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Focus: Living by faith
Psalm 30:11-12 (NKJV) You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
If you don’t feel like living—it’s likely you don’t feel like dancing or singing or possibly even speaking out loud…and you sure don’t see any reason to praise God or give thanks.
When compounded trials surround you and you seem to have hit a wall that looks too high to climb over, you might want to just curl up somewhere and try to go to sleep…since everything appears too hard to deal with and you’re tired of the fight. At a time like that, you have to live by faith.
You can start by making a faith statement, which is thanking God for something you’d like to see happen—as though it has already happened. An example would be: “Thank You, God, for lifting the heaviness I feel today. Thank You for giving me hope and encouragement.” Instead of, “Why don’t you help me?”
In Bible days, there were times when David cried out a complaint to God. Other times, when his back was up against a wall, David thanked God for who He was and for His great power. God wants us to cry out to Him and He also wants us to use our faith to acknowledge His power and might.
You could compare it to allowing a small child to carry a big package of some kind. Of course you wouldn’t want him to carry something that might actually cause him physical pain, or damage his bones or organs—but at the same time, you want the child to grow and learn to use his strength. Sometimes you might temporarily let the child try to carry a big package and then carry it for him after he’s tried and knows it is too big for him to manage alone.
God does the same thing with us. He wants our faith to grow and He wants us to learn to trust His strength, also. So, sometimes He lets us carry our ‘burdens’ for a while—and then when we realize our burden is too big for us—He will take it from us. He sometimes waits for us to say, “Help!” And other times, He waits for us to make a faith statement like, “Thank You for setting me free from my burdens.” Or, “I know Your power is so much greater than mine and that nothing is impossible for You.”
The Bible says faith is ‘Calling things which are not as though they were.’ For example, ‘Thank You God, that everything is working out for the best in my life.’ It might seem more like a ‘lie’ than ‘faith’ when you start telling God that everything is working out great—when it just doesn’t look like it is—but God honors faith. He likes it when we make faith statements. He works with faith statements.
God also loves it when we quote His Word back to Him. Scripture says that God’s Word will not return to Him void. In other words, when we use a Bible verse to support a request we are making that acknowledges God’s ability to meet a need we are asking Him to supply—He will honor His Word. In a sense, we are using the Word of God as our ‘currency’. We are using God’s Word to redeem a situation or obtain the provision for a need by acknowledging what the Word of God says in relationship to our need.
Making positive ‘faith statements’ and using God’s Word to acknowledge His power and ability, is actually praising God. You might not think you have a desire to praise God, but if you are willing to acknowledge His power and ability—you are praising Him. ‘Praise’ calls God to come to the rescue. When we praise Him—things get better!
I don’t know if you’ve ever had the opportunity to use an old-fashioned hand operated water pump, or not. But the way a hand pump works is a good comparison to what happens when we praise God in spite of our circumstances.
In order for a hand pump to work at all, it has to be tapped into a source of water. When the pump hasn’t been used for a while, there is a big, dry air space between the mouth or spout of the pump and the well of water down below the ground. To get the pump started, you have to ‘prime’ it. This is done by putting a little bit of water in the mouth of the pump as you pump the handle up and down. As you pump the handle, the ‘prime’ water acts as a plug and creates a vacuum to draw the water up from below. If you keep pumping, you will soon have plenty of water pouring out the spout.
It’s the same way with ‘praise’. When we start with a little bit of praise—we are ‘priming’ our own praise pump. The more we praise—the goodness of God begins to pour forth filling us to overflowing with hope and encouragement.
Declaration: I will find new strength by making positive faith statements and praising God about my circumstances.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.