Practicing Our Faith
Trusting in God
Life Can Be Over-Whelming
There are times when everything seems to be against us. Sometimes it seems that in every direction we turn there is a great big, unmovable wall.
This is metaphorical of course. Situations in our lives can most certainly feel as stifling as an actual brick wall that keeps us from moving forward.
King David spoke of this same type of wall:
Psalms 18: 29 For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.
Have you ever felt that an entire troop of people were against you? How encouraging David's words are! "For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall."
We all face difficult, and sometimes painful situations in life that are completely out of our control. When this happens we can either shut down and give up, or we can press on until we "run through a troop, and until we leap over a wall."
We do have some Biblical promises that we can and should apply to our lives in every situation that will help us in the most difficult of times.
Isaiah 40: 31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Trusting that God can and will do what He promised us when we go through difficult times is key.
The Prophet Isaiah said, "wait on the Lord."
There are times when it feels that we've waited and waited. Remember that we're called to persevere in Christ, so keeping and holding our trust in Him is paramount.
Paul said that we should even face difficult times with "great joy."
James 1: 2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;"
James 1: 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
God does try our faith. I think that He allows us to go through trials for our own benefit, even though no trial ever feels beneficial. Trials are certainly times where we can practice keeping our focus on God and trusting Him. Though trusting in God when we're not going through a difficult situation would strengthen us for when we face real trials.
At times it seems that we endure for a long time, and it can seem as though we're all alone. These are the times when we should remind ourselves that God is in control, and He is working something in us. When a trial is over, we may well find that we have "leaped over a wall."
Paul also wrote that our prayers and supplications should be made with thanksgiving. When we're going through trials it's certainly not an easy task to give thanks, or feel joy. However, Paul continued by saying that if we do these things "the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4: 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Philippians 4: 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
God gives us so many promises that apply to the trials that we all endure.
It's our job to apply His instruction to our lives.
So that when we face a trial of any kind, instead of going right into anger or self-pity, we should more quickly trust completely in God even before we rely on ourselves.
Practice Makes Perfect
A few years ago I read an article that spoke about habits being formed. The author said that "anything we do continuously for 30 days becomes a habit."
Of course we don't want to develop bad habits. However, there are some habits that we should pursue daily.
It takes time to develop a new skill, along with lots of practice. Many of the world's greatest pianists practice every single day for hours. The same goes for learning to paint portraits, or developing skills that will help a person become more proficient in sports.
1 Timothy 4: 8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
Philippians 4: 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
James 1: 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
James 1: 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
The book of Proverbs even speaks about training our children in the right ways.
Proverbs 22: 6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Paul wrote that:
Acts 24: 16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men.
According to Strong's Concordance, the word, "exercise," from that very verse means:
- 1) to form by art, to adorn
- 2) to exercise (one's) self, take pains, labour, strive
It takes work and practice to keep ourselves "...void of offence toward God and man."
There are a few exceptions to this rule. Of Course, we shouldn't go around purposely offending people. Some are more easily offended than others. A person can feel "offended," even when nothing we do or say is intended to be taken that way. We've all been on both sides of that road.
There's an old saying, "You can't please everyone all the time."
We should strive to be pleasing to God by practicing His word in our lives.
God has already given us the tools we need to "run through troops and leap over walls." By applying His instruction to our lives every day we become better and faster at turning to God and trusting Him first in all things.