Even The Weakest Can Be Used


03.365 (02.08.2009) Faith

 
August 27 

Building Muscles of Faith

1 Kings 18:22-36

“I wish I had great faith.” These are words that almost every Christian has said at one time or another. But faith is like a muscle, which must be exercised in order to become strong; just wishing cannot make it happen.

Christians are to believe God, not only for salvation but for everything. Rather than a spiritual “plateau,” faith is actually a process that involves increasing degrees of trust throughout life. Little faith hopes that God will do what He says; strong faith knows that He will; and great faith believes that He has already done it.

Elijah was a man of great faith. He saw increased challenges as opportunities for God to do His work—and the prophet believed Him for the supernatural. So can you. The Lord may not do every miraculous thing you ask of Him, but He does some extraordinary work in and through each person who is obedient and willing to trust in Him.

You may be thinking, I am not good enough for the Father to use me. The Scriptures are filled with examples of weak and flawed people whom the Lord used to achieve His purposes. He is looking, not for perfection, but for individuals willing to believe Him. He not only works through people of faith; He transforms them.

Start by reading God’s Word to learn what He wants you to do. Each day’s situations and needs are opportunities to trust Him. Ask the Lord to bring to mind verses that apply to your circumstances. Trust Him and do what He says—your faith “muscles” will grow, and He will be glorified.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.

I never think I am strong enough or good enough for God to use. I know many others, including blogger friends, that have faith much stronger than mine. I am sometimes found stressing out, that I wish I was better, or spent more of my mind on God, or my eyes in the word. I talk to Jesus quite a bit, but to sit in a quiet space with no interruptions and just read his word, is difficult. Even reading the best book on the market, is a slow process. This daily walk with Dr. Charles Stanley, does assure me that even though I am not the best, I am still worthy.

Dr. Charles Stanley Says


     

 
Choosing Faith over Fear

These days, there are plenty of reasons to fear. Our world seems to be in a continuous state of war and crisis. The jobs market is dismal, natural disasters wreak havoc, and stories of crime dominate the headlines. As Christians, we know that fear should have no place in our lives, but how can we ignore what’s going on around us?
Basically, there are two paths you can walk: faith or fear. It’s impossible to simultaneously trust God and not trust God. Another way of saying this is that you cannot both obey and disobey Him–partial obedience is disobedience. So, which road are you traveling?
Some people who read the Bible and believe in God nevertheless choose to live with fear. Seeing others experience hardship, they start wondering if it could happen to them: Someone at my office lost his job; will I be next? Someone died in an accident–I could die too. But this kind
of “logic” places your circumstances above your relationship to God.
If Satan can get you to think like this, he has won the battle for your mind. But when you focus on God rather than your circumstances, whatever the situation is, you win.  The Bible tells us, “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7).
Our heavenly Father understands our disappointment, suffering, pain, fear, and doubt. He is always there to encourage our hearts and help us understand that He’s sufficient for all of our needs. When I accepted this as an absolute truth in my life, I found that my worrying stopped.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Charles Knew I Needed This


Bay window in Christ Church Hall

 

August 11/12, 2012

Handling Difficult Circumstances

Philippians 3:8-11

The apostle Paul understood how to handle tough circumstances. Even while he was confined in a prison cell, he kept his eyes on Christ and trusted firmly in the Savior. Therefore, despite being in chains, he was able to celebrate the Lord’s work in his life. In fact, the epistle he wrote from jail to the Philippians was filled with rejoicing (1:18; 2:18; 3:1).

Focusing on Christ is neither a natural reaction nor an easy one. Our instinct is to dwell on the situation at hand, searching for solutions or stewing over the pain and difficulty. As a result, troubles look scary and overwhelm us with a sense of defeat.

However, fear and defeat cannot live long in a heart that trusts the Lord. I’m not saying you’ll forget what you’re going through, but you can choose to dwell on His provision and care instead. He is the Deliverer (2 Cor. 1:10). He is the Healer (Deut. 32:39). He is the Guide (Prov. 3:6).  The believer who lays claim to divine promises discovers that God pushes back negative emotions. In their place, hope, confidence, and contentment take up residence (Phil. 4:11). You aren’t going to be happy about a difficult situation, but you can be satisfied that God is in control and up to something good in the midst of trouble.

The Lord’s principles and promises don’t change, no matter how severe or painful the situation is. Focus on Christ instead of the circumstances—God will comfort your heart and bring you safely through the trial. Then you can answer Paul’s call to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil. 4:4).

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.

Understanding


     

 I understand a little better what I am doing in my position in life.

 

 

July 12

Seeing Adversity from God’s Viewpoint

Isaiah 55:8-9

When adversity hits you like a ton of bricks, it could easily throw you into a pit of discouragement and despair. Although you may consider difficulties as setbacks, the Lord sees them as times for great advancement. His purpose for allowing them is not to destroy you but to stimulate your spiritual growth. In His great wisdom, the Lord knows how to take an awful situation and use it to transform you into the image of Christ and equip you to carry out His will.

Every adversity that comes into your life is sifted through God’s permissive will. That doesn’t mean the difficulty itself is His perfect will, but He’s allowed the trial to touch you so that He can use it to accomplish His wonderful purposes for your life. Although some of the suffering we see and experience seems senseless or blatantly evil, we must recognize that we have a very limited perspective and cannot always understand what the Lord is doing.

Our heavenly Father sees every aspect of life, but our view is restricted to what is right before us. His plans include not only you but all of His creation, and they reach from the beginning of time to eternity future. Though we’ll never grasp the infinite mind of God, we can know His faithfulness and love.

When you can’t understand God’s ways, focus on His perfect knowledge, wisdom, and power rather than the magnitude of your sorrow. Remember, He sees the entire picture and loves you more than you can imagine. This is a time to walk by faith, as perfect understanding comes only in heaven.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.