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Standing Strong in Hard Times

 From (Cast Up a Highway Chapter on Pilings of Faith)
If our faith is to be continually strengthened by hearing and reading the Word each day, it must also be augmented by setting aside a special time each day to spend with God; we can make an appointment in our daily planner. To build any kind of human-friend relationship, we must spend time together. It’s also true with our God relationship. Spending time with Him will develop intimacy, a relationship that brings a deep knowing about Him and a sharing of His love for us. We need this, because without it, we can be defeated by those dark times when we feel like we are all alone, dry, hopeless, and helpless.

Continual feeding of our faith plants surety in our minds and hearts that God is there, an anchor of strength and power. God loves us, and we can overcome negative feelings with His Word. We cannot live by what our feelings are saying; our feelings are not always reliable. We choose to live instead by what the Word says, for the Word always speaks the truth! The Word is a rock we can stand on and trust in. We all need solid places to stand mentally and emotionally, especially when we get hit by bad news, a loss, a disappointment, or a fear.

An example in my own life is when I got the word from the doctor that I had breast cancer; I would not allow it to panic me. The teaching I had received over the years had truly been implanted in my heart to guard me against any demon fear; it became a true faith-building time, and no matter what was said, the enemy could not implant thoughts of fear in me. Jesus filled me with His joy instead.

Indeed, it is through the struggles our faith grows. Faith increases when we are in the midst of the storm, yet we trust Jesus will walk on the water to us and take us to shore. This is what He did with the apostles; they were in the middle of the lake, in the middle of the night, in the middle of a storm, and Jesus knew they were in trouble. He walked on the water directly to them.

He is with us in the middle of our storms too. Fully trusting in His faithfulness will add bars of solidity to our faith. For He is a trustworthy God, and our steadfast focus on Him will strengthen our faith, and He will bring us to the shore every time in His way and in His timing. It is not always easy, but we must continue to trust in God at all times, especially when it’s not easy. One Scripture taken from The Message Bible states this concept and shows why His timing is important:
James 1:2-4 MSG Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

As hard as it is to understand, trials can be gifts, especially when building pilings of faith. It is under pressure that resistance builds tough strength, and that strength will support us through life. Remember a diamond comes from coal that’s been under pressure for a long time.

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