Recently, I was thinking about a person I admire who is steady, secure and solid as a rock. It's not that Carol doesn't have emotions—she does. It's that no matter what life throws at her, her faith remains solid and her soul exudes peace. What a gift!
As I've been mulling security over in my mind, the Lord reminded me of this passage from Jeremiah 17:7-8:
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
and whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters,
and that spreads out its roots by the river,
and shall not fear when heat comes,
but its leaf shall be green,
and it shall not be anxious in the year of drought,
neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
Life can be nasty at times. It often feels cruel and unfair. How do we remain deeply rooted—so that no matter what life throws our way, we are steady and confident in God's goodness and love, not full of worry and never failing to bear fruit? Ah ... that's the million-dollar question!
3 Keys to Help You Stand Strong
Remember, this is a lifetime journey. This side of heaven, we won't reach perfection. At times Satan will tempt you to doubt God's goodness. Instead of beating yourself up and wondering, Why can't I trust God more?, authentically pour out your heart to the Lord and express the difficulty you're having trusting Him. Put your energy into reminding yourself of what's true about the character of God. Remind yourself of how He's been faithful in the past. Even the strongest saints of God have had moments when they wondered, Has God forgotten me? For example, Hudson Taylor, a man of God, wrestled with depression when confined by illness. Wrestling didn't define his faith. Hudson went back to what he knew to be true of God and reminded himself that God was still in control.
Build practices that support trusting God. The spiritual disciplines are just that: disciplines. Practices such as reading your Bible, prayer, worship, rest and silence are all a part of shaping our walk with God. Just as we need physical exercise to build strong muscles, we need spiritual exercises to build stamina for the long haul. No matter what season of life you're in, the spiritual disciplines will build strength and security in God's goodness.
Look for someone to encourage. Often when we are walking through trials, we isolate. This is a mistake. Just look for one person to encourage each day. It might be bringing food to a neighbor or helping a young mom with her toddler. It might be writing a note of encouragement or sending a message through Facebook. The point is that a fruitful life doesn't mean you have to accomplish something extraordinary. A fruitful life reaches out to others and lifts them up! Look for the opportunity to encourage every day, and I guarantee you'll live a fruitful life.
Friend, take a few moments to read Jeremiah 17:7-8. Ask God to build strength and sustainability into your life. Recognize that following Jesus is a lifetime journey, but as you put small practices into place, you will be fertilizing the roots of your faith so that they go down deep.
Becky Harling, an author, certified speaker, leadership coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team, is an energetic and motivational international speaker inspiring audiences to overcome their greatest life challenges and reach their full God-given potential. Her most recent book is How to Listen So People Will Talk. Her husband, Steve Harling, is the president of Reach Beyond, a nonprofit organization seeking to be the voice and hands of Jesus around the world. Connect with Becky at beckyharling.com, Facebook or Twitter.
This article originally appeared at beckyharling.com.
For more on standing strong, listen to the podcast interview with Carol McLeod included with this article!
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