7 Tools to Stay Spiritually Fit When Trials Arise and Endure
Kimberly N. Alleyne
The Harvest Magazine, Publisher and Editor
It is impossible to please God without faith. Our faith is our Kingdom currency. It is our signal to God that we unequivocally believe in Him, His word, and His promises — He loves that. And He is all to happy to move on our behalf when we exhibit unwavering faith.
Unwavering faith…what does that look like when all the odds are against you, and nothing in the natural is aligning with the desires of your heart, or what God has spoken to you?
Have you ever been in a situation where you were waiting desperately on the Lord to answer a prayer? To reverse a situation? To vindicate your name? To repair a relationship?
Have you ever been unemployed for an exceptionally long time? Trusted God for emotional or physical healing, or deliverance from an addiction? Have you been waiting on Him to send your wife, or husband, to heal a broken relationship, to heal from a broken relationship, or to send your wayward child home?
“But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.”
How do you keep your faith up in the face of challenges, conflicts, and confusion that seem to have no expiration date?
I heard a minister say once, “Every problem has an expiration date.” That’s true. While this is a comforting thought, waiting can be brutal. Faith can definitely ebb and flow during the wait. In this Year of Jubilee, we can rest knowing that Daddy God is on the way with everything–EVERYTHING–He promised. Everything. This is a year of overflow, breakthroughs, freedom from bondage and oppression, healing, deliverance, restoration, and the list goes on. I get excited all over again each time I read Leviticus 25. Yesssss, Daddy God, do Your thing!! No one can do it like You can! You are the Great I AM!
Indeed this is the Year of Jubilee, and no word from God will ever fail (Luke 1:37, NIV).
I don’t know about you, but from where I sit, when I look around at my life and compare what I see and hear in the spiritual, nothing is even close to lining up to what is in the natural, in the present. For the most, I am maintaining great because I know God is not a slack Father, nor does He fail to deliver on His promises. There are still days when I find myself anxious, or fretful, or wondering…how? who?… when?! Habakkuk 2:4 NIV says, “a righteous person will by his faithfulness.” I remind myself of this and other verses on faith, and I keep pushing.
[su_box title=”DID YOU KNOW?” style=”glass” box_color=”#11661d” title_color=”#c9fbe2″ radius=”4″] The word “faith” is only mentioned twice in the (NIV) Old Testament. Why do you think that is? Leave us a comment here or on Facebook[/su_box]
Times of doubt, confusion, and tribulation are inevitable; but our response is where we claim triumph. Our victory rests with our faith, and remember, we only need as much as a mustard seed. Any idea how small a mustard seed is? Check out the photo at right. See how small a mustard seed is? Small, right? We all have at least that much faith to endure, to keep believing, to hold on.
So while we are waiting, we have to keep our inner man strong and fit. We continue to prevail and overcome the enemy with the blood of the Lamb, and by reason of the word of their testimony. We have to exercise the tools the Lord has afforded us to utilize during trying times.
Here are ways to STAY FAITHFULLY-FIT during a spiritual crisis:
Decree and declare God’s promises over your life, situation, and prayers. Confess the Word of God — it really is as powerful as a two-edged sword. There is great power in our words. Consider Mark 11:23. In order for the mountain(s) in your life to crumble, you have to speak to them.
Dive into God’s Word. You’ll discover new passages, and read passages you’re familiar with a new eye. Also, take time to read works and sermons by great authors of times past: Tozer, Lake, Chambers, Bounds. Contemporary works are great, but spiritual classics are timeless and still applicable.
If you find yourself in an extended season of waiting, use the time to seek God. Seek in Him in His Word, and also seek Him in prayer. Remember is not a monologue for you to do all the talking — it’s a conversation between you and God. Let Him speak, and listen. Seek Him through fasting. There are times when our prayers are sufficient, but there are other times when we need to sacrifice through fasting. Fasting is not a time to drop physical weight; it’s a time to remove spiritual weights and burdens, and gain power, clarity, and direction. Reading is another way to seek God. Also, seek God by communing with Him. Sit before Him and bask in His presence.
PRAISE, THANKSGIVING AND WORSHIP
Enter into His courts with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Keep God’s praise in your mouth. No matter what your situation is, praise God, and give Him thanks for what He is doing and for what He is going to do. The Lord’s way is perfect, and His ways are not grievous. He has a purpose for EVERY event of our lives, even our failures, and actions that go against His divine will for our lives. He does not waste anything. Know that. You need not be inside a church to give thanks or praise. Every morning, I wake up and “Thank You Jesus” are the first words I utter; I thank Him and praise Him all day. Worship God. He loves it when we worship Him. I think worship is a very individual thing. I worship in song, dance, writing. I made flags to wave when I dance and declare my confessions. Sometimes I write songs to the Lord. There is no manual for worship, and there shouldn’t be. God just wants us to pour ourselves on Him.
PRACTICE ACTIVE FAITH
Are you believing God for a new home? Then start packing. Are you unemployed and believing God for a job? Start praying for your manager and your colleagues. Have you asked God for a wife? Write letters to her. Start praying for her. God answers prayers. The answers may not arrive when we’d prefer them to, or even how we’d prefer them to, but they arrive nonetheless. Practice active faith. Show God you believe He is going to do what He promised. You cannot have faith in God without trusting in Him. Trust in Him with all of your heart, don’t try to analyze the happenings in your life. That’s not your job. The battles that forge against you are not yours to fight. Your job is to believe and wait on the Lord with great faith and expectation.
CLEAN YOUR HOUSE!
I am not referring to your physical dwelling, I’m referring to your spiritual dwelling, your soul. If you find yourself in an extended crisis, or that the answers you seek are delayed, this could be a signal that God has soul work for you to do. Forgiveness is a major area of debris for many people. Maybe God wants you to use this time help someone. Look for people whom you can serve through giving. Giving need not be monetary. Use your gifts, time, prayers, or counsel to bless others. Be careful of whom you seek counsel from during this time; seek God’s counsel. Talking everyone in your life about your problems will only pollute your thoughts. Don’t invite unnecessary and unedifying judgement and criticism. God has all of your answers. Will there be times when God speaks to you through others? Absolutely!! He does that often; but He normally speaks through others after you have earnestly sought Him first. This is not a time to focus on the sins and shortcomings of others; we all have a measure of them. Focus on SELF. Ask God to remove emotional and spiritual infirmities. Press in for healing and deliverance. End unedifying relationships. Forgive, release, and bless your enemies. Forgive yourself (guilt, shame and condemnation are heavy). Clean that house!
The last tool is to believe. When your faith is shaky, refer to Mark 11:22-25. You have to believe. Believe that with God, all things are possible. You can’t expect God to move on your behalf if you don’t He can, that He wants to, or that He will. God loves us so deeply, and it is desire for us to do well and be well. He’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that happens. He wants us to live an abundant life, and His Kingdom is built on justice, righteousness, and all good and lovely things. Since we are His children, and Kingdom residents, that means His justice, righteousness, and good and lovely things are ours by inheritance. Yessss!! Believe it. Believe HIM, and watch Him work.
Work your tool box, friend. Then prepare for the unexpected. Our God is the God of Ephesians 3:20, so get ready for what you asked for. It’s coming!
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