Five Ways to Fan the Flames of Faith: Part Five

Five Ways to Fan the Flames of Faith: Part Five
Today I’m sharing part five of the acronym: F.A.I.T.H., on how to fan the flames of faith.

H is for hope

What and who we place our hope in matters hugely to the health of our faith. When we have a hit-the-bottom day, who do we run to?

Five Ways to Fan the Flames of Faith: Part Five Wendy L. Macdonald blog
I hit bottom regularly. And I want to share with you what happened the last time I did. But first, let’s take a detour and focus on a Bible story.
When a recent bout of discouragement tried to sideline me, I grumbled about being surrounded by doubters and mockers. Then I remembered a story about Elisha and his terrified servant in 2 Kings 6:15-17 NIV.

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked.
“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Five Ways to Fan the Flames of Faith: Part Five Wendy L. Macdonald blog

Do you see it? We, as Christians, are surrounded by an invisible army. The hope we have is the team we’re on—the Jesus team—the winning team. We’re surrounded by His angels (I bet they smiled when I said that.). There’s nothing to worry about. God’s already won this whole war. The enemy’s been beaten.
Psalm 59:9 says:

O my Strength, I watch for you;

you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.

Five Ways to Fan the Flames of Faith: Part Five Wendy L. Macdonald blog

To watch for God means to put our heart in His hands, to put our hope in His help. Hope helps us take bold steps for God.
If we’ve been taking steps toward fervent faith, God will challenge us to share more of our time and resources in service for Him. We’ll need to continue clinging to Christ in order to fulfill the calling He has for us.

He desires to bless us with courage as we hope in Him.

Sometimes, I fear criticism from others for my steps of faith until I remember a quote a former pastor mentioned in one of his inspiring sermons: “My way of doing it is better than your way of not doing it.”
We may not be the greatest at something God has asked us to do, but if we do it as unto Him and keep hoping in His power—not ours—it will be marvelous in the eyes that matter most—His.

Five Ways to Fan the Flames of Faith: Part Five Wendy L. Macdonald blog

Now I’d like to share my recent bottomed-out story with you:

God hugged me.

At least, that’s the best way I can describe what happened. I experienced an aha moment as I stood alone in my bathroom and realized there is no one I call when I’m down at the bottom of my moody self. There’s no number I dial, no e-mail address I bring up and send a message to, and there’s no place or person I run to when I’ve reached the end of whatever I’ve been holding onto.

When I’m down, I look up.

When I’m tired of it all, I find all my rest in God. And in that moment, as I stood in my bathroom and realized afresh that He is my first, last, and forever hope, I felt God surround me with a love hug and I heard Him whisper His desire to have me all to Himself.

Five Ways to Fan the Flames of Faith: Part Five Wendy L. Macdonald blog
I’m right where God wants me—dependent on Him and independent of others. It’s not that I’m not to have friends, I’m to have Him as my forever-best-friend whom I cling to first and last like it says in Psalm 62:5 NIV:

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.

It’s not wise to build our hope on the sandy shores of fallible human relationships. A wise person builds their hope on the Rock of Ages. A spouse may die, a pastor may stumble, or friends may be too busy. But God is our sure resting place and our sure hope. So… the next time we hit bottom, let’s remember to look up—first.
I’d like to close with a poem:

Rest and hope are only found in Christ
Where a soul’s needs are fully met
For Jesus, Himself, is our Bread
And His Blood is the wine of the blessed.

Rock Solid Blessings ~ Wendy

What’s your favorite faith acronym? I’m nosy to know.

If you missed any of the “Five Ways to Fan the Flames of Faith,” you can listen to them via my podcast page on HopeStreamRadio here: Walking with Hope

Five Ways to Fan the Flames of Faith: Part Five Wendy L. Macdonald blog

27 thoughts on “Five Ways to Fan the Flames of Faith: Part Five

  1. very uplifting, I was telling some close friends, about real time divine help, and it’s all real, and they came to visit, i was not following the regulations as they say, just said it clear, in return, they were not listening at all, you comments did the job instead, thanks

      1. thanks for the comment wendy, we live in a world where it’s easy to put people down, society is reminding people daily of all the wrongs going on, it’s a net of our bad habits almost, we need to encourage the opposite, thanks for your blessings, same to you.

  2. I sure am glad I clicked on this today. It was right on time! It felt good to know that you “hit bottom regularly” too. Thanks for the reminders on where to look.

  3. I’ve watched the seventh game of the 2016 world series multiple times. Each time I see the Cleveland Indians tie the game I feel that same anxiety I felt that night back in October, but I can smile because I know the final outcome.
    The same feeling should apply to the ups and downs of this life, “There’s nothing to worry about. God’s already won this whole war. The enemy’s been beaten.”
    Great post Wendy

    1. Thank you, Gene. 🙂 Amen to remembering “the final outcome.” You’ve just reminded me of one those smiling moments of remembrance I need to turn into a blog post. I’m heading to my Word Docs “write now.” Blessings.

  4. I found the story of the chariots last year, and what an encouraging story it is! I’m so glad to have read someone else discussing it. I’ve been planning to write about it too. 🙂 And I have to agree with you Wendy. human relationships can have many blessings, and we shouldn’t forsake the assembling of ourselves, as scripture says. But we are to have God as our Solid Rock and foundation. No one else comes close. God be with you! 🙂

    1. <3 It's interesting how we can all write or speak about the same story and yet it comes out in the unique voice we've each been given. Dear T.R., be sure to let me know when you've posted it. Yesterday, which was days after I'd written the draft for this post, I listened to a wonderful podcast that mentions this story, too. Here's the link if you're interested (I love this site.). :

  5. So so,timely, Wendy! Thank you thank you! Had a day of being shaken and disappointed when someone wasn’t there for me . I got past it by asking for His help to forgive and keep,loving. :). Blessings and faith to you!

    1. Dear Debbie, I love your gentle spirit of being willing to forgive and continue loving where you’ve experienced loss. I tend to dawdle over my cups of sorrow longer than Jesus would like me to. But He is patient. <3

      1. Oh Wendy, my forgiveness and loving response was not immediate. How I wish it was, or that I never got disappointed in the first place. That is my take away from your post . . .to look to Him and not at others to supply my needs. :). Hope I can learn this! Thank you for helping me!

    1. Thank you, dear Iris. More and more I’m realizing He’s a relational God. He’s a Holy Father, a Comforting Companion (Spirit), and a Redeeming Savior (Son) all at the same time. <3

  6. Your photos are stunning. I find tulips one of the most difficult flowers to photograph. Thank you for the lovely article. I am sure there is someone among your dear friends who wishes you would reach out to them in your low moments.

    1. Thank you, dear Tina. Oh, yes, my friends would welcome any of my calls for prayer; but their burdens dwarf mine. I give mine to Him before I call them. <3 And it's amazing how they often call me at just the right time.

  7. Thanks for your solid message, Wendy. I also enjoyed your story about Elisha.

    In the New Testament, Jesus invites us to come to him when we are weary and heavy-burdened and he will give us rest. He offers to share the yoke with us. In the O.T., the psalmist often speaks of resting in God alone. i.e. Ps. 62:5-8 is a good reminder for me to rest in God, to recognize him as our rock and our hope. We can trust in him at all times and pour out our souls to him. He has marvellous qualifications to be a best friend to each of us.

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