Monday, May 9, 2011

Faith Before the Fallout

"Examine yourselves to see if your faith is really genuine. Test yourselves. If you cannot tell that Jesus Christ is among you, it means you have failed the test." [2 Corinthians 13:5 (NLT)]

We pray for help...and why not? God implores us to turn to Him in time of need; and to turn to Him in time of celebration and joy. But, when we pray for His divine intervention in times of "crisis," for some reason, we don't let it go. We hang onto our fear, exacerbating the situation. We, as my husband often says, "feed it and breed it." We then go so far as to try to solve the problem(s) ourselves. Oftentimes, we make things worse, or at least we make ourselves feel worse. that truly faith? We cannot do what the Almighty can do, but yet, we keep trying to run our own lives without calling out to Him for direction and discernment.

The song says, "take your burdens to the Lord and leave them there." many times have you sang that refrain? Felt good while you were in church, didn't it? Well, how many of us leave the lesson in the song/scripture on the pew?! We leave the church, after asking for others to keep us in prayer, and then we worry and cry "wee, wee, wee" all the way home. Saints, it's gotta be more than a lyric, it must be a lifestyle!

I can't count how many times I've approached the church with my tithes check written out, wondering whether I should leave it in the checkbook, and pay a bill, or put gas in the car, or stop for a snack instead. See, that's why the Lord taught me many years ago, write out your tithes check first, record it in the checkbook, and budget and live off of all that is left! I find when I don't, my life is a financial mess; my heart/spirit is in disarray; and my level of worry is elevated. But, when I pay my 10% FIRST, I'm much more at peace because I can say for once, I followed God's direction. I don't know about you, but each piece of peace makes a difference in our lives, no?

So, basically, I've never wanted to be a worrier. Even when I was a little girl, I prayed for God to take away my fears, no matter how small or large they were. I always...not sometimes...but ALWAYS felt better in due time. I knew God had the situation under control, better than anything I could've done for myself.

As I've gotten older, I've learned that God is talking directly to me, giving me His peace and comfort, and His joy. I remember a visiting pastor once said we must do more than believe in Him, we must believe Him! That's faith!! I no longer worry about the bills, the sometimes overdrawn account, the utilities that may be turned off - hey, we've lived without lights before; in fact, when we had a citywide blackout, Hubby and I lit candles and read to each other from our favorite books. We've learned how to negotiate with bill collectors; we've learned how to squeeze a dollar from a penny; we've learned how to be more than okay while unemployed. God's got us! C'mon, we've all lived through it, and guess what? We've made it to the other side! God delivered us! Just like He delivered the Israelites, He delivered us through our trials, tribulations, and bondage. But, is it taking us 40+ years to learn? Or, are we casting our burdens onto Him, thanking Him, praising Him, and remaining faithful to Him...and then reaping our reward?

We must live within our faith before we experience the fallout. The fallout is the constant worry, fear, absolute "worst" that you can experience. If you indeed go through the worst, with faith, you know Jesus is with you and He knows exactly what you're feeling and what you're going experiencing. Jesus is right there with you! He's promised never to forsake you, never to leave you alone, and to reward your faith. Because of your faith, you will be healed, saved, comforted, and forever loved. Let's not forget that. That's what it means to keep the faith. Are you keeping yours?

"Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us." [Romans 5:1 (NLT)]

God bless your hearts!

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