Finding strength through adversityBottom Highlights, Where's the Faith? Thursday, December 17th, 2015
Social Chaos: Where's the Faith?
As a progressive Christian, I believe there are many names for God and many ways to a loving God; this article reflects one of those ways. Take from here what works for you. Celebrate life with joy and peace!
This article is about living your best life now based on the book by Rev. Joel Osteen.
We all face challenges in life. We may get knocked down on the outside, but the key to living our best life now is learning how to get back up on the inside.
Our circumstances may force us to sit down for a while, but let’s not stay down. Even when we’re sitting down on the outside, we must see ourselves as standing up on the inside!
Ephesians 6 says, “When you’ve done everything you know how to do, just keep on standing firm.”
You may be in a situation today where you’ve done your best. You’ve prayed. You’ve believed. You’ve mustered up as much faith as you could – but it just doesn’t look like anything is happening. And you’re tempted to say, “What’s the use? It’s never going to change.”
Don’t give up! Keep standing. Keep praying. Keep believing. Keep hoping. Don’t let anyone steal your joy!
Eleanor Roosevelt often said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
No matter what you’re going through or how difficult it may seem, you can stay standing on the inside. It will take courage. It will definitely take determination, but you can do it, if you decide to do it. Act on your will and your intent, not just your emotions.
Change the mentality from being a victim to being a victor and then watch what God will do.
Paul and Silas, two of Christianity’s earliest missionaries, one day were teaching about God and trying to help people. But some of the religious leaders didn’t approve of what Paul and Silas were doing, so they went to the local authorities and falsely accused them of being troublemakers.
The authorities had them arrested, beaten and thrown into prison. Did they start blaming God for their situation? No, in the midst of their adversity, we read that they were singing hymns and praising God. What?
In other words, they were standing up on the inside. When you give God praise and stay in an attitude of faith even in the middle of your adversities, God’s miracle-working power will show up.
We read that at midnight while they were singing praises to God, suddenly there was a great earthquake. The prison doors flew open and the chains fell off!
You may be weary and tired, worn down and ready to give up. You might be saying, “I’m never going to get over this,” or, “My income is so low and my debts are so high, I don’t see how my situation will get better!”
Don’t allow yourself to wave the white flag of surrender. Get out of that defeated mentality, and start thinking and believing positively.
With God’s help you can get back up on the inside. Shout it out loud if you have to: “I’m going to stand in faith even if I have to stand my whole life! I’m not going to give up and settle. I’m going to keep believing for the best!”
When we pray for our dreams to come true, we typically have a time frame in mind. We want it sooner than later!
God’s timing is different than ours. God has an appointed time to answer our prayers. And because we sometimes don’t understand God’s timing, we can live upset and frustrated. “God, where are you?”
When we can understand God’s timing better, we won’t live all stressed out. In Isaiah we read, “God’s ways are higher than our ways. God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts.” That brings me comfort.
We can relax knowing that God loves us. Sometimes we have to wait and trust. And if you know you might have to wait anyway, why not make a decision to enjoy your life while you’re waiting? The more you enjoy your life, the more others will enjoy being around you too.
Our human tendency is to want everything easily. “God, can’t you teach me patience without having to sit in traffic?” “God, can’t you teach me how to love and trust you without ever having a problem?”
Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts. There’s no easy way to mature physically, emotionally or spiritually. There are always growing pains.
We all face adversity – and we need to remind ourselves that whatever is trying to defeat us now could very well be what God will use to bless us later. God can turn our challenges into stepping stones.
Rev. Joel Osteen says, “Adversity often pushes us into our divine destiny.” And sometimes we need that push.
God wants us to constantly be growing, and sometimes God will use a little adversity or some tension to get us moving forward.
God knows just how much you can take – that’s comforting too! When I see people going through really difficult situations, I am in awe of how strong they are! Remember, God is our strength and our rock and our strong tower.
When you feel the pressure of adversity rising, don’t forget that God might be using that situation to get you out of the safe zone and into the faith zone! God, enlarge our faith!
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