START HERE

Today’s Truth

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1

Friend to Friend

Valleys are lined with disappointment and discouragement. Some people seem to thrive on adversity, emerging from their valley with greater strength and deeper faith. Others stumble and fall, giving in to discouragement and dropping out of the race. The difference in outcome is determined by the way we choose to handle discouragement.

We must respond to each valley with trust and faith. The word “trust” means, “to lie helpless, face down” and is the picture of a servant waiting for his master’s command or a soldier yielding himself to a conquering general. “Heart” refers to “the center of one’s being.” In other words, to trust God completely means that from the very center of our being, from the very core of our existence, we trust Him, totally abandoning ourselves in childlike faith to Him and His plan. We come, holding nothing in our hands, pushing no agenda, with one word in our heart—“whatever!” “Whatever You want me to do, Lord, I will do. Whatever You want me to say, Lord, I will say. Whatever You want me to think, Lord, I will think. Whatever path You have for me, Lord, I will walk.”

If you are like me, you sometimes think you don’t have enough faith. The amount of faith is not nearly as important as the right kind of faith—faith in God alone.

A mustard seed is small but can still take root and grow—just like faith. Faith is also like a muscle. The more we use it, the stronger it becomes.

We must remember that faith doesn’t rest on what we have done. Faith rests on what Christ has done. As Paul says, times of stress accentuate the presence and power of God.

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love” (Romans 5:3-5, NLT).

When the valleys come, we are tempted to abandon our faith and strike out in our own strength. What we should do is embrace our faith in God, look for our Shepherd, and follow Him.

The story is told of a shepherd who tried to persuade his sheep to cross a swiftly flowing stream. Since sheep are naturally afraid of rapidly running water, the shepherd couldn’t get them to cross. Then he had an idea.

Picking up a lamb, the shepherd stepped into the river and carried it to the opposite shore. When the mother saw that the shepherd had safely led her lamb across the stream, she forgot her fear – and stepped out in faith and into the rushing current. Soon, she was safely on the other side. The rest of the flock followed.

Faith rests in what Christ has already done on the cross and in our lives.

Faith hopes for what God will do for us in the future.

Faith builds on the victories of yesterday to help us face the valleys of today and the questions about tomorrow.

Faith in God is sure and certain, believing that God is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do. When we believe God will fulfill His promises, even though we can’t see a single promise materializing, we are exercising faith.

Faith does not bypass pain, but it does empower us to deal with pain. Faith steps up to the bat and invites the opponent to throw his best pitch. Sometimes faith strengthens us, and other times faith surprises us. Great faith is forged in the deepest valleys, beginning where our strength and power end and God’s begins. How’s your faith?

Let’s Pray

Father, I want to be a woman of faith, but I am so weak and so often afraid. Today, I choose against fear. Instead, I choose to believe You and Your Word. Please help me learn how to reject the lies of the enemy and celebrate the absolute truth of Your Word. In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now it’s Your Turn

One of my favorite descriptions of faith is:

F: forsaking

A: all

I: I

T: trust

H: Him

How would you define faith? ______________________________________________

Read Hebrews 11:6 and record it in your journal. Then write the verse in your own words.

Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

More from the Girlfriends

Our faith is tested when the storms of life hit. Are you sitting in a rocking boat that you fear is about to capsize? Mary has a message of hope for you! Check out her CD, Strength for the Storm, and discover how to find strength and the courage to face the trials in your life.

Need help learning how to study the Bible? Check out Mary’s weekly online Bible study, Light for the Journey. The current topic is How to Tame Your Tongue. And be sure to connect with Mary on Face book or through email.

Save

12 Responses to “How’s Your Faith? Part 2”

  1. shereen says:

    This is one of the deepest devotion , i Have ever read..God bless you, Continue on the amazing plan God has in your life.

    • Shereen, thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. God is so faithful, isn’t He? I am so thankful He ministered to you through the devotion. God bless you as continue to stand firm.

  2. Kathy M says:

    This is just the reminder I needed right now. I am waiting for some things to happen as I make a major transition in my life. Yesterday I had a set back and I was so discouraged. I felt like God had let me down. Then this reminder and some others too. If He has cared for all my needs for over 60 years, He is not going to stop now. I define faith as remembering how God has taken care of me in the past and thinking about those times. There are so many. Thank you, Mary!

  3. BB says:

    This absolutely blessed me and helped me to change the way that I have been thinking about things. Thank you so much!

  4. Carma says:

    Mary: Thanks for the words of encouragement and hope. in times of discouragement sometimes we take our eyes off of our savior and his promises for us. His word is true!!

  5. Beautiful post, I love the lamb story.

  6. Jane says:

    Thank you Sister Mary for this inspiring devotional…I really need this especially I have been praying and waiting on God for something but just last week the response to our prayers and waiting is not exactly what and how I wanted it to be.

    In fact, it was like an exact opposite of what we expected. I am tempted to be discouraged but I fought it and I chose to trust God’s better plans for me and my family especially for my husband who is a Pastor.

    God bless you bountifully!

  7. Rachael says:

    Thank you for this beautifully inspiring two-part post. In Hebrew, my name Rachael means ‘little lamb of God’. Your discussion on God as our shepherd has been making me see His character and my relationship to him in a different light. Praise be to Jesus for knowing when we need rest, and providing direction and clarity when we completely surrender and step out in true faith (albeit it first be small).

Leave a Reply

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8