Friday, November 16, 2007

Faith

I'm a pretty big Joyce Meyer fan and try to watch her daily show as often as I can. A few months back, I was watching and she shared how she educated herself in God's Word after receiving the call to minister. She said that due to meager finances and having three kids (I'm almost positive she said three, but please correct me if I'm wrong), she was unable to attend seminary and devised her own plan. She said that she would find areas in her life that needed to change or improve, she would look that subject up in the concordance, and write each verse on that subject out by hand. For example, she said she struggled with anger, so she looked up every verse that dealt with anger, wrote them all out, and studied and absorbed them. I thought...great idea! I'll do that too!
So now I'm on my second subject...faith.
As I mentioned in a previous post, things have been kind of difficult lately. We have our own business and while sometimes it's great to be the boss, to decide the hours, decide the way things should operate, etc, it can often be difficult too. We are not guaranteed a paycheck every two weeks like most people. We don't get paid vacation, we don't get to pack up at 5:00 and head home. We have to give this business our all in every area. If any area suffers, we suffer.
Lately, the business has been a challenge. It's up and down and unpredictable. Some days, I've seen Channing come home happy and fulfilled, and others I've seen him come home and try to disguise the stress that I know he's feeling. It breaks my heart. He loves what he does, and he's really good at it. However, I feel that because he is such a caring person, he is often taken advantage of. I cannot tell you the amount of outstanding balances so many people have left us with. It's terrible! The saddest thing of all is that so many of those balances come from Christian leaders in churches. Crazy, right? Anyway, that's a whole other subject.
The point is that when things get difficult, I instinctively want to wallow in self-pity, stress, and doubt. I want to curl up in my bed, cry, and stress over what I'm going to do, how I'm going to fix things. I kid you not, the worst thoughts images come into my head. So many times I've given in to those thoughts later to look back and realize how dramatic and absurd they were. Well this time, I've chosen not to do that.
This time I have decided that I am going to BELIEVE God. I decided this week that I am going to go through my concordance and write down every verse on faith that is listed; and not only am I going to write every verse down, I'm going to write three different interpretations (KJ, NIV, TLB). Let me tell you...there are lots! So after a couple of hours, my hand was really cramping (I mean CRAMPING!), but something else happened too. My faith started rising. By the end of the first day of doing this, I had lots of Bible verses on index cards and my faith was really strong! To you it may not seem like much, but for me not to be worrying right now is a HUGE feat. I am just totally depending on God.
Here are a few verses that really spoke to me yesterday. I hope they help you too:

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23 NIV

You can never please God without faith, without depending on Him. Anyone who wants to come to God must believe that there is a God and that He rewards those who sincerely look for Him. Hebrews 11:6 TLB

You know how, when you were a small child, you were taught the Holy Scriptures; and it is these that make you wise to accept God's salvation by trusting in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:15 TLB (It is SO important to teach the Word to our kids. This verse just drilled that point home for me.).

and finally...
I did this because I wanted your faith to stand firmly upon God, not on man's great ideas.
1 Corinthians 2:5 TLB

I'm still a long way from being done, but already my faith is growing in leaps and bounds. I know that under His wings I will find refuge; His faithfulness will be my shield and rampart. (Psalm 91:4). The same goes for you. I hope you'll find refuge in His wings.

1 comments:

The Hairston's said...

I'm glad that you are staying positive and God focused through it all. I've been praying for you guys!