“Where is Your Faith?”

Have you ever been fearful?

The kind of fearful that grabs the very core of your being so hard that you found yourself paralyzed which in return begins a series of after-effects that causes you to doubt your faith?

As a believer in Jesus Christ there tends to be a taboo, if you will – I like to call it a lack of honesty to self and with others, where one doesn’t discuss or share such matters. Sadly, we place more importance on what other’s think, what we think,, rather than being consumed with God thinks.

Please do not miss understand me, too live by faith and not by sight, trust and obey our gracious and glorious God, and live out our faith without waver is truly this girls desire, but more importantly God’s desire for each one of us. God in His mercy is so incredibly good to us for we do not deserve His mercies. We are consumed by His goodness, but let’s be finite honest here:

Have you not been fear-gripped to your soul in the midst of a storm?

You, I, and others (whether owned up to it or not) have at one point had their faith challenged or stretched to new levels; their faith wavered to some extent; struggled during a trial where we might have asked, “Lord what are you doing?” or may have even uttered the word, “Why” (yes, I wrote it!) because we don’t understand yet truly want too. God knows you better than you know you. God knows me better than I know me.

Let’s live in the land of God-Truth over façade.  

When you live in an area that is prone to horrific weather, you built safeguards. Your home is built on a firm foundation, and you have a plan. It is just the standard of life and no one questions your motives in planning, organizing or building. The risk is possible. The storm may come. You take action. You prepare. Your life, the life of your family depends on it.

I have been God-challenged yet extremely God-rebuked in the area of my personal foundation building on/in my Savior. Over the past year and a half, my foundation has been shakened, challenged to measures I knew not of, confused, fearful, doubtful, scary, yet it has seen the hand of God rebuild in me foundations on Christ through His conferring and solidifying wondering working power. I know it sounds crazy, it has been a whirlwind that has not been easy.

(pause moment) As a family, we look back and could tell you numerous ways how we have seen the very hand of God work miracles in our lives through His blessings, trials, and testing’s that truthfully make our heads spin (to God’s glory!!), but this storm…ummm, this storm has rocked my boat in more ways than I ever before.

Our Christ foundation is one that stands the test of time for He IS faithful. It is one that is built firmly on the Word of God for His Word is Truth and will not lead nor direct in any wrong way – He is trustworthy. God hasn’t changed.

As we have been in this lengthy storm, I have questioned my soul’s preparation. It is so easy to spit the words out in the good times that we trust God; it is so easy to trust and thank God when we get what we want, but when the desires of your heart turn to hope that is sickened, despaired, sorrow-filled, and there ‘seems’ to be no end in sight of relief, that stirs your soul in ways that are hard to swallow sometime. But should that change our trust and thanks to God? Should it look different? Should it be given differently? No, it shouldn’t. He is still the same God!

I think back to before this storm began and wonder, “Did I safeguard?” knowing full well that storms will come.

  • Do we spiritually plan?
  • Do we spiritually strategies, seek, and prepare for that storm like we would if we lived in “that” part of the country?

It is inevitable, the storms of life will come. It is easy to say that you are unshakable when all is well.

Maybe you are in one, just like I am!

So, what do we do?

  • In Luke 8, Jesus said, “Let’s go over to the other side.” So, Jesus is out on a boat with His disciples on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus decides to take a nap – some R & R time from one side to the next. Suddenly, without warning, a huge storm takes over the sea, water begins to fill their boat. The threat, within each disciple fear begins to take hold for the storm is pulling them under and sinking their boat. Remember what Jesus is doing? Napping. I find this so interesting. Here Jesus is at complete peace while the disciples are in complete fear for their lives – a storm to test their faith.

There were no meteorologists warning them of a storm, and frankly, were there any warning signs in the sky that day that the disciples saw to prepare them before setting sail? I don’t think so, we are talking about experienced fishermen on a lake that they knew all too well!

In 2004, my husband and I had the incredible privilege to go to Israel. The trip of a lifetime and one I would take again in a heartbeat. One of those days we were there we got to sail on a boat across the Sea of Galilee, the very same place where Jesus and His disciples sailed. The same sea that Jesus calmed (very humbling!). Before sailing on the Sea of Galilee, I had my ideas of what the Sea of Galilee looked like but to my surprise it is quite small. You can see from one side to the other.

