We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance (Romans 5:3 NLT)
Friend to Friend
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 the lamb 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.
Valleys are lined with disappointment and discouragement and sometimes streams of rapidly running water. 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.
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.
Faith doesn’t rest on what we have done but on what Christ has done.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance” (Romans 5:3 NLT).
When the valleys come, we are tempted to abandon our faith and strike out in our own strength when what we should do is embrace our faith in God, look for our Shepherd, and follow Him.
Faith rests in what Christ has already done on the cross and in our lives. Faith also hopes for what He 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 doesn’t bypass pain. It does, however, empower us to deal with pain.
Faith steps up to bat and invites the opponent to throw his best pitch. Faith sometimes strengthens us, and other times, surprises us. Great faith is forged in the deepest valleys, beginning where our strength and power end.
Father, thank You for each problem that points me to You. Help me see trials as handles for Your promises and tools for growth in my life. I choose to accept the lessons You want to teach me in the dark times and celebrate their truth in the light. Give me the strength and power to trust You completely.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What is your level of faith? What change(s) do you need to make in your life so you can look for God’s hand at work and listen for His voice alone? By faith, accept the truth that God is always at work in your life and thank Him for His steadfast provision.
More from the Girlfriends
It is sometimes hard to trust God, isn’t it? Mary’s book, 10 Day Trust Adventure, will help you learn how to step out in faith. Check it out! It’s on SALE in Mary’s online store.
Need prayer? Email our Prayer Team Director, Ginger Meador. Our prayer team would love to cover you in prayer.
© 2023 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.
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