Dear Precious Friends,
I absolutely love Oswald Chambers. His devotionals are among my all time favorite.
I was talking to my sister in law yesterday and we were sharing. She lives in South Carolina. We were discussing how much our faith gets tested in hard times and how much you either turn to or turn away from the Lord in those times of difficulty. I love Paul's reminder in Phil 4:11-13.
If you are like me, I have certainly walked through some serious trials. I can truly say my faith is so much stronger because of this however, I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone. I am certainly not the same person and have deepened my faith like never before.
Paul shares :
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
I love this reminder and the realization this is not a blanket endorsement that God will support anything we set out to do and empower us to do whatever impossible things we can imagine. It’s an assurance that we can do whatever God calls us to do, not whatever we decide to do.
Perhaps the important point to remind ourselves is that we need Jesus. Trials should drive us to Jesus. He lifts our burdens and supplies the strength. Jesus wants you to be joyful, and that comes as you draw near to Jesus. He is the strength supplier. Far better than your temporary happiness, Jesus wants to provide you with eternal joy. Using our struggles to draw near to him for strength, we learn how to tap into the joy of the Lord and find that while “I can’t do all things, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Just like Paul, we should be interested in what we could accomplish for the Kingdom in Jesus’s strength.
This isn’t a verse to get what we want, it is a verse that helps us to see life through Christ’s eyes. It is a verse that reminds us to draw near to him in trials. He knows you endure them, and he also wants to provide you with the strength to handle it. He has the power for you to accomplish all things for His kingdom and glory.
Faith must be tested, because it can only become your intimate possession through conflict. The Corona Virus certainly as brought about new challenges and new reminders of how temporary our lives are. It has also brought us closer to the Lord... Losing my Mother in Law, Mom, Dog killed by bear, Dad, closing store and many other things in between... happened in a very short amount of time...back to back with no time to come up for air...
I will tell you my faith was my lifeline and all I had... I was angry, depressed, grief stricken, experienced symptoms of PTSD because there was no break and such life altering back to back experiences.
I can also tell you because of the Lord... I am still standing and am able to see life through a much different lens. The compassion, love and purpose I have for my life is completely dependent on my Lord.
What is challenging your faith right now? The test will either prove your faith right, or it will kill it. Jesus said, “Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me” Matthew 11:6). The ultimate thing is confidence in Jesus. “We have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end…” (Hebrews 3:14). Believe steadfastly on Him and everything that challenges you will strengthen your faith. There is continual testing in the life of faith up to the point of our physical death, which is the last great test.
Faith is absolute trust in God— trust that could never imagine that He would forsake us (see Hebrews 13:5-6).
Please share how your Faith has been strengthened in your trials. Love you all.
Song of reflection:
Have a grateful day.