This confirms, this storm really did catch these men off guard because they wouldn’t have sailed out had it been bad weather.

“Where’s your faith?”, Jesus asked them when they woke him up trembling with fear. Ouch! I don’t know about you, but this grips the core of my heart!

  • We too are often asked this very question by our Lord, “Where’s your faith?”.
  • Have you not heard Him whispered this very phrase in your ear and heart?

We walk this life – no, we all too often own this life as if it were our own. We enjoy the countless God-blessings He gives (we don’t reject those), then question God when a storm comes. When that “BAM” hits. Out of nowhere something rips into our faith – something that rips our faith away or challenges it to levels we never knew existed –and we say, “Lord, I cannot handle this!” “Is this a dream…am I in the twilight zone?” “Rescue me, Lord!” and Jesus replies, “Where’s your faith?”.

Where is my faith when this storm hit?

  • I haven’t prepared.

  • I didn’t prepare.

Are you thinking – wow, where is the love of God in all this? Colleen, you are being too harsh on yourself. No, my friend, it is not about me, none of this is about me. This is the hand of God working in this soul’s heart showing me that I am so SO incapable without Him and HE IS GOD!

{{{the story isn’t finished}}}

God’s love is woven before, in, and through each storm we have gone through, are going through, and will ever go through as His child – Jeremiah 31:3; Matthew 28:20.

Luke 8 (NASB).

[22] Now on one of those (love this – one of those days…) days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they launched out (no questions asked; no worries). [23] But as they were sailing along He (Jesus) fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake (Sea of Galilee), and they began to be swamped and to be in danger. [24] They (the disciples) came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He (Jesus) got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm (that same power, that same authority – is the same yesterday, today and FOREVER!). [25] And He (Jesus) said to them, “Where is your faith?” They (the disciples) were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?”

There is only one way through the storm of life:

  • Standing firm the Word of God – His Word is Truth!

  • Standing firm in the beautiful Truth that Christ has already conquered them all – the victory is already won!

  • We can stand fearless in our storms even when we humanly ‘feel’ like we are unable because of Christ in us!

What a comfort!

  • There is a decision that must be made on the part of each individual – I will stand firm of the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD alone or I will not!

  • The same Jesus that calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee is the SAME Jesus! That same power, that same authority is the same yesterday (for the disciples), today (for us) and forever (for all)!

where is your faith

In Christ I Am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

 

 

Is God Enough?

So, I have been reading this book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It was part of a course requirement for my husband’s one doctoral class – it caught my eye. So when he finished reading the book, I asked him if I could borrow it. WOW…my heart!!!! Since reading the book my soul has been greatly rebuked and challenged yet encouraged in the greatness of who God is and how much He so desires me — and YOU!

Today, I’d love to jot down for you a few excerpts from Mr. Chan’s book from pages 41-45 [please note that all bold words within quotation marks are from Crazy Love].

My prayer for you is that through reading these thought provoking reminders they will both challenge and encourage your soul; make you honestly evaluate your own relationship with God; make you question who you ‘think’ God is – or realize if you have created your own idea of God and not truly see who God really is; and help bring your soul to the only place where it should go — bowed down; worshipping God because of who He is; because it belongs to Him, because of who I am – to be awe-struck just as I am.


“When I am consumed by my problem – stressed out about life, mu family, and my job – I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God’s command to always rejoice. [Phil. 4:4]

In other words, when consumed by my circumstances I say…that I have a “right” to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities…but in God’s eyes this thinking is wrong.

WORRY implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives. [OUCH!!] 

STRESS says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, out lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control. [Double OUCH!!] 
Basically, these two behaviors communicate that it’s okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional. Both worry and stress reek of arrogance. They declare our tendency to forget that we have been forgiven, that our lives here are brief, that we are headed to a place where we won’t be lonely, afraid, or hurt ever again, and that in the context of God’s strength, our problems are small indeed.

First Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” So what does this mean? Frankly, you need to get over yourself. It might sound harsh, but that’s seriously what it means.

Maybe life’s pretty good for you right now, God has given you this good stuff so that you can show the world a person who enjoys blessings, but who is still totally obsessed with God.

