In 2017, God promised to heal me and then didn’t. I turned to the scriptures to strengthen my faith in His promise. Today, as I pray for a change of heart for a loved one, the scriptures again strengthen my faith that God will answer my prayers. What weakens your faith? What strengthens your faith? Are there things that you want, or especially things that God has promised you, that are difficult to believe? If so, what does it look like to believe and trust Him? ❧
Video Transcript (edited):
I'm excited to share with you some thoughts about faith and especially about the journey I’ve been on for the last few months.
First, I need to back up to 2017. I had been sick for 11 years with chronic physical illness. Then, in March of 2017, God told me He would heal me. But He didn't heal me and I didn’t know what to do with that. What would you do? I wondered: Did He expect me to act? Did He expect me to do something? Was there more direction? Was I supposed to wait? How long was I going to wait? I didn’t know.
I prayed, and I didn't have clear answers, so I turned to the scriptures. I read every experience in the scriptures I could find about healing in order to learn more about how it happens and what it looks like. I was looking for anything that might teach me how God would heal my body.
One of the effects of reading those scriptures about healing was that I internalized that God heals people. He really does it. Do you remember those scriptures where Jesus Christ says, "Come unto me and I will heal you”? I'd always read those verses and thought, "Oh, He'll heal me spiritually, or He’ll heal me in my heart, or He'll comfort me." But I didn’t take it literally. I didn’t believe that He would actually heal me physically. Yet this time as I read those scriptures about healing I ended up gaining faith that He could heal me physically. Literally! Because He did it, over and over again.
Now, back to the last few months. When Jesus Christ did heal me in September of that year, I went through some adjusting, both to my new life and also to having such a big experience in my life.
Then in November, and since then, a couple of hard things happened. One was some conflict with people at church. Specifically, one of my leaders made some decisions that didn't feel right to me. I know from my own experience that I never have to just accept things. I can pray. I can talk to God. I can find out what God's will is. If it affects me, He will talk to me. He will share with me. He will confirm what is right to me and I don't have to blindly trust someone else, — even, and maybe especially, when that person is a leader.
I fall into the trap of trusting other people's inspiration and not turning to God myself. I've fallen into that trap repeatedly and I fell into it again in November.
Then on the heels of that I really wanted a change of heart for somebody in my life and I prayed and prayed for that too. Both of these experiences challenged my faith because I was praying for these things but I wasn't sure if God was going to help me or how he was going to help me or what help looked like. So somehow in that process my faith was shaken and my relationship with God shifted back a little bit toward the way it used to be, where I wanted God in my life but I didn’t have a real, functioning, two-way relationship with Him.
Then last night God told me to read the words of Christ and today what I ended up reading strengthened my faith back into that strong place! I think it's a gift from the Spirit of God. Today I tasted again that the things that God says in the scriptures — the promises He makes — are real. We can take Him at His word.
He will change the hearts of our loved ones. I read a scripture today about how prophets or even just missionaries in the scriptures prayed and God changed the hearts of whole nations because of their prayers. The story helped me. It helped grow that faith inside of me that God can change the heart of my loved one and I can pray for Him to change it. I can trust and have faith in God’s power to make it happen.
More than anything else though, that strengthening of faith, that swelling of faith inside of me, it is delicious! It is so lovely. I’m grateful to feel that again instead of being in that weaker, darker place where I wanted to trust God but I felt confused and burdened.
I can trust God. He will help me in real ways in my life with the things that I need. He will direct me. I can turn to Him in all things. I find these messages throughout the scriptures.
So my message to you today is that faith is amazing, delicious, wonderful and real. Nurture it! The best way I know to do that is to read the scriptures and really believe that the things they say are true. God has power, and He acts in our lives.
My question for you is, What weakens your faith? What strengthens your faith? Are there things that you want, or especially things that God has promised you, that are difficult to believe? If so, what does it look like to believe and trust Him?
Those are my thoughts for you tonight. I hope you're having a good evening. Keep shining!