I start off with these two, because it stuck out as soon as I read them. How very true are these two statements and especially for someone who is unsure of their faith or their faith is not as strong as they want it to be. These whole reading for week 7 was pretty intense. I did a lot of underlining and reflecting of my own. Lets just get right into it and as we do keep in mind the two statements above.
When suffering and trying to weather the storms of life sometimes you wonder is God even there!?!?! Think about when Jesus was crucified how do you think God felt? He knew that would happen, but watching would be worse then the actual act of what Jesus went through. The storms we endure today are what tests our faith and spiritual healing. He is always right by our side and when we are going throughout painful times He allows it so it will work for our ultimate good.
When God says NO! He has a reason for it. I think after awhile we feel that God and the Holy Spirit have abandoned us, but in actuality we are granted grace in the perfect moments, times, days, and also for each stubble we go through. It is all about weather or not you accept the grace that is being offered. the Lord gives me grace that strengthens me when I am weak. This goes hand in hand with a strong faith!!! If he says no it does not mean He does not love us, because He knows what is best for us!
In this series the key take away is FAITH and TRUST. In our reading it says "faith is an anchor of hope for the believer. Trusting God is a core essential" (p.148). It is ALL about choosing to trust Him and not doubting Him. ALL meaning your life and lifestyle and how you live your life as a follower of Christ. Psalm 34:18 says "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" (p.147.). Know that your faith and trust in God are the things that you need in order to fulfill Gods objectives and live a God-centered life! If you cannot do that and are only doing the bare minimum as a Christian how do you think others view you are a believer? Not just that, but what kind of "power" do you think you will have in Gods kingdom? That is what it is all about my friends, it is about what you will do once in the House of the Lord!!!
Lastly, I don't know about you, but do you pray often for things other then your own struggles? i know I look at my own life and feel that my struggles are nothing compared to those that are REAL! The Lord know what is going on every min of every day and is in total control. Your struggles are also real do not forget that, but take time to pray for those things that tug are your heart, because that is the Holy Spirit working in you! Psalm 59:16 from the reading says "But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble" (p.154).
Lord Jesus, thank you for allowing me to spread your word and to those who read and receive it thank you for leading them here. I know at times your answer is No to our prayers, help us to better trust in you because you know what is best for us. We come to you in times of pain and helplessness. I need your strength and power of grace to strengthen me when I am weak. When I am weakest your are strongest, and I know then that you are shaping and molding me into the person I am supposed to be in honor of You! Help me to live what I believe in and spread your word with more courage tomorrow and the days to follow all in Your glorious name. In Jesus' sweet an holy name I pray, Amen