Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6
It is easy to have faith when everything is going well in life. When you have a nest egg that you have stored up for a rainy day, kids who are thriving in school, health that is steady, and a relationship with your spouse that you cherish. But what about when life gets difficult? It could be when the doctor tells you that they need to move forward with a biopsy. Or, you get a notice from your bank that your balance is negative, or your marriage is in jeopardy of ending in divorce. As we walk into these battles, our faith can become shaky ground. It is in those times of uncertainty that we need to exercise our faith by leaning on God and His promises.Living a life of faith has to be exercised if it is going to be effective. A few years ago, I decided to run a marathon without really training. Usually, to complete the 26.2 miles of running, you have to put in consistent mileage for over three to four months. I had decided the month before to run the LA marathon. I trained for about four weeks and set out to run the race unprepared. I accomplished the task, but it hurt really bad. My muscles were not ready for the challenge due to a lack of adequate exercise. Faith is no different. For our faith to be strong, we need to put ourselves in situations where it can be stretched. We need to venture out to build relationships with lost people who will challenge our faith. We have to be the person who values reading God's word and living by the Bible's standards even when others make fun of us. We should be the one who calls our Christian friends out in love when we see they are making choices that don't honor Jesus. All of these things are exercises that we can do regularly so that our faith muscles can be strong.When we exercise faith regularly, it helps prepare us for the big challenges that may come. It prepares us for when life gets turned upside down. No matter what situation we face, we have to hold to the encouragement found in the Bible to trust in the Lord with all our heart. When we put our complete faith and trust in God, He alone makes our path straight, even when life is crooked.
How long has it been since you exercised your faith? An easy way to assess that is by considering who the last person is who you shared Jesus with? If you have a hard time coming up with an answer to that question, it might be time to stretch your faith. As we learned from James 2:14 this weekend, faith without works is dead. We have to be willing to trust in God and step out, so we don't lose heart or faith. Write out some ways you can exercise your faith this week.
Read Proverbs 3:1-10 (NLT)
My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart.If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying.Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.
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