Maybe Having Faith in God Isn’t What you Think it is…

IMG_0209I’ve been surprised many times by people thinking that faith means not knowing but believing anyway. They seem to think that my belief in Jesus goes something like this:

I believe in Jesus but I’m not totally sure it’s true, I have to just have faith. but I sure hope I’m right and get to go to heaven.

Maybe I’m to blame for this impression people have of faith and following Jesus. Do we make the mistake of not sharing all that God has done in our lives? Leading people to believe it’s a life of hoping rather than fully knowing with confidence? The definition of faith is complete trust or confidence in someone or something. My faith is much much more than simply hoping I’m right. You see when I made the choice to follow and accept Jesus Christ I became a child of God. In a literal sense. God has revealed himself and moved in my life in such incredible and amazing ways I could write all day long telling you about it. It would blow your mind. It starts with choosing to believe but this isn’t the end of the journey. This is where the journey starts. After this point God makes you his own. After this point you know God on a deeper level, as your father. There is no more questioning whether or not He is real and whether or not the Bible is truth. (By the way, the Bible is a historical document, not just stories. Don’t believe me? Look it up!) A person who has never made this choice will never be able to comprehend this fact. But maybe, just maybe if I were more vocal about all that God has done and is doing in my life I would clear up some of the misconceptions people have regarding my faith in Jesus Christ.
I’m not a Christian because I don’t want to go to hell. I choose to be a Christian because I am so beautifully loved by God. Not just because the Bible tells me I am but because He shows me daily and I feel it. Every single time I pray, read my bible, worship God, I walk away full. Full of strength, joy, peace, courage, love, excitement. Does what you believe offer you that? If you aren’t fully confident in what you believe I would question it. God has done beyond more for me than I could ever say. He has loved me, protected me, guided me, rescued me, and healed me. He wants to do the same for you. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without Him. It wouldn’t be worth living, not even for a moment. You can say I’m extreme but it’s true. This is what I want you to know about my faith in Jesus. It’s not a religion that simply guarantees me eternal life, it is my life. Every. Single. Day. And it is a beautiful and full life to say the least.

You see the amazing thing about choosing to follow God is that He is constant. Things in life are always changing. God never changes. My happiness and Joy isn’t dependent on things in my life always going right, it’s dependent on my choice to seek God and spend time close to Him in His presence. If you haven’t made this choice then this is foolishness to you and I can’t expect you to think otherwise. All I’m saying is don’t think I’m just like you apart from having a contingency plan. My life with God is beyond more than that. you could have the same thing if you would take a chance and choose to believe. This will transform your life forever and fill you like you never could have dreamed. Don’t waste your life on the temporal or choose to live with less than God planned for you. Don’t think you know what it means to follow Jesus based on what the media tells you or based on the hypocrites who claim it to get into heaven and nothing more.

Don’t think I’m a stupid person who simply wants something to believe so I can feel better about life. This honestly makes me want to laugh. I believe what I do because God has filled my life beyond comprehension and has transformed every single aspect of it. What gives you fulfillment in life? Is it constant and unchanging? It surely is for me and I wish more than anything that everyone could experience what I do on a daily basis. The ability to trust in a God who is present and faithful, who can always be trusted in.

I have total confidence and belief in God and the fact that Jesus died for me and rescued me from sin. I also have total confidence and belief in the Bible to be accurate and truth (which can be backed up as reliable and valid in the same way that other historical documents are, if you would take the time to look into it). If you can say that you feel this way about what you believe great! If not, then I ask you to take a chance on God. Take a chance to find out for yourself rather than listen to what others tell you about Jesus. When CS Lewis was an atheist and struggling with his beliefs he did this very thing. It changed his life forever. This is the case for countless other people who struggled to place confidence in their beliefs and decided to find out the truth about God. As I said before, if you choose to go on this journey you will not be disappointed. I pray that you make that choice.

Thanks for reading!

Experiencing Joy When the Blessings Don’t Come

bibleThis is such a difficult concept for us Christians to grasp. We’ve been told over and over again that God wants us to live abundantly. That he has nothing but good for us. But sometimes the truth is, if we admit it, it doesn’t really feel that way. I’m not saying it isn’t true! But it simply doesn’t feel like it is. What do you do when you face these times? How do you hang on to your joy and not give into Satan’s lies that God isn’t for you but rather against you or simply not there at all?

A few years ago when my hubby and I were facing some challenging times I remember feeling almost ignored by God. As if He just didn’t want to bless me. Things weren’t going down like I had expected them to and I was really confused with God. Why, if His Word told me He wanted me to live abundantly and have joy to the fullest, wasn’t I feeling like this was the case? Have you ever experienced a time like this? Well I don’t have the perfect solution for overflowing with what our world describes as blessings, but what I can offer is a Biblical solution for living abundantly and having overflowing joy despite your circumstances.

I honestly still remember reading the following verse for the very first time. It was during the times of struggle that I mentioned and it knocked me to my knees.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NKJV)

Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.

The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.

Wow. What powerful verses! What I realized after reading these verses was that even if I never receive anything else ever again the salvation I have in Jesus Christ is worthy of all the joy I could ever experience. I have already been given more than I could ever deserve. When I remember this beautiful truth I am no longer affected by my circumstances. I believe this is what Paul was talking about when he said he has learned in every state to be content( Philippians 4:11). Paul had a heavenly perspective that enabled him to experience the joy of The Lord and God’s strength to endure all he faced. He looked to his salvation in Christ, not to whether or not his current needs or desires were being met. When I do this the joy and strength I experience is unfathomable.

Obviously not many of us are toiling in the fields, praying for a harvest, and herding animals. It might be more real to you if you think of it in a personal way. What is currently stealing your joy and strength? Here are some examples: Though my financial struggles never change, or I never overcome my physical illness, though I may never get pregnant, or I can’t seem to find a job during my unemployment, yet I will rejoice in The Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Really ponder this and make it personal based on what you are currently facing.

The bottom line is, even if salvation in Jesus Christ is all we ever receive, this is beyond more than we could ever deserve. Understanding this truth has enabled me to experience joy and strength regardless of my circumstances. I can tell you that since reading and taking these verses to heart my outlook on blessings has changed. I no longer feel like God has deserted me when things don’t seem to be going the way I’d hoped. Because no matter what, we have the ability, as Paul did, to be content regardless of the circumstances we face. We can do this by remembering what God has already done for us through sacrificing His son Jesus Christ, rather than focusing on what we don’t have or what isn’t going our way.

if you don’t know Jesus Christ as your savior He is always waiting with arms open wide to accept you as His son or daughter. Personally I believe the only way to have true joy in a world full of pain and disappointment is through Christ. Give Him a chance and you will quickly see what I mean!