I'm Not Sure!
“I’m not sure I have that kind of faith!” I wondered as my Friday Men’s group was diving into Acts 23 and seeing what awaited Paul. Acts 23:11 states “the Lord stood near Paul and said, Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify about me in Rome.” Paul had endured so much and now he was in prison in Caesarea, with the world seemingly mad at him and a plot by zealots to kill him. In that moment, how could he have faith he would make it to Rome?
Have you ever wrestled with placing your faith in God when your current circumstances scream that things seem hopeless? Perhaps you got a bad medical diagnosis, experienced a job loss, lost a loved one, or felt burned out. You know God is sovereign, but how do you keep the faith and experience His peace in that moment?
I am so grateful for my men’s group on Friday. They are seasoned in their faith and have great insight into trusting God. Based on our text that day, two key observations were made. First, Paul had seen God work many times before which gave him confidence that God was in control and he could place his trust in His hands. Second, the Lord was near. Acts 23:11 tells us “the Lord stood near Paul”. Paul received the message of encouragement and affirmation.
These two points are great reminders for me. God has worked in my life in so many ways and when I recount them it does give me strength. Too often though I forget and instead let the circumstance of the moment move me to doubt and fear. The other point is God is near. It is amazing the peace that can come when I recognize His nearness and His presence. Too often false narratives like “I have to be perfect” or “God is disappointed in me” cause me to doubt His nearness. Lately, the Triangle of Transformation has been a helpful visual to me to countering false narratives. Through receiving the right narratives, incorporating spiritual practices, and the community of others all at the influence and direction of the Holy Spirit, God continues to help me experience freedom.
After my men’s group on Friday, I went for a run and was listening to my favorite playlist of Christian music. Two songs came on back to back as if God was trying to reinforce the message of the day. If you have a few minutes, let the Lord speak to you and bless you.
Tell me I am Yours
The first song beats back the false narratives we have with the truth of who we are in Christ.
Let the Waters Rise; I Will Follow You
When we know who we are and whose we are, we can follow in confidence.