Thursday, June 15, 2017

Faith is Persisting When I Don't Feel Like It

Chuckle: "The trouble with bucket seats is not everyone has the same size bucket!"
Quote: "Great faith is not the faith that walks always in the light and knows no darkness, but the faith that perseveres in spite of God's seeming silences, and that faith will most certainly and surely get its reward." --Fr Andrew SDC

The Lord said to Paul, "My (God's) grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." "Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me . . . "I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (2 Corinthians 12:9; Philippians 4:13 NIV).
We are often tempted to base our actions on our feelings. If it feels good, do it. We want to protect our comfort zones at all cost. But when we function within our comfort zones, we are totally depended upon our own strength and feelings to determine what we should or should not do. To persist in our faith often means trusting God for our strength when we may not feel like persisting.
This reminds me of a funny story about a mother who was trying to get her adult son out of bed for church one Sunday morning. After several pleas from his mother, the son said, "I don't want to go to church -- I just don't feel like it." Finally, in complete exasperation, his mother said, "you must get up and go to church, your the pastor!" This humorous story reminds me that there are times when each of us does not feel like persisting in serving our Lord, even pastors. That's when we must persist and say with Paul, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength"
We don't know exactly what the physical malady was that plagued the apostle Paul. But it must have been painful and caused him to ask the Lord to heal him. He called it a "thorn in the flesh" and said it was a "messenger from Satan sent to torment him." Paul's plea with God to heal him prompted God to say that He would not heal Paul, but instead said, ". . . , My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Think about all that Paul did for the Lord, even at times when I'm sure he didn't feel like it.
As I reminded us in a previous lesson, God does not ask us to do anything for which He will not give us the strength and courage to faithfully persist and follow Him. When we persist in faith, we are amazed by how much we will learn to rely on God's promises and how He will give us a degree of happiness we cannot otherwise imagine. Remember how God continued to strengthen and encourage Abraham as he persisted in his faith. He will do the same for you and me.
In nature, electricity and water always flow along the path of least resistance. Frequently people are like that, too. But there is one difference between ourselves and electricity or a river. They will never have to give an account for what they have done or failed to do. We will. Thus, perhaps we should incline ourselves to take the path of greatest persistence rather than the path of least resistance.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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