“Now may the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13, NASB).
Disliking the Presidential Fitness events of junior and senior high, I dutifully but half-heartedly participated in the process. Achieving awards for athletic accomplishments didn’t interest me much, and engaging in the various sports didn’t overly appeal to me. I was always glad to finish that particular week and put it behind for another year. My husband, on the other hand, actually trained for these events. Intensely competitive, he gladly anticipated the opportunity to excel in sports. Not a lot has changed through the years because he’s now training for his third marathon. Whew–better him than me! I truly admire his determination, diligence, and follow-through.
Much like sports-induced exhaustion, walking in faith can get downright wearisome. Unknowns hover over tomorrow. Pressures pound without relief. Faith wavers weakly. Trusting in God when we can’t see around the corner–much less our hands in front of us–requires more than we can give. Faith insists that we believe God even when our flesh yearns to answer questions. Faith demands dependence on God Almighty rather than self-reliance. And faith bursts forth with beauty when God allows us to experience whatever we’ve been waiting for according to His will. But getting there doesn’t occur by going through the motions. No, fully achieving faith’s rewards involves heartfelt passion and continual devotion–throughout the process. Thankfully Christ supplies all we need.
Surely we can do what we must in the Christian life, but oh, how much better off we are when we embrace the process! Exercising Scripture’s truths and repeatedly fixing our eyes on Jesus (Heb. 12:2) STRENGTHENS our faith. Recognizing that God constantly works in us with unparalleled determination and diligence ENCOURAGES us. Understanding God always follows through (Phil. 1:6) COMFORTS us. Reflecting on God’s handiwork in us as He grows our faith helps us breathe … and appreciate the process.
Dear friend, are you struggling in some aspect of your faith? Is your passion and devotion to walk in faith flickering? When we find ourselves in this place, let’s REMEMBER CHRIST (Heb. 12:3) and EXPECT JOY (Heb. 12:2). In so doing, we’ll embrace the process as God fills us “… with joy and peace in believing” (Rom. 15:13).