Thursday, May 7, 2009

Faith Transformation

Several years ago, someone, a young woman I know, spoke a prophetic word over me. As we were praying in a small group at our Women's Bible study on a Tuesday morning she said the Lord gave her a picture. She said she could see a treasure chest, and it was a treasure chest of faith. She said it seemed unending to her, a faith that never ran out and it believed in God for great things, and for supernatural things. She said it was a supernatural faith.

When I think back to this vision that she shared with me, it makes me think of twelfth chapter of 1 Corinthians where it says,

"There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills."

As awesome as it would be to be considered a "woman of great faith," I am not so foolish as to give myself and credit for having it.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— Ephesians 2:8.

Sometimes I feel like I have a lot of faith. I can say at least, that I know what it is to be full of faith. I have had the experience where even though everything seemed stacked against hope, I had the full assurance of faith that God would come through. I have reached those moments of despair where you just want to give up hope, when suddenly something rises up within you, and you know that you know it is not of yourself. I know it, even though I can't really explain it. But I imagine if you have experienced, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

When you have had the experience of faith that I'm talking about, it makes it so much harder when you find yourself lacking faith, especially when it seems as though your lack of faith in Him is in far littler things than you have believed upon Him for before.

I currently find myself struggling between these two places. It's an uncomfortable place to be stuck.

So what's been shaking my faith lately, you ask? I'm suddenly a little ashamed to admit it. Primarily it's been the checkbook. Money is really tight. When I start to think about all the debt, paying for school, our State Income Tax refund that got lost in the mail... it starts to overwhelm me.

Then I think to myself about the times I have had great faith for great things. I remember during the adoption process when we found ourselves pitted against the birth father who decided he wanted our child back. I think about Victoria's health crises, when she knocked herself unconscious so badly that Neal thought she was brain damaged, and I just knew she was OK. I think of the years of infertility we suffered through when I kept telling people I would have a daughter because I knew the Lord had made me a promise. Hopeless times, yet a heart full of faith.

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

"...certain of what we do not see..."

As I have been sitting here and writing this, I have noticed something. When I type about the things that concern me, I get overwhelmed, that sick feeling starts to grow in the pit of my stomach. Yet when I reminisce about the things God has done, I feel my faith rise, my hope is restored. Suddenly I become certain of what I do not see.

It suddenly brings to mind the chorus of the Old Hymn

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

What a wonderful truth. When we place our focus on the Author and Finisher of our faith, He responds faithfully by increasing it.

Forgive me for rambling tonight, I think this post has been more for me than for anyone who might read it. It is a reminder to me that the Lord is my Prince of Peace.

"You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You."
- Isaiah 26:3

Lord, it's so simple, yet so challenging. Help us to keep our eyes fixed on You. Help me keep my eyes focused on You, today and every day, in everything.

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