“I’m sorry, Lisa, but I’m sure you’ll find another house that will be just as nice or better; just keep the faith!"
“You don’t understand, Judi: this house is everything we’ve wanted! How can you tell me to keep the faith?"
“Because, Lisa, sometimes that’s all you have."
At this time of my life, things couldn’t be worse, yet I, too, must “keep the faith." My family’s move to South Carolina seven years ago has been a disaster both financially and health wise.
My husband had been a successful businessman for over thirty-five years in New York yet South Carolina did not welcome us as we anticipated; actually it dug us deeply in debt. Compounded to that, the environment in this state seriously deteriated both my daughter’s and my health.
Although we have health insurance, our medical bills combined with a declining business wiped up out; we’ve lost everything, including our home.
The irony is that we lived comfortably in Southampton, Long Island yet got “buried alive" in Loris, South Carolina. I don’t get it. My husband doesn’t get it. But God does and I trust Him to see us through this ordeal.
“How can you trust God blindly?" some ask.
In my life, the Lord has always been faithful and, in time, I am confident that my family will overcome these trials. Although I cannot guarantee the outcome, I am optimistic about my family’s future. When I look at my beautiful daughter, I am reminded of the “faith walk" I had taken several years ago when all odds of having a child were against me.
Basically, although I trust God, I know “blind faith" is not the course for many.
For some, finding faith in God is one of the strongest desires. People genuinely want to believe in God, but don't want their belief to be based on blind faith. If God is real, they sometimes wonder, why is it difficult to have faith in God?
The book of Hebrews says, "that without faith it is impossible to please [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6, NKJV).
This strikes many people as a “Catch-22." Many wonder how they can believe in God if He doesn't reveal Himself to them? And, if they don't believe in God or if they are tormented by doubts, He apparently will not hear them or respond to them. How can we solve this dilemma?
Faith Is Trust
When you are a passenger in someone’s car, you are taking a leap of faith. You may not think of it that way, but it's true. Chances are that you have no guarantee that the driver will not be in an auto accident but you [usually] trust the driver to get you to your destination unharmed.
Another example for parents is to trust a baby sitter with your child. As a parent, I am convinced that only I can give the best care for my child, yet there have been times I have needed a sitter. To my “amazement," my daughter happily survived.
The real question, I believe, when it comes to faith in God, is this: Do you trust that God is real? Are you living in the reality that God is your loving Father?
Take No Thought For Your Life
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life..." Matthew 6:25
Jesus said this to his disciples in His famous, Sermon on the Mount. His teaching was on placing our hearts on true treasure and was drawing a line between the world and the kingdom of God.
It is interesting how He starts this, because He says, “take no thought." He knows that the thoughts of our heart and mind are one and the same. It is here that the battle is decided. We choose blessing or curse from here. It is here that we can be drawn away.
Jesus says, in Matthew 6:31-33, “Therefore take no thought, saying,What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Jesus is saying to remove our own thoughts because they are tied up in the treasures on earth. He wants us to take these and “cast them upon Him for He cares for us" 1 Peter 5:7 KJV. We are to think of His kingdom as eternal because it will not fade, and “all these (other) things shall be added unto you." When our thoughts are on His plan and His kingdom, it is then that we can bear fruit. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." John 15:5 KJV
Do you see what Jesus is doing? He is replacing our thoughts or cares with what? Faith. We take off our own thoughts, and replace them with faith in Christ because without Him we can do nothing. (John 15:5).
In order to have faith, we have to renew our mind. 1 Corinthians 2:12 says, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God…." and verse 16 follows “But we have the mind of Christ." So we have the mind of Christ! We live in victory and in fruitfulness if we put on the mind of Christ.
For those of us struggling this Christmas Season, my prayer is this:
Father God, I ask that You be with us in all our battles. Help us to be mindful that what is worthwhile can be won when we persist. Help us to hold firm in our faith. Help us to believe in our ability to act wisely. Amen.
©Judi Lynn Lake. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Judi Lynn Lake has kept up with leading edge business trends throughout her varied and successful career. She had already had her "15 minutes of fame" over and over again before starting her family. Judi and her family now reside in South Carolina, but, having been born and raised on Long Island, NY, it is clearly evident that she will always be a "New Yorker." Today, she successfully runs her own advertising agency which handles everything from logos, branding and package design while she continues to work closely with self-published authors from design to promotion. For more information, visit judilake.com
The following video, El Shaddai, courtesy of You Tube.