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How to have faith
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Mark 9:24 is the central theme of my Post today. It says, “….I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief.”
(From my Life Application Study Bible commentary): “The attitude of trust and confidence that the Bible calls belief or faith (Hebrews 11:1, 6) is not something we can obtain without help. Faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8,9). No matter how much faith we have, we never reach the point of being self-sufficient. Faith is not stored away like money in the bank. Growing in faith is a constant process of daily renewing our trust in Jesus.”
Think about this as well:
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10
I have learned so much about faith in the last couple of weeks. I want to share with all of you how faithful God has been to me over that time. However, in order to show the extent of His grace in my life and His sovereignty in all things, I must share some things about myself. Some of you already know some of these things and some of you do not, but I feel it is important to be transparent about these things for several reasons:
1. To show how God can and will turn any situation or circumstance that the devil meant for evil to His (and our) good (this includes the sins of our past).
2. To tell you that it does not matter what we have done in our past, God loves, forgives and redeems us regardless, and is faithful when we turn to Him and trust.
3. To show that faith is more than just a word – it is the action of trusting God that needs to become more and more natural in our daily lives.
4. To show that when our faith is weak, we only have to ask and He will give us the strength that we need to keep trusting Him.
5. Finally, to show that our faith does not just affect us, but also affects those around us. We can strengthen other’s faith by standing firm in our own faith.
I will begin this Note with some history. Since the age of sixteen, I have struggled with addiction, mostly alcohol. I have had several periods of sobriety during different times in my life. One of these periods began about three years ago when I re-committed my life to God and began attending church. A little over a year ago, I relapsed. It was not what some would consider a major relapse, but it was enough for me to know that I was heading down a path I did not want to travel again, so I sought help. As a result, I ended up in Intensive Outpatient Treatment at Huntsville Memorial Hospital’s Chemical Addiction Recovery and Education (CARE) program. It was a nine week program consisting of nine hours per week (3 hours/3 nights). After having successfully completed the program, I was transferred to AfterCare, which is one hour per week through the end of the year. I normally go to AfterCare on Thursday nights. By this time, you are wondering….”what does this have to do with anything??” As my friends in the Two Year Old class would say/or sing, “Have patience, have patience. Don’t be in such a hurry.” …there is a point to all of this history which you will discover soon enough!!
Now, for some more recent history that most of you already know: Because of my family’s financial needs due to my husband’s hours at work being cut back, I have had to make the decision (after much prayer) to begin looking for another job. After discussing this with my employers, we felt the parents of my students should be notified. So we sent out a letter telling them about the decision and that I was actively seeking other employment. As time went on, we felt it necessary to set a date to make the transition to the new teacher for the sake of the families at DDP, so once again, after much prayer, I felt the Lord leading me to step out in faith. As a result, I made the decision to only work through the end of October.
Since faith has never been one of my stronger gifts, this was a very difficult decision to make. The devil immediately began attacking me through my family, our finances, and his personal favorite, my mind. He told me how reckless and irresponsible I was and how I was going to lose everything, not have Christmas…. On and on…. You know how he can be!!
This is when I had to get help just like the man in Luke 9:24. I had to ask God to help me have faith. And He did. He took away my fears and doubts, and replaced them with faith, confidence in Him and peace. I KNEW that whatever happened, God would honor my faith and work out His will, in His time. I began proclaiming, “God, You are God. You are in control and I am not, and I know You are going to work this out in a way that will glorify You?” …and boy did He ever??!!!
I was making no progress in my job search and would occasionally get discouraged, but God would remind me either through His word in my own quiet time, through His Spirit in worship, through Pastor Richard, or through my friends, that He was going to take care of me. Finally, I went to TRUTH on Tuesday night (11/9). Bert spoke about God’s calling on our lives. I knew that at the time I was at Discovery Days, that was the calling the God had placed on my life, but I didn’t know what I was supposed to do next. At that moment, when I made that specific revelation, I prayed, “God, give me a new calling!”
The Sunday before that, Pastor Richard preached on gratitude and thanksgiving. By the way, I hope it goes without saying that the only way to keep the faith in a situation like this is to stay thankful and grateful for everything that God gives us!! Richard challenged us to write a letter of gratitude (at least 300 words) to someone who helped us AND read it aloud to them. I had quite the dilemma…. God had blessed me with so many wonderful people in my life, that I did not know which one to write my letter to. After much prayer, God laid it on my heart to write it to my counselor at the CARE center. So I did. Why is that important? Because I had to go to my AfterCare session on a Wednesday rather than a Thursday in order to read it to her.
So the Wednesday after Bert’s message at TRUTH, I took my letter and read it to my counselor before our session. After the session, I was offered the job of Mental Health Technician. So, my lesson here is, faith is not just one step, it is many steps, one after the other, it is obedience, it is willingness to humble ourselves and willingness to trust God no matter what.
Now look at the scriptures we listed earlier again:
Hebrews 11:1, faith is being confident of what we HOPE for and sure of what we DON’T SEE.
Hebrews 11:6, faith is earnestly seeking God.
Ephesians 2:8-9, faith is a gift of God – we cannot earn it through anything we do.
I included verse 10 of Ephesians 2, because it is so important: God created us to do good works. He prepared them for us before we were ever even born. He already knows what He has for us to do; all we have to do is ask.
“Here am I Lord, send me!!” “Show me Your call.” “Show me where You want me to go.”
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Reader Count & Comments
15 Nov 2010
Wonderful testimony. Praise God.
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