DAY #18 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "If you do nothing in a difficult time, your strength is limited." Proverbs 24:10 HCSB
WOW! What an eye-opener... doing nothing limits your strength... I had to read this verse in other translations and in the context of the chapter to really understand this verse. I really like it in the MESSAGE version... whoa! "If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn't much to you in the first place."
NIV: "If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!"
KJV: "If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small."
NLT: "If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small."
Wow! Jesus Himself persevered under all the trials He had to face for us. He is the perfect example for us to follow. How well do we handle crisis', pressures, times of trouble or adversity? Technically our strength is small anyway, as it is His strength that sustains us. I do not want to be seen as one who 'faltered, fainted, or failed', yet I really don't want to be seen as one who 'did nothing'. I do not want to limit my strength or the Father's strength in me. What about YOU? Have you spent a lot of time 'faltering, fainting or failing'? Well get back up, and pray for added strength and a renewal from the Father! He wants us all to be a part of the impossible. He wants us to showcase His strength, to show Him off to the world. Nothing exciting can be done in our own strength anyway. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)
Sometimes however, we sit back and do nothing, and think God will do it if we just ask. All we need is faith after all. Well I was reading my 'card-making' magazine and in the back in the fun quotes section was a great quote (I used it as my facebook status this AM too) - "Faith can move mountains, but don't be surprised if God hands you a shovel." ~ Author Unknown. This statement is super true. We cannot just sit back and watch God be God and expect BIG miracles in our lives... we sometimes need to dig in and 'get a little dirty'. I still think back to the quote from 'Faith Like Potatoes' too... when I think about miracles and impossibilities. "Condition for a miracle is difficulty; condition for a GREAT miracle is impossibility!" (~Faith Like Potatoes 'Angus Buchan')
The verse above in the MESSAGE translation is still ringing in my ear... "If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn't much to you in the first place." There wasn't much to you in the first place? That's a hard hit... We need to persevere all the more in times of trouble and despair.
According to dictionary.com, the definition of 'PERSEVERANCE' is:
1. steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., esp. in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
2. Theology . continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.
I would have to be led to say that perseverance itself is not a noun, yet is an ACTION verb. The 'steady persistance' sounds pretty active to me. So c'mon, get off your butt and get into action!! Persevere and Pray hard, and DO SOMETHING. Whether you fail the first time you try, or whether you get a great outcome, keep going! Try, try and try again. If you fall, get back up. If you falter, get your balance and keep going. If you faint, allow God to bring you back to your senses and strengthen you to KEEP GOING!
Just like yesterday's message (found here), if you are tired, weary, discouraged, disheartened or if you are one from today's message, that is faltering, fainting or failing... Look to God! Don't have that relationship with God... it's as simple as A,B,C to get on the right track! DO IT TODAY!
1. ADMIT you are a sinner. (Romans 3:23 - "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God") Tell God that you are not perfect, that you are struggling, that you are a sinner. ('Cause yep, we all are.) You also have to repent of that sin... be sorry for it, and TRY not to do it again. (But when you do, 'cause yep we all are tempted to, just repent again.)
2. BELIEVE in your heart that God is real, and that He sent His Son to die for YOU. (His Son now does live again, as He was raised from the dead by His Father) Sin is only punishable by death... Jesus has come to make a way. (Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.") Don't be afraid to ask God if He is real, He wants you to seek Him from your heart. Allow the Holy Spirit to show you, and guide you into the truth. We all know, but do not truly understand the full meaning of John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life."
3. CONFESS your faith in Jesus as your Saviour and Lord. ("If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved." Romans 10:9-10 NLT) Let God know that you want to change, you want Him to fill the voids or holes in your heart that you tried to fill yourself with things of the world. Some of you have tried drugs, alcohol, sex, work, etc to fill that void in your life... but it can only be filled by LOVE! The Love that the Father has for each one of us.
When God hears you pray this pray with your own words, from your own heart, He is blessed. The angels in Heaven rejoice when a sinner repents. "I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent... In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15: 7 & 10) When you pray this prayer, and allow God to move by the power of His Holy Spirit, you will NEVER BE THE SAME! (Let me know if you've prayed this prayer... for the first time or for the 101st time... just send me a comment, I won't post it if you don't want me too. I'd love to pray alongside you. Even if you just write your name. Thanks!)
Press in, and press on!
BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!