Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Week in Review: Faith Testing

I try to stay consistent about posting on this blog even if it's only once a week. Last week was different. It's not that God wasn't teaching me anything--au contraire! Sometimes it's better for me to "Be Still" and just listen rather than write.

The past few weeks have been challenging in many ways. I won't go into all the details, but suffice it to say that we all have seasons in our lives that push us out of our comfort zones and stretch us in the faith department.

This morning I was working on a Bible study about faith and immediately realized that God used some of the events of the past few weeks to stretch me in the faith department. I wish I could say that I got an A+. Not even close! I had good moments and bad moments. There were times when I reacted to circumstances through my flesh by saying or doing things that were not so Christ-like. And then I had some Spirit-filled moments when I desperately prayed for God's help and turned to Scripture.

As I look back over the week, I can see that those moments when I turned to God and the Word were some of the most peace-filled moments of the week. Did my circumstances get better? No. Not really. But, I did feel peace that passed all understanding...

And the peace of God, 
which surpasses all comprehension, 
will guard your hearts 
and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 4:7

...and when I did go to God and Scripture first, I found that things fell into place a little better than if I had tried to do things in my own strength.

Fear not, for I am with you; 
be not dismayed, for I am your God; 
I will strengthen you, I will help you, 
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

There's one other thing I learned this morning about my faith: It's been getting stronger over the years. I can now see how my faith has been shaped by my environment and other people since I was a child. My belief system has been rather limited in the past. My knowledge of Scripture was limited and therefore my knowledge of who God is and what He can do was limited. 

As I've spent more and more time in Scripture, I can see how my perception of who God is has been changing. The God I know right now is not the God I knew 10, 20, or 30 years ago. He's much bigger, He's much more loving, He's much more personal, and He's much more awesome than I would have thought a few decades ago. These are the kinds of things we learn only after spending years getting to know someone.

If you need a faith boost, read the 11th chapter of Hebrews. Faith is the confidence we need when we cannot see anything happening and it is by faith that we trust God, knowing that He is able when we are not.

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