Have you ever heard of Joseph? Gideon? Hezekiah? Moses? How about David, Stephen or Esther? What do they have in common? Each faced challenges that seemed unbeatable, overwhelming odds stacked against their ability to live in peace and accomplish God's purposes. And what did they do? They prayed, sought counsel, and walked in faith, putting their trust in the God "with whom all things are possible."
In his book Fresh Faith, Jim Cymbala writes:
"So many times when we get into emergencies and the situation seems hopeless - it's actually a set up. God wants to do something great. He wants to demonstrate His power, so that His Name will be praised in a new and greater way ... [so that] the next generation will hear all about it... Why? Because God wants to publish everywhere through our lives the testimony of His mighty power and salvation."
How about you? Facing any overwhelming challenges or emergencies today? Tempted to give up? Despair? Are you paralyzed with fear or disappointment? You are not alone. The People of God have faced overwhelming obstacles since day one. Here are a couple of ways to ignite the fire of faith in God in the face of overwhelming challenges:
1. Read God's Word. Read the stories of Joseph (Genesis 37), Esther, Daniel and Paul (Acts 9- 28). Read Psalms 25,27, 46, 91, or 103 to name a few. God's Word reminds us the power of God is available today.
2. Don't face challenges alone. As Archbishop Bishop Bob Duncan has said, 'Courage breeds courage.' We need each other to pray, process, and for encouragement and help. Get in a community group. Call a trusted Christian friend, a Christian counselor, talk to a member of staff, or contact the prayer team.
3. Commit your way to the Lord (Psalm 37: 5 - 6) Put faith in action by entrusting specific challenges into His hands and ask for the next "blue blaze" (trail marker) for you to see the way He is leading.
4. Spend time in worship: Worship fixes our hearts and minds on the greatness and power of God and off our own inadequacy to handle specific challenges. Listen to worship music of your choice, thank God for His power and attributes and faithfulness in the past. Pray the Psalms of Praise (145 is a good one).
5. Serve someone else in need. As we seek to serve others, we receive encouragement as we share encouragement and we sense God's power and love flowing through us. God has an amazing way of meeting us when we take our eyes off our selves and serve others.
6. Ask for more of God's Holy Spirit to equip, encourage, heal, teach, provide, give faith, and develop character in you during the times of challenge and discouragement.
7. Memorize 2 Corinthians 4: 17 - 18 "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."Why? Because God uses challenges for greater purposes than we can see in the moment.
As followers of Jesus Christ we can have confidence that the Lord will lead us through the challenges we face. And yet, will we trust Him and follow Him even when we can't see where He is leading? Remember: "Anything is possible for Him who believes."
- Trusting Jesus with you ~ David
About the ResBlog
Members of staff and Vestry will be posting on the ResBlog to help us think through who we are in light of the gospel so that we might “spur one another on to love and good deeds.”