Pages of Faithfulness

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I have a beautiful friend, actually many beautiful friends, lucky me. One particular beautiful friend, who is on her own incredible faith journey, reminded me today that “you are building a story of God’s faithfulness…page by page” So poetic right?! Yet so amazingly beautiful and true!

I did say I was going to blog more regularly…that was about 4 weeks ago! So, a monthly blog then? I procrastinate far more than I would like to! Regardless, over the last few weeks, I have had to remind myself on a daily, sometimes hourly basis, of that declaration I typed in my last blog – to choose to go to faith – to choose positivity, confidence and courage over negativity, worry and fear! What a challenge it is! How did you go?

I have been reading Ephesians this week, such a great book, and I really love the Message version.

Ephesians 3:16 says ‘I ask Him to strengthen you by His Spirit – not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength – that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite Him in.’

I love this!

I looked up the word ‘strength’ in the Dictionary and a couple of the definitions included: mental power, moral power: firmness or courage.

The thing is, faith does take strength, but worry and anxiety and carrying burdens weighs us down even more and slowly but surely sucks the life and energy out of us. Faith does require strength, but as the Message version puts it, it’s an inner strength – a firm resolve, a courageous decision, a mental switch that we choose to turn on that lights up positivity and confidence in our great God.

Here’s the reasoning of my mind and spirit right now:
Faith requires strength
Nehemiah 8v10 says the joy of The Lord is my strength
James 1v2 says to count it all joy when we face trials of many kinds!
Colossians 4v4 says to rejoice in The Lord
Galatians 5v22 says that joy is a fruit of the Spirit
Psalm 126v5 says those who sow in tears shall reap in joy
Psalm 150v6 says Let everything that has breath praise The Lord
In John 15v4, Jesus says to remain in Him and He will remain in us. That we cannot bear fruit unless we remain in Him.

Sometimes I think we try so hard to keep faith and fight these battles in our own ‘brute strength’ and we end up weary and at the end of ourselves, the good thing is that God is there the whole way and is always ready to take the lead when we finally give it to Him! Imagine though, if we remained in Him, if we stayed close to Him, if we continually were in step with the Holy Spirit. Imagine, that in those moments where we were about to whinge, praise and thanksgiving came out. Imagine, that instead of feeling tired and worn out, we felt joy and peace because those are the fruits that come with living in the Holy Spirit because He IS peace and joy!

Ephesians 4v30 in The Message says His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life.

He wants you to win! In fact, He has already won it for you!

There is no “natural” easy way out, there will always be trials and challenges in this life. Remaining in Him, being in step with Him takes discipline and it takes resolve, but it is SO worth it. And as we do remain in Him, joy is ours, and He gives us that inner strength that we need to keep on resolving to choose to go to faith! I don’t like the trials nor the challenges, however I can see how many of them in my life have helped me grow up, mature in my faith, depend on and trust in God more than ever before, become more like Christ as my character is shaped and again and again I have seen the goodness of God and His faithfulness being written all over my life, line by line, page by page.

I often post these blogs and think about how much more I could have said or how I could have said it better etc, but I hope that you will hear my heart as you read this – which really is a human echo of His heart. It is FOR YOU. And like the beautiful words of Romans 8v31-39 in the Message say:

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

The end of the Story has already been written, we win, it is up to us what fills the pages from here until then. I pray though, that no matter what your pages look like, you will always see the beautiful stamp of the faithfulness and goodness of God all over it.

Much love,

Jodes. xx