And they lived happily ever after. It's how every great story ends, and somewhere deep down in our own hearts, we want to believe it is how all our stories should end. But what do we do when they don't? Sometimes things don't work out the way we hoped they would, and if we believe that God has promised us they always would, we have a real crisis on our hands. So, what is our hope then for this world?
Getting lost is not fun. Of course there's the "getting lost" when we just head out to rest and recreate without much of a plan, but truth be told we are really not lost, just away. If you've even felt truly lost, it is a deep and dark feeling and we just want clarity. In these circumstances it is important to note that nothing is ever lost to God, not even you.
Fear seems to be everywhere. Even when we are not experiencing a global pandemic, people can often be paralyzed by their fears in various situations...and we are all in the same boat - all of us deal with fear. As believers, we have an awesome ally against fear in God and the knowledge that not only is He at work in our lives, but that He has promised to be with us. His presence with us is the key to overcoming fear.
Do you struggle to persevere in prayer? Do you fear that God is wither uncaring or unwilling to answer your prayer for any reason? Prayer can be difficult work and because of our perception of God's delay in answering, we can jump to the conclusion that He isn't interested. Jesus teaches us that we should carefully avoid falling for such temptation, refuse to loose heart in prayer, and instead, demonstrate our faith through prayer until He comes.
There are times in life when things just don't work out the way we'd hoped they would. When things don't go your way, how does that effect your faith? When we only trust God when circumstances meet our expectations, that is clear evidence of a weak faith. When someone trusts God even when they don't get what they've hoped for, you can be sure that person has developed a strong faith in God.
Faith means that we choose gratitude even before we have received anything from God. God has made many promises, and when we choose to put our faith in Him, we are making a statement that we believe that every promise is a "YES in Christ!" Choosing to have an attitude of gratitude is evidence of faith, and when we choose to be grateful, it transforms us in amazing ways.
One great mark of maturity is doing the right thing regardless of how you feel. Immature people only do what they they feel like doing, and because of that, often fail to do the right thing. Trusting in God means persevering in our circumstances, doing the right thing regardless of how we feel. Faith means persevering even when we feel like giving up.
Living out a faith that pleases God means that we must learn to trust God I the area of personal finances. This is one of the most neglected areas of faith for most people, and the Kingdom impact is tremendous. When we learn to give to God from our first and best, we unlock a very special promise from God.
Sometimes God prompts us to take action when we don't understand why. Perhaps He moves us to pray for someone without knowing what we are praying for, or serving in some capacity that we feel unsure or underprepared for. Nevertheless, when God moves in our lives and calls for our obedience, it always requires faith - and obeying when we don't understand is an act of faith.
You've heard the expression, "There is more here than meets the eye." Many times that expression is very true, because we rarely are able to "see" with our eyes everything that there is to know. Having a strong faith does not mean that we stop using our eyes, but it does mean that we must recognize that there is far more to reality than what "meets the eye." In many circumstances, believing leads to seeing!