Torn by conflict among some of my Christian friends I wondered how I could survive my confusion over it in my spiritual life. I found help in Romans 15: 4-5, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
First, there is a lesson in every scripture. We can go to the Bible whenever confused or angry to find comfort and the encouragement that gives us hope.
Second, we cannot avoid challenges in our faith. That is how we build endurance, which is the ability to withstand hardship, adversity or stress. To be able to withstand, there first must be hardship, adversity or stress. The good news is in verse five that tells us God is the one who gives us the ability to endure. Though none of us get out of those challenges, God is with us through them, strengthening our hope.
Third, the same God who has given us hope has given us a spirit of unity. Drawing together as one body to worship our Lord should be as natural as seeking His presence in scripture and prayer.
I was worried about appearing to choose sides in the ongoing conflict when a dear friend said, “I stand with God who loves both sides.” I pray that this adversity will bring all those involved closer to God and to one another.
Confusion is not from God. I know my faith will survive because of the hope I have in Him.
Have you ever allowed others to transfer their negative feelings to your own faith?
When I am feeling worthless Isaiah 43 is a good chapter for me to read and restore my vision of who God wants me to be. Of course, I revise it to the first person to get a personal lesson from it.
The chapter begins by assuring me that because He created and formed me, I have no reason to fear. He didn’t use a person-mold to create yet another human. He took the time to form and shape me into who I was meant to be. And He didn’t turn me loose on my own; He is with me in all my troubles and woes.
Verse 3 explains why He stays with me; “For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your savior.” Wow, He is the one true God and in verse 4 He says that I am “precious and honored in His sight, because He loves me.” How can I be down on myself when God says I am precious and honored? Or when the one true God loves me?
Not only did He create and form me but He also chose me. (vs. 10) He picked me out and said, “I want that one.” He wants me to be a witness and servant for Him. And what do I get? I will know, believe and understand that He is the God of creation. He formed me that I may proclaim His praise. (vs. 21)
When I know and believe, He “blots out my transgressions…and remembers my sin no more.” (vs. 25) Does He do it because I am good? No. He does it so I will give Him the praise and honor that He deserves.
The God of the Universe made me to worship Him. I can’t do that when I am moaning about myself. When I do what I was designed to do – worship God—I feel better about myself and everything around me.
What scripture do you go to when you are feeling down?
When those light-colored strands showed up in my dark blond hair, I turned to the bottle. (Hair dye, not alcohol!) I checked regularly for that distinct line of natural color showing at the roots and quickly covered it with a more flattering shade. Once I started this routine, I became addicted. I worried that I would look “old” with gray hair.
Once, I tried letting it grow out. Instead of a few strands, the gray hairs had multiplied to half my hair. I earned every one of those gray hairs but felt insecure about them and returned to the bottle. (again, Hair dye!)
When I found out I was going to be a grandmother, I decided it was time to give up the faux color. I expected the blond to now be all gray. To my surprise, when the dye was gone I was sporting a head of snow white hair with silver highlights. Was I ready for this?
In my past, I was anxious about my hair, my weight, how I dressed; basically everything. I Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I gave my fear of what people thought to my Lord and am now able to accept myself as God made me; even white hair. The freedom to be happy with my appearance has given me an unexpected joy.
Is there something that you worry about? How can you free yourself from it?