It was nearly half a lifetime ago when Christ stepped in, bringing order to the chaos of my thinking. He cleaned out the garbage that filled my attitudes and actions; He continues to work and grow my faith in large and small ways. Even so, I have struggled with guilt for failing Him on a multitude of levels wondering . . . will I ever have a faith that truly pleases God? Have you ever felt that way? Perhaps you are struggling even now?
Well, I write to encourage you in your walk with Christ, as I share some simple insights into cultivating a growing faith that rests in His Sovereign Goodness. The insight began with a conviction:
- Too often we pray for protection, when what we really should be praying for is courage.
We live in a dangerous, fallen world; He invites us to come to Him with all of our burdens and is delighted when we do! However, as I reflected on this conviction about protection and courage, I had to admit that I tend to be far more prone to ask God to “put a hedge of protection” around various concerns . . . but courage? Well, I rarely thought about asking God for the courage I lacked! In the past I would have beat myself up over such a realization, but this time I refused to go down that path. Instead, I asked God for a double measure of courage to face my past shortcomings (my sin). As I prayed for that double measure of courage an odd thing happened; I was enveloped by a quiet confidence that He is in control and worthy of my trust. With that confidence came insights into growing a faith that pleases God. Simply put,
- A faith that pleases God is a faith that assumes the best of His Sovereign Goodness no matter what happens.
- A faith that pleases God trusts that God is always “for” us and therefore His protection is “a given.”
- A faith that pleases God refuses to give way to fear, instead that faith relies heavily on Him for the courage we lack.
As I pondered these insights I remembered God’s directive given to Joshua as Israel prepared to enter the Promised Land:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Forty years earlier the previous generation had dug their heals into the dusty plains out of fear. That generation never saw God’s promises fulfilled because they served fear rather than trusting in God’s faithfulness. God extends the same directive to you and I on this new gift of a day:“Be strong and courageous . . . Do not be terrified . . . Do not be discouraged . . . .”
If you have Christ in your life then ask Him for a double portion of the courage you lack NOW! Confess your old sinful ways and embrace the simple truth that HE is worthy of our trust no matter how scary life gets. Then savor the quiet waters of His peace ruling your heart even though your circumstance may stay the same. Believe me, He is entirely worthy of our trust!
All to His Glory!