Saturday, May 10, 2014

Faithful Fridays ~ It Won't Go to Waste.

Good afternoon!  :)  Are you guys getting ready for Mother's Day?  I think it's one holiday that doesn't get enough credit--moms are amazing.  


And thank you guys for the continued prayers for my aunt!  She keeps getting a little better and better everyday--it's been so awesome to see God work in her!  :)





Faithful Fridays is a weekly linky party hosted on my blog. I made it so that Christians could have one special day out of the week (Friday) to share something from their walk with Jesus on their blog. If you'd like to participate, write your post, grab the button from the Faithful Fridays page on my blog (so that it will link back here), and come link up at the bottom of this post! :)


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"I have told you this so that you may have peace in me.  Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.  But take heart, because I have overcome the world."
-John 16:33



We all face struggles in our faith and relationship with God--whether it be temptation, sin, doubt, fear, anxiety, worry, anger, bitterness, pride, holding a grudge against someone, or whatever.  And sometimes, to me, it seems like those struggles are storms and it seems like those big breaker waves are going to crash down and overcome me.  And I find myself asking why.  Why do I have to go through this, God?  It's only pulling me away from You.  It's making it harder for me to come to You.  It's making it harder for me to love You.  It's making following You so hard--what's the point?  


But as I look back over my walk with God, and at the word of God, and at the lives of those who walked the closest with Him--I can't think of any hardship they faced that didn't serve a purpose.  I can't think of any past struggle in my own faith that hasn't brought me closer to Jesus in the end.  Maybe it wasn't clear at the time, for me or for anyone in the Bible, but those like Elijah, and Moses, and Abraham, chose to trust and keep moving toward God even if they couldn't see the way right at that moment--and He always pulled them through.  



"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."
-Romans 8:28



Life is going to bring trials.  The enemy is going to throw stuff at us and our relationship with God.  Our own sinful nature will fight against our choice to follow Jesus sometimes.  But:



"The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.  And God is faithful.  He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.  When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure."
-1 Corinthians 10:13



We all face struggles.  Not just me, not just you, but everyone.  Jesus Himself was tempted.  Sometimes it may feel like we're not going to be able to overcome them, like we won't have the strength to keep following Jesus, to keep running the race that is set before us.  But don't stop.  Don't give up.  You may not be able to see things clearly now; that's okay.  When the Israelites were angry and tired and thirsty, God's command to Moses--to strike a rock with his staff--may not have made sense right then.  But Moses did what God told him to do--He trusted, even if he couldn't see just then, and he made movements toward God--and God followed through.  






When God told Elijah to go out and leave where he was staying, and live near a river for a while because of a drought that was coming on, I'm sure Elijah couldn't see everything clearly then.  But God said He'd feed Elijah, and Elijah trusted, and went out and did what God told him.  And God took perfect care of him.  Over and over again, Elijah did what God asked, even if he couldn't see the whole picture, or it wasn't clear or didn't make sense at that moment.  And over and over, God carried him through.  



If you're struggling right now; if you're you feeling like you're going to be overcome; if you're feeling like you can't make it, you can't keep up your faith; if you're feeling like this struggle is useless and just tearing down your faith in God, take heart: I can promise you, from God's word, from the lives of others, and from my own experiences, that if you'll keep chasing God through this storm, seeking Him in the struggle, fighting the good fight of the faith and running the race, if you'll keep making movements toward Him, even if you can't see it all clearly right now--He will carry you through.  And your struggle will not go to waste.  You'll learn things, you'll be stronger, and you'll come out closer to God, strengthened in your relationship with Him and your commitment and love for Jesus.  Will you struggle again?  Sure.  But it's worth it.  Just don't you dare give up.  God is faithful.  Keep making movements toward Him.  




"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.  Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.  After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children?  He said,

'My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline,

    and don’t give up when he corrects you.
 
For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
    and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.'

As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?  For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.


So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong."
-Hebrews 12:1-13



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God bless you guys and have a great day!  :)
Joy :)

6 comments:

Laura Lane said...

Joy you are wise far beyond your years! I pray that my sons find someone like you someday. ~smile~

Thanks for having your momma e-mail me. May God bless you and your family.

Sincerely,
Mrs. Lane

Laura Lane said...

I've been talking about you.

http://harvestlanecottage.blogspot.com/2014/05/faith-and-joy.html

Blessings,
Mrs. Lane

Ty said...

This was such an encouragement, Joy. I love how you said that we can let our trials go to waste or use them for the glory of God. This is a very insightful post!
Praying for your aunt!
Have a fabulous week!
Blessings,
Ty

Laura Lane said...

Hi Joy Girl,
I'm sharing the post I wrote about your blog on some blog parties this week. I hope you get some visits. You've got a lot to offer in the service of our King.
Blessings,
Mrs. Laura

Jazzmin said...

Wow, Joy. Beautiful post. You always write something God knows I needed to hear/read. This was amazing. When I got to the bottom, my heart was so happy to read the verse in Hebrews. All of this also reminded me of a verse I read last night and I can't remember what book it was in, but it was special to me and so is reading this now. I'm so thankful when God places our heart on something He knows we need to be focusing on in our lives at certain times.

Hope you have had a wonderful Sunday♥ Hope your Mom had a blessed and special day also!
God bless you,
Jazzmin

Tammy ~ Country Girl at Home ~ said...

Joy,

I loved this! I thank God for you everyday and for the wisdom He's given you! The key as you said is to keep moving toward God even when we can't see beyond our thoughts or circumstances because HE knows!

I love you! 10!

MOM

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