At the end of my quiet time last night, this verse caught my eye – “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor Ch3 v11)
When I see people straying from God, I find myself valuing my own relationship with him on a whole new level. I try to place myself in their shoes – if I had the friends and influences they do, would I have strayed too? The point is that I acknowledge just how blessed I am to be finding my feet in my faith. Maybe more than that, it gives me the motivation to better myself in order to better other people. I believe in God’s ability to transform lives with complete ease and grace. I don’t believe anyone, after having found God at some stage in their lives, can fall away forever.
Christ lives forever in those who embrace him. They can experience a shift in their life and end up shoving him out, ignoring all thoughts of him, acting in ways that they know he’d never approve off, and still, he works in them. It’s hard to understand why he lets his Children struggle and run from him. Perhaps watching these people from the safe haven of our own flourishing faith helps us to appreciate the good works God is completing through us.
For me, as things stand, I believe it’s the testing of my faith. Can I pray for someone without expecting anything in return? Can I pray genuinely for another person’s happiness and safety when they haven’t treated me like I feel I should be? Can I see their hands reach for alcohol, their lips seek other girls, and their hearts pine for ungodly things and still look at them in love? The kind of love Christ feels for me when I mess up?
I don’t like to think that watching a brother or sister in Christ stumbling in their faith could benefit others. But inevitably, it does. Don’t watch them struggle without praying. Don’t watch them fall without readying yourself to catch them if God tells you too. Most importantly, don’t watch them struggle and learn nothing from it. Any one of us can fall into lives that exclude God if we aren’t careful. We’re no better than those who struggle – slack for long enough, and you’ll be right there with them.
I, for one, will never feel shame in messing up or let it stop me from taking hold of my faith. If I believe wholeheartedly that God can draw the people I pray for back to Him, I’ll never be any different.
And neither will you.
I had a slight crisis in faith last night. Something happened and I suddenly found myself all confused about why this was happening and whether I should even be holding out hope. I begged God to be with me. I prayed that he’d help me sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. But I woke up and still felt pessimistic. My hearts been constantly stirring this last week and hasn’t had much time to be shaken for the worst. I let feelings that I’d been doing so well to hold off, hit me like a tsunami! But I’m feeling better now. I had a quiet time and set everything right in my head.
A friend showed me this verse:
“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; hope. And Hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” - Romans Ch5: v3-5
It strikes me now, as I’m writing this, that all the verses I’ve been drawing comfort and guidance from have spoken about three main things - Hope, forgiveness and perseverance. There’s been a lot of patience thrown in there too. I know God’s allowing me to grow. I can feel it happening! It’s painful, but it’s also refreshing. Whatever he has in store for me will be better and I’ll appreciate it more because of this trial. With or without this person, God will bring me happiness. I have a personal assurance of how this will work out, which drives my hope. I don’t believe it’s been placed there by my own desires, but by God. I just know that I can’t miss out on all this spiritual growth by trying to rush to the end result. I have to sit tight, be patient and let God do this on his own terms.
I’m so thankful that I’m really not alone, even though I feel like I am sometimes. I’m literally placing ALL my hope in the Lord. I hope he warrants this hope by fixing all this for me, repairing everything and strengthening all involved.
“No one whose hope is in you, will ever be put to shame.” – Psalm Ch25: v3
I’ve been put through a small trial these past two days. Well, I certainly didn’t see it like that as I was going through it. I thought it was just a series of unfortunate events that God was happy to let unfold but now I’m on the other side - I can see Gods purpose in it. I was struggling with a lot of anxiety and despite feeling calm when with a friend, as soon as I was left to my own devices, I stumbled. In the heat of things, I forgot that God was there to listen. I forgot that he may even have a plan in it all. Now, I can definitely see that purpose unfolding.
I think that we need small trials and obstacles to keep us alert in our faith. I was lashing out at my boyfriend in a lot of ways when all I really had to do was pour it all out to God. Girls have this weird need to feel validated – we need to feel as though we have a right to be upset sometimes, which makes it so hard for us to swallow our pride and simply confide in God instead of others. It’s the decision I COULD have made, yet didn’t.
However, despite that mistake, everything turned out perfectly fine. My anxiety was settled and I could see things for what they were, which is a work of God. I went from praying for peace in how the situation had happened to THANKING God for opening my eyes. I’ve been enjoying reconnecting with God and I know he’s pleased I’ve made that step in my life. But that optimism blinded me to the hard work it takes to equip myself in dealing with a world that rejects God and as a result, rejects me sometimes. It’s been amazing reconnecting with God but I’m comfortable in my faith now. God’s pushing me a bit further in light of that, and is reminding me of the effort that being his servant requires. I think he used my relationship to demonstrate this to me. No wonder God blessed me with an incredibly patient boyfriend – I wasn’t myself this week, and he dealt with it like I knew I could rely on him too!
I’ve learnt that it’s great to rejoice in my relationship with God but I have to also use it as my armour. I can experience Gods love when I receive blessings, but his love is even more so present when I feel like things aren’t going my way. I did find a verse that reminds me of this lesson, and although it doesn’t talk about faith as such, it’s exactly what I think God was teaching me to do –
“Be sober; be vigilant for your adversary, the devil, walketh about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” – 1st Peter Ch5: v8
It may not be the most uplifting verse but prayer in its self uplifts me. I felt drawn to this verse which led me to believe God was reminding me of the importance of awareness. As rocky as the last few days have been, it’s all worth it when God speaks and assures you that it’s all in his grand scheme of things.