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Gaining Strength through Faith

From the obstacles that Joseph experienced to the rebellious people that Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb had to deal with, we can learn along the way how important it is for us to grab onto our Lord in faith and trust that He has our back. 

Many forsake faith and live in fear, which only paralyzes the bravest soul into a shaking mess.  As we keep our eyes on Him who is there for us, when we read Scripture each day and trust that He will keep His promises to us is when we gain strength.  Strength to take that first step towards the goal which He has called us to.  That step, when we are shaking in our boots, that we know in our own strength we are not able to take. 

When we think about it later, we realize that God has had us in training for such a time as this.  To realize that God sees what we cannot.  To realize that through our obedience in His Word, His promptings in life, those who He sends our way is all part of the plan. 

What plan?  The plan to care for those around us in the middle of chaos and cruel treatment.  The plan to step out and buy that house that you never thought you could afford.  The plan to move forward in the middle of an unplanned pregnancy.  The plan to know that He is God and He will care for you, just as He has promised; even though it’s not the way you saw it in your mind’s eye. 

“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God.  For it is written, “He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness” (1 Cor 3:19)

Charles Stanley puts it this way, “When God begins to move in power on our behalf, sometimes our situation can actually grow worse before it gets better.  Yet we can learn through adversity and grow spiritually if we will commit ourselves to Him and trust Him in all of our circumstances.” (Life Principles Bible, p 87)

I don’t know about you, but I seem to learn much better, He certainly has my attention, in the midst of hardship and sorrow.  And yet, you will hear me exclaim, “Where is God?” and I feel so sorry for myself! 

When we are in the middle of such circumstances, we seem to focus on the situation at hand and forget about the promises that we just read in our daily devotions.  We seem to forget that disappointments and heartache are inevitable and become discouraged.  But know we are not alone.

Let’s take a look at Elijah and his response to some hard times.  “God had sent the prophet to rescue Israel from its moral and spiritual decline.  Elijah confronted and defeated the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 28:17-40), but the wicket Queen Jezebel immediately threatened to kill him for executing her false prophets.

Instead of holding fast to God’s faithfulness, Elijah panicked, ran and hid (1 Kings 19:3).”  “But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he mighty die, and said, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.  He lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and behold, there was an angel touching him, and He said to him, “Arise, eat.”  Then he looked and behold, there was at his head a bread cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water.  So, he ate and drank and lay down again.” (1 Kings 19:4-6)

Not only had Elijah quickly taken his eyes off the promises of God but also what God had done for him.  Sometimes we just need to rest (yes, a good nap can help) and a little nourishment can go a long way. 

And think about those Israelites who miraculously left Egypt only by the hand of God who were quickly crying that they wanted to return to Egypt, to return to slavery, because they were going through some difficulty on the road and would rather go back into bondage rather than trust God for the promise of going to the land of milk and honey. 

When we get weak kneed, when we become frightened, when we want to go back into a sinful situation rather than fight through our present circumstances, we need to fall on our knees in prayer before God.  So often we fool ourselves thinking the easy way, the way it used to be, would be better and we long for that sinful life again.  But it isn’t better, it’s sin and that never is better! 

Not only does reading the Bible daily help you focus on His love, His strength, His plan for you but it helps to have friends who will encourage you to draw ever closer to Jesus and to remind you of His promises and the blessings that await you in being obedient to our Lord. 

Obedience is essential in all walks of our life and we find His truth and direction in reading our Bibles daily.  Reading and obeying are the keys to moving forward in the midst of difficult times. 

I don’t know who needs to be encouraged by these words but I know someone does.  I also want to encourage each of you reading this to pray…pray for someone you know who is discouraged and needs the love of the Lord.  Pray for the widow(er) going through this Easter season for the first time without her (his) dearly loved husband (wife).  Thank you for your prayers! 

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