DAY 1 – BE STRONG IN FAITH!
Late last year, I found myself at the funeral of a beautiful friend, who, quite frankly, was too young to die. Soon after that, I heard that another dear friend had received a very bad health report. Then, around the same time, I was having a conversation with someone who was still believing for a baby after many years.
In those moments, many of the conversations around these real and painful situations were ones of defeat and hopelessness. Which, of course, if you look at things in the natural, was understandable. However, deep in my heart, I felt a loud whisper. I felt like God was saying, “I know all these things are happening, but can I ask you, WHERE IS YOUR FAITH?!”
It was a very good question. At different times, we can face very real and very challenging situations, and then it’s easy for our faith to get shaken.
However, I want to remind us of a great thing our Senior Pastor, Brian Houston, used to say: “We must not allow our circumstances to dictate to our faith, but rather allow our faith to dictate our circumstances!”
In 2018, I want to encourage us, girls, to LISTEN only to the voice of FAITH!
There are a lot of voices out there that we can listen to. We could listen to the voice of fear, or of doubt, disappointment, defeat, anxiety, anger, bitterness, resentment, the list goes on. But can I urge and encourage us to take a fresh look at what voices we are listening to and make a decision to listen only to one voice – the VOICE OF FAITH!
There’s a story in Matthew 9, where Jesus had to listen to the voice of faith. Let’s have a look at it:
18 While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples …23 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, 24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand and she got up. 26 News of this spread through all that region.” (Matthew 9 vv.18–19 & 23–26, NIV).
FIVE things happen here. LOOK at what Jesus does:
1. CIRCUMSTANCES looked hopeless!
The synagogue leader said to Jesus, “My daughter has just died.” In the natural, it looked like it was all over! But can I encourage you, NO situation is over or hopeless if Jesus gets involved!
2. Jesus’ CONFESSION was one of faith!
“The girl is not dead but asleep,” Jesus said. He did not speak death over the situation, but rather confessed faith. Can I encourage us to keep an eye on our confessions, because our words carry power and have the power to shape the world we live in.
3. He CLOSED the door to intimidation!
Look at what happened here – they laughed at Jesus!!! The enemy’s plan is always to intimidate and bring fear. So let’s wise up to his weak strategies and not allow intimidation or fear to take control. We have not been given a spirit of fear but one of POWER, LOVE and a SOUND MIND! (See 2 Timothy 1 v.7.)
4. He CLEARED out the wrong voices!
Jesus had to clear out the noisy crowd. Sometimes we have to identify what voices we have to clear out in order to listen only to the voice of faith. Take a moment and think about what voices you need to eliminate.
5. He CONTINUED to reach out.
Jesus reached out his hand. Because he refused to listen to the wrong voices, he was able to reach out and bring health and wholeness. As we continue to listen only to the voice of faith, we will see the fruit of that decision in the lives of OTHERS.
GOD BLESS YOU GIRLS! AND, REMEMBER, IN 2018 – LET’S LISTEN ONLY TO THE VOICE OF FAITH!