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Faith - What does testing do to MY faith??

If you have been following our faith journey for any amount of time, its evident that God has us living on the edge and
we are constantly being challenged to live a life FULL of faith and submission to our Loving, Sovereign Father.  I hope you take note of that sentence as "challenged" is not only the word that describes the feelings we have about life but I've written an endearing description of our Heavenly Father. I cannot say this life we have chosen is easy, in any way, shape or form... but it is my JOY to serve such a Beautiful God. I am so madly in love with Him that I find it my delight to take on whatever is thrown in our path. He has loved me more than I can ever love Him... but darn it... I'm going to try.

So as we have been faced with the most recent challenge and have been hearing God in it all and wondering how the heck He's going to get us to to the next step.... I find it hard to articulate what is going on inside my heart. However, thank God for the many people who have gone before us... sometimes their revelation can bring so much more clarity and insight than we could have ever imagined. 

In reading My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers the past few days I have been so encouraged in seeing my role for the Kingdom. I know it sounds like a lot of church talk but its the only way it comes out of me when I REALLY think about it. So here are the excerpts that I found encouraging and life giving... if you feel like your are in a season of being tested, lift up your eyes because there is a reason! :)

AUGUST 29:   Jesus said to her, ’Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?’ —John 11:40
Every time you venture out in your life of faith, you will find something in your circumstances that, from a commonsense standpoint, will flatly contradict your faith. But common sense is not faith, and faith is not common sense. In fact, they are as different as the natural life and the spiritual. Can you trust Jesus Christ where your common sense cannot trust Him? Can you venture out with courage on the words of Jesus Christ, while the realities of your commonsense life continue to shout, “It’s all a lie”? When you are on the mountaintop, it’s easy to say, “Oh yes, I believe God can do it,” but you have to come down from the mountain to the demon-possessed valley and face the realities that scoff at your Mount-of-Transfiguration belief (see Luke 9:28-42). Every time my theology becomes clear to my own mind, I encounter something that contradicts it. As soon as I say, “I believe ’God shall supply all [my] need,’ ” the testing of my faith begins (Philippians 4:19). When my strength runs dry and my vision is blinded, will I endure this trial of my faith victoriously or will I turn back in defeat?
Faith must be tested, because it can only become your intimate possession through conflict. What is challenging your faith right now? The test will either prove your faith right, or it will kill it. Jesus said, “Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me” Matthew 11:6). The ultimate thing is confidence in Jesus. “We have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end . . .” (Hebrews 3:14). Believe steadfastly on Him and everything that challenges you will strengthen your faith. There is continual testing in the life of faith up to the point of our physical death, which is the last great test. Faith is absolute trust in God— trust that could never imagine that He would forsake us (see Hebrews 13:5-6).

It is my desire to ALWAYS have complete and utter faith in God... no matter what! Even if it doesn't make sense to me or anyone else, I want to always follow as He leads... unreservedly! My heart is to know and love Him completely. I don't just want to DO... I want to LIVE in Him.  Trusting Him is the only way I can do that... and no matter to what extreme that brings me I do it all because I love him.

Be encouraged friends because He just wants us... ALL of us... and He is worthy... trustworthy... and totally WORTH IT! It is through us that others will see the truth in this... so LIVE IT OUT... LOVE HIM!!

AUGUST 30:   Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven —Luke 10:20
Jesus Christ is saying here, “Don’t rejoice in your successful service for Me, but rejoice because of your right relationship with Me.” The trap you may fall into in Christian work is to rejoice in successful service— rejoicing in the fact that God has used you. Yet you will never be able to measure fully what God will do through you if you have a right-standing relationship with Jesus Christ. If you keep your relationship right with Him, then regardless of your circumstances or whoever you encounter each day, He will continue to pour “rivers of living water” through you (John 7:38). And it is actually by His mercy that He does not let you know it. Once you have the right relationship with God through salvation and sanctification, remember that whatever your circumstances may be, you have been placed in them by God. And God uses the reaction of your life to your circumstances to fulfill His purpose, as long as you continue to “walk in the light as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7).
Our tendency today is to put the emphasis on service. Beware of the people who make their request for help on the basis of someone’s usefulness. If you make usefulness the test, then Jesus Christ was the greatest failure who ever lived. For the saint, direction and guidance come from God Himself, not some measure of that saint’s usefulness. It is the work that God does through us that counts, not what we do for Him. All that our Lord gives His attention to in a person’s life is that person’s relationship with God— something of great value to His Father. Jesus is “bringing many sons to glory . . .” (Hebrews 2:10).

So, What does testing do to MY faith??... Builds my faith and helps me to love Him more. It makes Jesus my strength in which I can hold onto in those times of conflict. It makes Him my hope and my joy... What a relationship He desires with us and by all means, I will get the most of it while I'm here!

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