The Faith Express
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1 Peter 4:1-2 (NIV)
1Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.
2As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.
I’m sure that as believers and disciples of Christ, we have tasted and seen the abundance of His goodness, and I’m certain that by now you would have realized that it can come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from the unmerited favor you experience with your superiors and colleagues to the miraculous healing of an ailment or illness that has been having a hold on you since time immemorial. Big or small, we all understand that God is in the business of making sure we lead a life that is only but worthy for those whom He calls His children. For a substantial amount of the time, we can and we do see the direct effects and outcomes whenever God places His Hands on the issues that we have earnestly prayed over, and that is all good and fine, but what about the times when you can’t really tell, or for that matter, you can’t see any possible good coming out of the situation? Does that automatically disqualify God from being good ‘all the time’? Or maybe He does fail sometimes?
Maybe most of you do know the answer, but a reminder never fails to reiterate the point. To all things, we turn to the Scripture. Psalm 119:68 says ‘You are good and what You do is good…’ Isaiah 58:44 says ‘The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame…’ Notice how the sentences are being phrased, it did not say that ‘God could’ or ‘God might’ but rather, it says ‘He will’ and ‘He Is’. The crux of this as far as I am concerned is this: Our Father wants us to enjoy the greens of His pastures and the fruits of His vineyard, but there are instances where we will have to travel to get there, and most times that path isn’t going to be a bed of roses. God is not One who only wishes to make express disciples where their passion is short lived and require instant gratification, He wants lifelong disciples, disciples who are willing to clench their teeth and walk the narrow road, disciples who are willing to walk by faith when their sight fails. It is there and then that we will be able to fully savor the things that God has for us and know the things that He wants us to have.
Therefore, it is extremely important that we learn to think like Him, see as He would see, and do as He has done when He walked the earth. Should there be any flicker of doubt or any negative thoughts that enter your head, learn to refuse to entertain such thoughts and declare the things that our Heavenly Father has promised us in His Word. Most of all, be well aware that the enemy of faith has been and always will be fear and worry, so the first step to overcoming this is to simply learn to not speak it. Once again, if those thoughts of doubt start to cloud your mind despite you not speaking them, rebuke them and replace them with God-thoughts. It might seem hard to do, and honestly I too, till today struggle with this sometimes, but I encourage you to keep at it, because ultimately there is no such thing as the faith express or hitching a faith ride from someone. All of us will have to rely on Him who gives us strength to walk, run and soar toward that finish line and end strong.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You that Your love for me is so deep that You are willing to mold and refine me through every situation that I am in, never once giving up on me or saying that I will never be able to make it. Father, it is my prayer that even though I may not fully comprehend what exactly You have in store for me sometimes, I will be satisfied with the knowledge that regardless of whatever I am experiencing, You are here with me, and that is all I need. Guard my lips and my heart, so that I may be able to see through Spirit-filled eyes and think as You would think. I thank You once again for choosing to dwell in me and I pray that, may the things that I do be pleasing in Your eyes. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”