Happy February, friend!
How was your week? Have things been pretty smooth, or have you been praying for breakthrough in some area of your life? Well, for me it was a week to grow in faith which means I faced a challenge! I don’t know about you, but it is always easier for me to pray for others than it is for me to pray for myself. I think it’s because when we are the ones in the fire - facing pain, sickness, a financial or relational challenge - it’s easy for our emotions get involved.
When I received some news I didn’t want to hear this week, my first response was fear. The situation in front of me seemed so big, and God seemed very small. Fear caused me to lose proper perspective and forget everything that I’ve learned about the Lord’s faithfulness! Well, though my faith was weak, I’ve been on these battlefields before, and I knew I was not helpless. I prayed and prayed and prayed. I prayed like blind Bartimaeus, who cried out to Jesus saying,“Son of David, have mercy on me!” I prayed like the persistent widow who didn’t give up until the judge gave her what she asked for.
I opened my Bible and read psalms about Gods faithfulness out loud to myself. I worshiped God even though I didn’t really feel like it. Finally, I called my friends and asked them to pray with me. Though I was struggling, I waited on God and hoped that He would fix the situation that I could not fix. And He did! In the end, the problem turned itself around and actually became a blessing! The Lord did exceedingly above what I had asked for or thought was possible. Wow, what an awesome God we serve!
So, let me share a few things I learned in my struggle. First, what can we do when we feel overwhelmed with fear or unbelief? Well, we can ask for faith. God doesn’t expect us to believe in Him on our own. Mark chapter 9 tells the story of a man whose son was demon possessed. The disciples could not cast the demon out so that man came to Jesus and begged him for help, saying,
“But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” "‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-24)
Of course, Jesus went on the cast the demon out even though the father's faith was not perfect. I find that passage so encouraging. Even when we are struggling to believe, we can still ask! God understands where we are and honors our little mustard seed grain of faith.
Second, don’t believe your emotions. Fear is never from God, and when we become consumed with fear, doubt, and unbelief, we cannot see truth. If you feel overcome with fear about something, train yourself to go back to the word of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Get your Bible out and start reading psalms about God’s faithfulness, like Psalm 23 or Psalm 91. Feed your mind with truth, and peace will come. I also like to listen to worship music and good biblical teaching online to help my mind and heart come into alignment with truth again.
Finally, call your friends! The Lord never intended us to go through life alone. We need each other especially when we feel weak. Reach out to people who will pray for you and with you. Let others carry the burden with you! There is no shame in asking for help. Do you remember the story of the paralytic in the Bible? He wanted to be healed but could not get to Jesus on his own - he couldn’t walk, and the house was full of people. Mark 2:4-5 says,
"And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Jesus saw the faith - not only of the paralyzed man but also the faith of his friends who went to great trouble to bring him to Jesus believing he would be healed. God honors faith. He is moved by the hearts of those who seek him and believe him enough to press through the hinderances of unbelief and fear. If you feel like the paralytic at the moment - unable to get to Jesus on your own - then ask someone to help you get to Him by praying for you!
Whatever you are facing this week, just know that you are not alone. God understands what is happening, and He alone is able to fix the situation. Call out to Him even if you don’t feel like it and ask Him for more faith. Fill your mind and heart with truth. And finally, reach out to someone who can pray for you. If you don’t know anyone who will pray, I will pray for you. In fact, I am going to pray for you right now.
Father in heaven, You know that one who is reading this who is struggling today. The waves are getting higher, and my friend is afraid. I ask you in Jesus' name to give whoever is hurting the faith he or she needs to believe that Your love is bigger than the challenge in front of them. We bring our struggles to you now, Lord, and ask You bring the answer that is needed and the peace and comfort of Your presence while we wait. Thank you, Lord, that nothing is too difficult for You!
In Jesus name, amen.
Take a deep breath, my friend, and know that Jesus loves you. He's got your back! Just wait - the answer is on the way.
As always, I am thankful for YOU! Thanks for your prayers and support over the years. I hope to be creating new music this year and finishing a new book....who knows - maybe even some concerts and speaking events??? We serve a big God.
peace and joy,