Now a man from the family of Levi married a woman who was also from the family of Levi. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw how wonderful the baby was, she hid him for three months. But after three months she was not able to hide the baby any longer, so she got a basket made of reeds and covered it with tar so that it would float. She put the baby in the basket. Then she put the basket among the tall stalks of grass at the edge of the Nile River. The baby’s sister stood a short distance away to see what would happen to him. Exodus 2:1-4 (NCV)
When Jesus had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Take the boat into deep water, and put your nets in the water to catch some fish.”
Simon answered, “Master, we worked hard all night trying to catch fish, and we caught nothing. But you say to put the nets in the water, so I will.” When the fishermen did as Jesus told them, they caught so many fish that the nets began to break. They called to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came and filled both boats so full that they were almost sinking. Luke 5:4-7 (NCV)
Just then, some men were carrying on a mat a man who was paralyzed. They tried to bring him in and put him down before Jesus. But because there were so many people there, they could not find a way in. So they went up on the roof and lowered the man on his mat through the ceiling into the middle of the crowd right before Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” Luke5:18-20 (NCV)
The first sermon I ever preached was about faith. It was a message about the need to stop trusting what we see around us, the fear, the uncertainty of the world, the discouragement of circumstances, and put all confidence on God. It was about putting a foot out into the unknown, into what is not seen or understood, and taking a leap of faith.
There was a time in my life not so long ago where I moved in that place of faith almost effortlessly. I took each moment by moment ready to do anything I felt Holy Spirit leading me to do, whether it made sense to me or not. Even though flickers of doubt or worry might flit across my mind, the strength of my faith in that time squashed those notions like mosquitos.
I took giant leaps of faith, some of which lead me to walk away from the life I had dreamed for myself, attend ministry school in a different state, and eventually move to the other side of the planet to reach out to the lost in India. It has been more than I could imagine.
But, I’ll be honest.
Recently, I have been struggling with faith; not with my faith in God, but in my faith that I will be able to rise above my frustrations, my situations in life. I’ve been struggling with the doubts that I have about who I really am in Christ and whether He really does have a good future planned for me (Jeremiah 29:11). http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=jer%2029:11&version=NCV
In my weakness, I have pondered all the things one thinks about went the enemy is trying to win on the battlefield. I’ll admit that I have listened to the lies whispered in my ear. I can say that I have felt very defeated, especially in the areas of joy, hope, and peace.
As much as I am able, amidst the demands of life with two small children, I read and study the Bible, I pray, and I worship the King. I realize that all I am able to do is hold on tight to what I believe to be the truth, whether I am feeling it or not. I grasp onto the knowledge that the conditions of my life are much better than many of the circumstances of the people of the Bible.
I know that my Defender lives,
and in the end he will stand upon the earth.
Even after my skin has been destroyed,
in my flesh I will see God.
I will see him myself;
I will see him with my very own eyes.
How my heart wants that to happen! Job 19:25-27(NCV)
It is very interesting to me that as I am writing, I am remembering promises that God spoke in the Bible and remembering that they will not come back to Him void. I am remembering that truths that He has whispered to me with His still, small voice. And, I keep hearing the words to the song “My Redeemer Lives.”
…you were washed clean. You were made holy, and you were made right with God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11 (NCV)
I might not be in the same place as before. My leaps of faith may look more like hops. But, if nothing else, I can hold on to the truth that He will never leave me nor forsake me because I am His, washed in His blood that was shed at Calvary.
I know that I can’t do any of it by myself, but I can trust that He will help me when I ask.
Yesappa, Help me! Amen.
Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.