Or maybe life is tough right now, and everything feels like a struggle. God has allowed hard things in your life so you can show the world that your God is great and that knowing Him brings peace and joy, even when life is hard. [Isn’t God Good!?] Like the psalmist who wrote, “I saw the prosperity of the wicked… Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure… When I tried to understand all this it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God” (Ps. 73:3; 13, 16-17).

It is easy to become disillusioned with the circumstances of our lives compared to others’. But in the presence of God, He gives us a deeper peace and joy that transcends it all.  

To be brutally honest, it doesn’t really matter what place you find yourself in right now. Your part is to bring Him glory – whether eating a sandwich on a lunch break, drinking coffee at 12:04 a.m. so you can stay awake to study, or watching your four-moth-old take a nap. The point of your life is to point to Him. Whatever you are doing, God wants to be glorified, because this whole thing is His. It is His…World, His Gift.”


“Many of us want a ‘religion’ but don’t want a ‘Christianity’ that touches our lives.” [Pastor Bob Loggans] “We want the world and Jesus too – it doesn’t work that way. We cannot have them both.” [Pastor Richard Woodruff]  I have such great pastors — so blessed & thankful!!

Folks, we have got to decide!

Is it Jesus or not?

What is the point of my life? I already know the answer to that question for God has already told me in His Word. The real question is:

WILL I OBEY?

Joshua_24-15

Blessings, In Christ I Am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}   

the Struggle is Real but so is GOD!

Very honesty, my mind floods with where to begin.  I have longed to blog for the past several weeks yet haven’t had the ability to put thought into words due to the inward struggle of my heart.  My soul is in distress, migraines are intense, the struggle is real but so is GOD!!  

If my flesh were speaking, it would “spill the beans” to proclaim the wrongs done towards us and make them right!  To herald the truth so the truth would be known.  To correct those individuals thus putting them in their rightful place and make them see the errors of their ways.

Yes, this is pure flesh!  To be honest, I have thought about it but spiritually it is what I cannot do (Romans 12:19).

For I know that wouldn’t be pleasing to my Lord nor would it be a testimony that I would long to represent for my Lord.  Nor would it be profitable or helpful for those involved – for their spiritual growth is at stake.  So, in the midst of my own distress, aching, and sorrow-filled heart I am choosing to stand in the shadow of my Almighty – to be redeemed one day, in His time, but for only one glory  —-> HIS!  

The past year has been no picnic in the park for my family and I, but I speak personally here.  In my weak spirit, it trembles in fear, yet speaks in the midst of deep distress and intensely yearns with more passion than I can express to understand and grasp the knowledge with humbleness to grow before my Lord through this trial.  

In God’s graciousness there have been blessings along this road for which I am truly and utterly thankful for.  Believe me, I have been keenly aware of these blessings for I have looked HARD – very hard for them.  They have been those  “diamonds in the ruff”  that have stood against the wiles of the devil, the wiles of man’s sinfulness, and even against my own sinful heart struggling from within. They have been God’s messages to me saying, “I love you” and “I know, I see” or “I understand, I am here” and “I know you don’t understand, but I am still in control…trust me” for these I rejoice over. 

Another cherished blessing has been my precious family. In my weakness, they are compassion and strength. In my time of need, they are understanding and prayerful, wise and loving. I rise up and call them blessed!   

We all have trials throughout our lifetime. We all have choices to make within those storms that are vital to our outcome. Edit

I don’t know about you, but I for one want to learn the lesson the first time! No matter how hard the trial may be we must choose Christ over self (better or bitter).  God’s plan doesn’t hinge on my feelings.  God’s purposes are immovable because they rest on solid ground — because HE IS solid ground. For without God we are nothing.  Without Him we cannot live.  Regardless of mountaintop or valley, we are to be daily feasting on the Word. 

I must say that choosing to believe the goodness of God in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13);  to devour God’s Word every second whether or not my soul or mind can consume it all or not during these difficult times…has been my lifesaver!

I NEED GOD!  

Everyday there is a choice we must make. There are actions and reactions that reveal our relationship with Christ and we cannot and should not let that go even when our hearts and minds are struggling to survive!

 

In His beauty and love for His own, God takes us through places that we don’t understand to prepare us for places He has prepared for us.

The Lord is so gracious to us.  For my God is good on the mountaintop as well as in the valley.  There is never not a place where He is not – where I am.