Betty have been sharing her personal Bible Studies since 2005. She also has a strong interest in American politics.
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.
James A Watkins from Chicago on October 20, 2019:
Amen Sister! I love it. A wonderful piece of work this one. Thank you for it.
charlie from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans on October 14, 2019:
True The use of a witness (2 or more) can be found many places in scripture
Betty A F (author) from Florida on October 14, 2019:
Perhaps the reason that Jesus said;
Matthew 18: 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
Is because the focus is completely on God, and not a person. "two of you..."
Betty A F (author) from Florida on October 14, 2019:
I explained the process of continuously doing something. As well as times when prayers are not answered right away.
I've been told to keep studies Bible based on not self-focused. The Biblical examples are in the article.
We're either doers of the word, or we're not.
As for "Faith being the substance of things hopped for...." That is a subject all of it's own.
Though I won't give you an complete list of seeing faith work, I can share about a nephew of mine. He became very sick when he was around 6 months old and was diagnosed with meningitis. The doctors didn't think that he would make it through the night. Several people were praying for him through the night. The next morning he was sitting up in his hospital bed and playing. The doctors even said that it was a miracle. This happened when I was a young teen, and I hadn't ever read the entire bible. I did believe that God could heal and He did. Faith in God is a "substance."
This was an extreme example, but as you said, there are so many applications to practicing our faith. A person can just be seeking an answer, and continue in faith believing that he or she will receive that answer. It's not always about moving metaphorical mountains. Faith can involve the most simple of things, to the most complicated issues.
God can use anyone at any time for His glory.
It's never about us.
Go read about Elisha. When God used him, he never EVER took the glory thinking that healing or any other miracle was about him. It has nothing to do with any 'power," of our own. It's 100% about and for God.
Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington DC on October 14, 2019:
To "Practice Our Faith" based on the definition is a powerful subject, Betty especially since "practice" means to do over continually. However, Faith is described in Hebrews 11:1 as "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." You have given us the substance of what you (are) practicing but no examples to show that is what you are doing nor the results of any situation your faith caused youth overcome. It is so easy to quote scripture but our testimonies of what we have done is how one reveals to others the actual understanding of what one says. That is the reason I include my own experiences in what I write, first hand experience carries more weight than hearsay.
Thanks for sharing it, it is well researched.
Betty A F (author) from Florida on October 13, 2019:
Hi Charlie! It's good to see you.
I agree, God does test us and "prove," us. I believe He not only proves us to Himself, but to show us our hearts and our own faith in Him, or lack thereof.
Deuteronomy 13: 3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Romans 12: 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
I also like what you said about being a new man. Paul addressed it in the above verse. Even David spoke about it.
Psalms 55: 19 God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.
Psalms 119: 9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
I agree that not many teach about pursing and seeking "changes," or "renewing the mind," by and through God's word in Jesus.
There's a real and living relationship when we receive the Holy Spirit, and do what Jesus said, "seek Him with all our hearts" While prayerfully studying His word.
The bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is our teacher, and Paul made a point of preaching this:
Ephesians 4: 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
Not many will do that. Sometimes it takes a trial will cause people to begin seeking Him with all their hearts.
charlie from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans on October 13, 2019:
Great article, But the churches of man do not teach the most important reason for the trials .which I believe you do understand.
God cannot trust an untested man (male or female) because He clearly says the heart of the carnal man is enmity with God. Any man that has not been broken (had the carnal part removed, been baptized in the Holy Spirit, tried and proven by fire, is of any use to God. Only those proven to be a new creation in the pattern of Christ are of real value to God. And that is why few people see the things that God uses these men for, there are so few of them and none are the fake clergy found in the apostate church system.. Those men are disciples of Christ and follow Him and His Spirit alone. Those men truly see Mark 16:17 in action every day. and they never ask or beg for your money because they understand the scriptures correctly.