If you are visiting from the Proverbs 31 devotion, Encouragement for Today, I want to welcome you to my blog. I consider my blog kind of like a community of friends. We gather here, discuss real life issues and also do Bible study together. In my devotion today, you read about a trial I experienced in a friendship. It seems trials are all around us. Some we cause ourselves and some are out of our control, nevertheless, they are trials that can lead our hearts to be troubled and lose faith.
May these words today encourage you. And if you are interested in joining my next online Bible study, that information is here and I’m also offering a free conference call Tuesday evening, March 20th. I’d love to have you join me! The information for that call is below. Also, leave me a comment and you’ll be entered to win a copy of our next study, An Untroubled Heart, a heart and life changing book by Micca Campbell. Winner will be announced Tuesday at 1:00 pm EST.
In my last post, Still Troubled, I wrote honestly about the fear I had in going through my mom’s cancer battle that led to her death in March, 2010. Even though, I still fight the pull to quit, cry, be depressed, be mad at God, and give up hope~I made a choice. Instead of giving way to my feelings of sorrow and pity, I chose to trust and have faith in the God of all creation. This choice wasn’t easy. Admittedly, it’s often a battle. But it’s a battle I choose to keep fighting. The fight to keep faith.
Why do I choose what does not come naturally? Why fight? Because I believe in God and His promises, that’s why. And according to Him, I’m worth the fight!
When your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:3-4
My faith has been tested on many occasions. Sexual abuse as a 7 year old little girl makes no sense. My father moving away without explanation when I was 11 makes no sense. My sister being diagnosed with MS at a very young age makes no sense. Marriage being way harder than I expected makes no sense. Health problems with my children makes no sense. Financial stress when we are working as hard as we can, makes no sense. Anxiety and depression in my life and in the life of one of my sweet kids makes no sense. Difficulty in friendships, occasionally even resulting in ending. My mother suffering and dying way too soon makes no sense Fearing the days ahead makes no sense. Whether circumstances of life are fair, unfair, unexplainable, or whatever else, there are every day situations that can bring fear and cause our faith in God to be tested. James 1:3-4, offers us some hope here. It might not explain “why” our faith is tested during trials, but it does explain the fruit that can come from being tested. I’ve also found, that it is through these very times of testing, that my dependence on God was realized. I can’t go through my life without Him. I just can’t. It’s too much for me to take, but it’s not too much for me and God to take.
There are times when we must fight to keep our faith. Times when we feel like God has abandoned us and life makes no sense. When we want to just be angry, disappointed, afraid, and hurt…and for good reason, we need to fight and remember the God Who loves us.
Below are a few pointers and a truth from Sheri Rose Shepherd on fighting to keep faith:
1. Don’t share personal battles with people who bring you down, because their negativity will fracture your faith even more.
2. Don’t give up your faith because of how you feel in the middle of a battle; God is glorified best when there appears to be no hope…He brings new and powerful hope!
3. Stay in church even when you are mad at God. It truly is where you need to be when in battle. To keep the faith, you need to surround yourself in God’s truth.
Faith battles can birth great things inside of us and give our hearts a deeper and more passionate relationship with God.
Never give up sister friends. Fight to find faith. Fight to keep faith.
Our next online study, An Untroubled Heart, will teach us how to fight to keep our faith. We won’t be fighting alone. First of all we will have the Lord. Secondly, we will have each other. That’s what I love about studying in a group! We can encourage and pray for each other. If you still haven’t signed up and would like to, there is a space in the right column to sign up. All you need to participate is Micca Campbell’s book, An Untroubled Heart. The study begins right here on this blog on March 25th.
For all the details on the structure of this study and the optional and highly recommended conference call series, click here.
And now for our winners. We had so many donated books, I was able to pick 12 winners instead of just 5, like I promised. Yes, 12 of you won a copy of the book An Untroubled Heart and the conference call series. You will receive a personal email from me if you are a winner.
April, Teresa, Linda-ann, Paula, Nina, Rebecca B, Erica, Michelle, Hildi, Valarie, Debbie, and Dawn~ check your email and congratulations to each of you!
For the rest of you, I’m not leaving you empty handed. Here’s a free gift for everyone:
Next Tuesday, March 20th, at 8 pm EST, we are doing something we’ve never done here in Online Bible Studies. We are going to have a free conference call and EVERYONE is invited! Yes, everyone. Stephanie Clayton will be interviewing me about the fear I faced going through mom’s cancer and the fear I faced once she was gone. We will also deliver a message about how to deal with anxiety and fear and how An Untroubled Heart online Bible study will address that. You will also get a sneak peak into the conference call series that is an option for the study. This call is totally free, you don’t want to miss it!
If you’ve ever wondered what the conference calls were like or you want to find out what Online Bible Studies are all about, or you just want to hear the message on the call, this is your chance. The first 1000 people to call in will get to be on the call live. We can only take 1000 live. For those who can’t be on live, it will be recorded and the recording is available to everyone the day following the call.
Here is the call information:
When: Tuesday, March 20th at 8 pm EST
Conference dial-in number: (530) 881-1400
Participant access code: 599269
I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity!
Have a great day! We are just one week away from beginning our new study! I’m so excited and can’t wait to learn more about you as we find a faith that is stronger than our fears.
Love & Blessings!