view homes that are swallowed whole by terrible earthquakes.

The expressions on the faces of those who have suffered loss can be haunting.

Losses like these always draw our attention toward the fragility of those things we hold most dear—such as our homes, families, and careers.

We seldom like wake-up calls that remind us of the inherent instability of earthly life.

But in a world that oftentimes seems to be falling apart, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have the privilege of sharing the best news imaginable:

We have something that is stable, something that is completely secure.

There is a rock on which we are able to stand, and it cannot be shaken.

That foundation, of course, is almighty God.

The Lord gives us other immovable truths as well. We can trust that Scripture is His unchanging, relevant truth for all time. We can forever depend on a secure eternal relationship with Him through His Son. And we can be sure that an everlasting heavenly home awaits all those who place their faith in Jesus Christ.

We can have stability, even in this unstable world.

Do you have someone in your life who needs this life-saving good news— someone who is drowning, desperately needing you to throw a lifeline?

Don’t wait; share it today.

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Reaching His Goals for Our Lives…

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Isaiah 41:10-11 (KJV)

10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.

Our almighty God desires that we reach His goals for our lives.

But we also have an enemy who would love to prevent our progress.

Scripture identifies obstacles that can impede achievement.

However, if we know what the roadblocks are, it is easier to identify and overcome them.

  • First, when we experience fear, our focus shifts from Jesus to the very thing we want to avoid.

    Such apprehension can become bondage. The antidote is to bring our focus back to the Lord.

  • Second, doubt is a lack of assurance that God will help us to succeed.

    Past failures, negative influences, and ignorance of His Word can all lead to this obstacle.

  • Third, excuses are an effort to make disobedience more comfortable.

    “I haven’t had the same opportunities others have” or “I am too busy” are false justifications, as was Adam’s attempt to blame Eve for his bad decision. God always gives us what we need in order to obey Him.

  • Fourth, procrastination—or delaying an action that causes discomfort—also inhibits success.

    Related to that is a fifth roadblock: laziness. This ungodly behavior can, for obvious reasons, prevent us from achieving God’s purpose for our lives.

Wise people check their habits and behavior to identify anything that inhibits following Christ fully.

If any of these roadblocks are hindering you, push them aside. Find scriptures to help battle temptations.

And ask God for strength so you can live freely and purposefully in the way He has planned.

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Growing Your Faith Muscles…

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1 Kings 18:22-36 (KJV)

22Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.
23Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:
24And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.
25And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.
26And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.
27And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.
28And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.
29And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.
30And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down.
31And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:
32And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.
33And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.
34And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time.
35And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.
36And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.

“I wish I had great faith.” These are words that almost every Christian has said at one time or another.

But faith is like a muscle, which must be exercised in order to become strong; just wishing cannot make it happen.

Christians are to believe God, not only for salvation but for everything.

Rather than a spiritual “plateau,” faith is actually a process that involves increasing degrees of trust throughout life.

Little faith hopes that God will do what He says; strong faith knows that He will; and great faith believes that He has already done it.

Elijah was a man of great faith. He saw increased challenges as opportunities for God to do His work—and the prophet believed Him for the supernatural. So can you.

The Lord may not do every miraculous thing you ask of Him, but He does some extraordinary work in and through each person who is obedient and willing to trust in Him.

You may be thinking, I am not good enough for the Father to use me. 

The Scriptures are filled with examples of weak and flawed people whom the Lord used to achieve His purposes.

He is looking, not for perfection, but for individuals willing to believe Him.

He not only works through people of faith; He transforms them.

Start by reading God’s Word to learn what He wants you to do. Each day’s situations and needs are opportunities to trust Him. Ask the Lord to bring to mind verses that apply to your circumstances.

Trust Him and do what He says—your faith “muscles” will grow, and He will be glorified.

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Living With Purpose and Perseverance…

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Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

What causes some people to fail and others to achieve their goals?

One theory is that background, education, and ability are the main factors.

But why, then, do we hear stories of victory achieved by people who have come from difficult backgrounds, struggled with disabilities, or had little instruction?

Surely, something else determines whether we accomplish our objectives.

Contrary to the word’s common definition—which usually involves fame, fortune, or power—true success means becoming the people God wants us to be and reaching the goals He has set for our lives.

Hebrews 12:1 offers His perspective on this: “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

Here, we see the keys to success.

First, it is important to find encouragement from the lives of other believers who have seen Christ’s faithfulness and followed His direction.

Next, we should get rid of anything that holds us back from obeying God. Finally, we are to persevere, even through difficult or discouraging times.

Today’s passage answers our original question: We achieve success only by relying on Jesus for guidance and strength.

God has a wonderful plan for blessing and fulfillment in your life, and part of His plan is that you live with purpose and perseverance. The Father’s guidance will become clearer as you read His Word, pray for direction, and seek godly counsel.

Does your definition of success for your life match the good plan God has for you?

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Who Will Come To Your Aid?

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John 14:16-18 (KJV)

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Have you ever wished you had a 911 number that rang in heaven whenever you had a need?

Well, I have good news for believers.

We all have divine assistance that’s even closer than a phone call: our Helper dwells within us.

But if we are unaware of Him, we’ll miss many opportunities to benefit from the greatest asset in our Christian life—the Holy Spirit’s presence.

Christ knew that when He left the earth, His disciples would be totally inadequate for the task He was giving them—to evangelize the world.

Though they’d spent three years with Jesus, all they had seen and learned would still not sufficiently equip them for what lay ahead.

They needed supernatural help, and so do we—someone who will come to our aid, empower our service, and transform us from the inside out.

The Holy Spirit is the only one who can achieve all this.

Consider His qualifications:

  1. He is a personal Helper, not some inanimate force. God’s Spirit is a member of the Trinity and coequal with both the Father and Jesus Christ.
  2. He is a practical Helper who involves Himself in every aspect of our lives.
  3. He is an adequate Helper because He’s omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.
  4. He is an available Helper who permanently lives within us.

Do you have any need that requires more power than omnipotence?

Are you facing a decision that requires more knowledge than omniscience?

Nothing we encounter is bigger than the omnipresent One who lives within us.

Be calm and confident. No matter what challenges you face, He can help.

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