The Other Side of Faith

I will give thanks to You, for the greatness of the way I was made brings fear. Your works are great and my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14 NLV

I had several realizations over the last few days, as God decided to give me a closer touch and glimpse of who He is. God speaks to me about and for others regularly…but I needed and still need a regular revelation for myself. So God has shown me that He heard my prayers and wanted to teach me a lesson in faith: have faith in myself.

There are things I innately have felt competent at, things I knew without much effort I could do, like fixing things, cooking, and solving problems. I knew I would get into law school, despite the fact I did not apply myself as I should have (DON’T follow in my footsteps, preparation is essential, as I now know). However, upon getting in and actually starting school, that confidence I have always had in regards to school quickly diminished, to an almost nonexistence. I recognized my faults and am working to rectify them…but this experience had left a mar on the faith I once had in myself.

This was translated from my work, which is the primary reason for this sharing of my testimony lol… I have been working for my job for nearly 5 years (I know I don’t look it lol). I finished all necessary requirements for my developmental training earlier than anticipated (with the inclusion of my nearly 4 months off work due to my health and my dad’s death). I have performed well…but I allowed some of the tests that God has allowed in my life in the form of bad leadership to cause me to question myself. I felt like I did not deserve to apply for my promotion until I had achieved this milestone, which now seems virtually impossible after several months of work on it. But He chose to reveal to me the truth.

I recognize now that I had the formula wrong. I was trying to do it in my own strength. Both school and work, things that have become things I identify myself by, I have been trying to be successful without God. Of course I will come to Him in prayer for clarity and strength…but I had not asked that He guide me, that He goes before me and makes my paths straight. Instead, I have been meandering along, albeit He has been showing me things along the way. This lesson though, to have faith in myself, requires me to have faith in the Father, because He equipped us with the gifts and talents necessary to excel in any situations we face.

I read several translations of the scripture above because I confess it every morning but I remember looking at a few translations and how sometimes different versions will really speak to you. And today I needed to see this. Having faith in yourself is essential to your truly being used of and by God. To believe in God’s plan and purpose for your life, you have to, you must believe in the abilities, talents, gifts, and skills you have. Why? Because they specifically qualify you to be the best person for the specific assignment He has for you. Your having faith in them coincides with your faith in Him because He gave you them!

You must have faith in yourself, because God uniquely created you. He set you apart for something great. Here is the key: we have faith in God. We have faith in His works…we are one of His works. We are His beloved creation. He is within us; having faith within ourselves allows God to have the maximum ability to work through you because we can rest in those things He put within us. How can you do it if you don’t believe you can? Its time to be like the Little Engine that Could and faith it till you make it! Love you….

I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe.
You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;
Your works are wonderful;
I carry this knowledge deep within my soul. Psalm 139:14 The Voice

Having Faith When the Situation Seems Hopeless

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 HCSB

How do you have faith when everything that you know comes crashing down? Have you ever felt hopeless?

I remember when I got sick in college. I had prayed that I did not have Lupus, repeatedly. In my mind, I was devastated because there was nothing the doctors could give me those two weeks I waited to find out, because they did not know what was going on. I was asking why me, why am I still alive, why am I suffering? I had lost hope, or rather I had lost faith. I had lost belief and trust in God because I could not understand what was going on at the time. I was thinking about myself, thinking about why did that thing had happened to me. But I remained prayerful, because it was the only thing I knew that would produce a result.

Of course all along I was praying, so I never lost sight of what I knew–which was that God had to heal me. Even though I was still in a vulnerable place, my faith was my reality and I knew that God’s word was truth. So sometime after I being released, I talked to one of my mentors. I told her that God was going to heal me and she said that God doesn’t heal everybody. I realized I could not receive her words because it went against the truth that God had revealed to me in my heart and in His word. I held on to that belief and rested in the fact that I could not accept things went against what I knew…and I can say that from 2003 to 2006 my lupus serologies were negative; it was positive once while I was hospitalized in February of 2006, and it has never been positive since.

I thought about these things today as I left the courthouse. I saw several men and a few women that have fallen into a state of hopelessness, or truthfully speaking, disbelief. They do not believe in anything and accept life as they see it as reality and their lives and choices manifest the evidence of it. And I asked God, how can we faith in a place like this? How can you have faith when the system (well, the legal system here in New Orleans, that is, and I’m sure several other places, but metaphorically speaking) is orchestrated for your failure?

I realized this as I got some news that would have depressed most people…but because I know that God has control of everything, I am faithful that it will work out and truthfully not concerned. We maintain faith in desolate places by remembering the truth of God’s word. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17. It is the promises of God, and the things He has already done for us and for others that should serve as the foundation for our faith. I digress and I realize that most of you may not be like me; there are things that I know as truth and fact–The Word–and for those things there is nothing that can come against it. Being raised in the church and as the granddaughter of a preacher, one thing I was raised to know, was that the Word of God was, is and will always be fact. So despite doubting because I had momentarily accepted what I saw as reality, I was reminded of the scripture above that has come to be one of my favorites. Knowing or believing in a thing makes it a fact for us. When we condition our minds to acknowledge the Word of God as fact, all else fades away. It is at that point that your faith becomes your reality and the things you are believing God for are merely waiting in the queue, so to speak, to manifest. It is in having that Word database that you are able to encourage yourself and others when life may be saying otherwise.

So the key to having faith even when the world seems to be crashing around you, when everything you have known is no more, is in trusting what you know–trusting and relying on the promises of God. Even when your mind says no, you have to make the decision to keep trusting in God’s word. Trust in what He has done for you. Trust in what He has done time and time again and bear down in your faith and know that your breakthrough awaits. You must know that this situation and all others in your life will ultimately work out for your good, because like the Word, it is written.

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. Psalm 34:19 KJV2000
Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. Psalm 71:20 NIV