Week five of the online bible study with Melissa Taylor brought us to Chapter 5 in the book Stressed-Less Living, Finding God’s Peace in Your Chaotic World by Tracie Miles
This chapter titled “Take Back Your Life” was filled with so much insight it’s hard to unwrap it all. One of the sentences in this chapter that really hit me was:
· “True faith is not passive, but active…”
The Dictionary defines faith as “complete trust or confidence in someone or something” and “belief that is not based on proof”. The biblical definition of faith can be found In Hebrews chapter 11 verse 1. Here the Greek translation is telling us that faith is both the substance of things hoped for and the evidence that things exist that are not yet perceived with the senses.
We all have faith in something. We can’t see love, but we have faith that our parents and/or spouses hold it for us. We can’t see air, but we have faith that when we breathe, air will fill our lungs. We go to bed at night having faith that we will wake up in the morning. All these we just KNOW will happen. This is faith with peace and confidence. This is the faith we need to have concerning God's promises.
Another sentence that had me using my highlighter is:
· “As we make faith a priority and learn to trust in God’s plans even if we do not understand them or like them, the doors will be flung wide open for God to enter our lives and begin his mighty work.”
God tells us in Psalms 37: 3-5 “Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight (great pleasure) in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will help you.” Those are some strong promises!! But in order to get the promises we have to take action. We have to make faith a priority and learn to trust God.
Faith is a heart thing. Only you and God know where your faith lies. Psalms 37 says we are to commit EVERYTHING we do to the Lord. That means to agree or pledge to do something in the future. This isn’t a fly by night promise, this message has teeth! This is like committing to a marriage but never breaking that vow, through thick and thin, til death do us part! When we are that committed, God will open doors for us and give us whatever our heart desires. The funny kicker here is, by then our heart desires what God wants for us, not necessarily that million dollars we've been wanting or a physical healing to make our lives easier, (although He could do that) but to be used by Him. It’s when we take great pleasure in the Lord that He will give us our hearts desires.
And last, but certainly not least as there were so many things I highlighted in this chapter:
· Because of her faith, Hannah became a different person, even when her circumstances stayed the same.”
Hannah (1 Samuel 1) endured years of belittling (bullying) by her co-wife because she was barren. She prayed for years for God to give her a child. She became so despondent that she stopped eating and cried continuously. Basically she went into depression.
But she held unto her faith that God would give her a child. She didn’t get pregnant year after year, yet she stayed committed in her prayers to God. Her circumstance didn’t change, but Hannah did. She didn’t give up and became determined, pouring her heart out to the Lord. Eli, the priest, thought she was drunk she was so into her prayer that she didn’t even notice him as she focused on God.
Hannah was committed. Even though God was silent toward her request for a child for many years, she never stopped praying. She had faith that God had the power to help her. She not only believed that God could give her a child, but she knew that God would give her a child. She never doubted God's abilities, and God didn’t let her down. But it was in His timing, not hers. God blessed Hannah with Samuel, and as she promised God, Hannah gave Samuel back to God. Samuel became a prophet and a judge and a "Faith Hall of Fame"-er. Hannah later had three more sons and two daughters. God abundantly blessed Hannah.
We all have times in our lives, some longer than others, where we feel we are going nowhere. Or we’ve prayed about some things and God seems to be continually silent on those matters. Don’t lose faith. God is there. Waiting for our hearts to be right where He needs it to be. Your circumstance may not change for awhile, but your heart can. God is waiting on us to have faith where we KNOW He will bring it to pass. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it! 1Thes 5:4