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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.