There seems to be a huge measure of apprehension around, especially with so many people out of work and so much uncertainty in the future. Who doesn't know the sinking feeling of doubt and fear in such days?
For me, when a tough thing happens, the trust issue is usually foremost in my mind. I panic because I know that Jesus said, "According to your faith be it unto you!" (Mt 9:29) So if I have little faith, does that mean there will be few answers to my urgent prayers? Is the outcome of the situation dependent on how well I trust or pray?
First I need to remind myself it is not the urgent intensity or volume of my praying that is going to make the difference. In fact, prayer is valid, not because of my expertise in the matter, but rather because of the object of my prayers — the One I am praying to! It's not my prayers that can do anything — but it is prayer that links me to the One who can.
It's not that He doesn't look to us to see faith in Him about the situation, whatever it is. He does and little faith will do for a start. A glance heavenward in desperation, yet hope. A gasp or sigh is read clearly in heaven you know...the intent of the heart prayer is shaped into words understood in the Throne Room.
Of course, Jesus exults to see us turn to Him in instant trust when trouble hits, and He loves to see us leaning hard, but He is ever patient with us. He, first and foremost, wants us to do this for our benefit, not His. He wants us to roll it off on Him for our sake first! This will put us in a trusting mode from which prayer battle can be done!
Not long ago, I was having a really tough time and wondering how to just do today! Fear or a lack of faith — my worry mode — robbed today of its strength. This was familiar territory. Worry Land! How was I to focus and get on with life in this tough spot?
So I spent time in the Throne Room and had a private conversation with God. I figured it out and as is my habit, I wrote about it:
Have you ever had a time in your life when you couldn't face what the day would bring? I have — like today. Then I go to the Deep Place where nobody goes. He who has already visited all my tomorrows knows what today will bring forth. He is not beaten down — not bowed over, bent low like a sheaf of grain in a wind storm. Not like me.
"How do I do today, Lord? It's too long, too hard — "
"Life won't go on without you?"
"No. But I can't do today. Pain takes my breath. The things that matter most to me are crumbling. Help!"
"I am here. Come — "
"I can't do today.
"I'm not God — that's the problem."
"I believe! But dear Lord, I can't do today — even half a day."
"Do this minute."
"I don't think..."
"Yes you can, you can do the next minute. Try. Count the seconds: one, two, three — "
"Now the next one. I have counted out your moments and your days for you already. Now you do it."
"But that first minute lasted so long!"
"This time stop counting and read a verse of Scripture. Fill the next minute thinking about Me."
Then I read Job 5:26: "You will come to the grave in full vigour, like sheaves gathered in season."
"Lord, I feel beaten down like a sheaf in a wind storm."
"Here comes the sun! You and I will do today together."
I put my hand into His, and counting hard, did today.
"Lord of all my yesterdays and tomorrows, help me to do today," I asked Him. "My sheaf bends in the wind."
"Till I gather you into my barn, you must bend in the winds that come, for you must stand in the harvest field until it is your season. It will not blow so hard today. In the respite wait patiently. Rest in me. One day, today as I intended it, will come to be."
Then I began to climb the steps to the shallow place where everyone lives and found today happening. I counted every other step and tried to think of a promise.
On the alternate step, I said loudly, "I believe!"
And when I just couldn't take another step, I breathed, "Help thou mine unbelief!" (Mk 9:24)
He did then, and He will do it next time and the next.
Dear friends, it's all right to start with little steps of trust. We can all do that. With each small step there will be strength waiting for the next one! Start today!
— Jill Briscoe.
P.S. Both Stuart and I would value your prayer for the busy itinerary ahead. We appreciate your support!
Doing Today is taken from Jill's book, The Deep Place Where Nobody Goes: Conversations with God on the steps of my soul and is available in Telling the Truth's online store.
Christians who seek to live lives worthy of their high calling are aware that they are involved in a struggle. They need to be clear about the unique nature of the struggle and the way in which God plans for them to stand firm against the enemy and to win the victory.All Sermons by Stuart, Jill & Pete Briscoe