Tag Archive | challenges

Faith facts

Hi friends, it’s been one of those weeks! Suddenly so many things seem to be in turmoil and as a friend of mine said..the enemy is good at making even things that are blessings seem to be curses! When we face challenges, we may feel discouraged, we may feel overwhelmed but we must never ever let go of faith. Faith helps us meet life’s circumstances with certainty and affirmation that God has supreme control of the outcome..so let’s look at eight encouraging faith facts. I pray that this short study will encourage you as it has me.

1. Faith is the shield that protects us from the potentially damaging effects of the various onslaughts we face. Depression, anger, fear and anxiety come as a natural response to oppressive circumstances but we can flip the switch, pick up the shield of faith and push them back! Better yet, don’t ever put it down! Be always ready!2. Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit. You see it’s not about sheer willpower, if the Spirit of God lives in you Faith is already there ready for use! Oranges can’t come from apple trees. You’ve got faith!!!3. Faith must be nourished. How? By focusing on God’s word. If your soul is aching or burdened.. read and internalize faith-building scriptures each day. Doing this along with prayer, worship and fellowship..will be like medicine to remedy our aching souls. Ro 10:174. Workout your faith!! Exercise and build your faith muscles during hard times. Our actions should speak to the fact that we have faith. Don’t let apathy move in. Get up and work in Faith! No money for that big project yet? Start small with what you have. With prayer and faith, work your mustard seed and watch God grow it into a tree!5. Faith attracts God! While you’re dealing with a seemingly insurmountable task or challenge..work at it with all your heart towards God. God loves to see faith and He rewards it! 6. In the end you will shine!!! So work with endurance! Work through it knowing that whatever happens, God will bring you through as beautiful and refined like gold. Don’t let discouragement and depression win.  Job 23:107. Our faith is valuable! So much more than just temporal, so much more than just something to help us cope with circumstances this side of heaven. It is so valuable that it has eternal weight and glory! 

8. Faith leads us into to godly rest where even though we work, we do not strive to make things happen or to bring about the outcome we desire! When we believe, we can rest. Rest in the fact that God has this! He will provide, He will see that the outcome is for good. As the word says, let us make every effort to enter His rest! Faith leads us to rest! Heb 4I don’t know what you’re facing but God wants you to know that He sees and honors your faith. So be encouraged, surrender the outcome to God and raise up your shield of faith! Have a great weekend.

By Carol-angel Jackson

(Click photos for photo sources)

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Jesus under pressure – Our example

christ-crucified

Matt 26:41- “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”.

Life has many challenges. While challenges make us grow, sometimes the pressure of those challenges can make us feel like we will explode. Let’s look at how our Savior, Jesus Christ, handled pressure and follow His example by applying these principles to whatever we may be facing.

 

1. Jesus did not use earthly tools, He prayed.
e.g. John 18:10 – When the soldiers wanted to take Jesus, Simon drew His sword (earthly weapon). Luke 22:44 – when Jesus was in agony He prayed..”Being in agony He prayed more earnestly.”

Why pray?
a. Prayer brings with it strength from heaven (an angel came and strengthened Jesus in His time of need).
b. Prayer brings with it the very presence of the all-powerful God (The three Hebrew boys in the furnace had the presence of the Son of God (Christ) with them in their time of extreme pressure).

Personalize it: What is your method? How do you react under pressure? Earthly weapons/solutions or prayer? e.g. Do you talk to everyone about a situation and gossip rather than praying? Proverbs 10:19 –“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise”.

2. Jesus resisted temptation.
Temptation lurks when the pressure is on – Matt 26:41- “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”.

We ‘react’ when we are under pressure and may say or do the wrong things e.g. Matt 26: 73-74 – Peter lied, denying knowing Christ when put under pressure. The pressure of potentially being arrested, charged and killed was too great for him to handle. Luke 22: 48-50 – The disciples asked, “Lord should we strike with the sword?” They had no sense of the hour that they were in. Christ’s response was very composed/cool/collected – ‘Permit even this’.

What are some of the temptations we face under pressure?
i. To react in anger and sin e.g. giving someone a good piece of your mind (Bible cautions us to be angry and sin not).
ii. To forget about Christ/God and take matters into our own hands especially if we believe that God is not acting fast enough or doing what we think he should do.
iii. To deny Christ – how do we do that? We can be ashamed to identify with him in suffering as Peter did. Enduring suffering for Christ is not something that comes automatically to us so we might try to ease our way out of it (Mark 14:50 says that they (disciples) all forsook him and fled). We flee suffering and deny Christ sometimes by throwing away our faith in God- There are people that leave the faith when they are under pressure – I have a friend whose mother was ill with cancer for years and after her prayers for healing were not answered in the way she expected, she left the faith – denied Christ.

The GREAT temptation when under pressure is to deny Christ, to abandon God ESPECIALLY when He seems silent. God was silent through Christ’s trial of crucifixion – He had no representation in the form of a host of angels (as they were when they announced Christ’s birth); no forefathers (Moses, Elijah like at Mount of Transfiguration); no voice appearing from heaven (like when Christ was baptized)…absolute silence. Under pressure, we have to learn to trust God ‘even when we can’t trace him’ – when he seems to have left us alone and there is silence.

I pray this was an encouragement to you. We will continue next week with the last two points. Have a great weekend everyone!

By Robertha Reid