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11 Mar – Shape Up!


Today parts of my body are “yelling’ at me, primarily because I had my weekly horse riding lesson with our youngest son Isaac, and horse riding uses a lot of muscles in your body which perhaps  you don’t otherwise use a lot. Today it’s my back muscles that are feeling it as my instructor informed me that I need to sit up straighter. The funny thing is, I thought I was sitting up straight, but my muscles are now firmly telling me otherwise.

The same can be said for our lives in general. We often think we are using our muscles, and going along through life quite okay until we have to step up in a particular area of our life we haven’t or don’t usually pay much attention to. It could be suddenly we are faced with a financial difficulty, unexpected illness, something happens with one of the kids, or a close friend or family member. Suddenly we have to call on all of our resources to manage the challenge before us, or we have to lean into our relationship with Jesus more heavily than we have before.

It’s in these times that we discover just how strong we are, and how much word and faith we have in our relationship with God. We find out “what we are made of”. Unfortunately if we haven’t being strengthening our faith muscles or spending that daily time with Jesus to build our trust and faith in Him, we can find ourselves struggling and sinking, when we need to be standing and overcoming.

God is good, and He promises that we can come to Him in our time of need. The thing is, if we haven’t spent regular time building and cultivating our relationship and faith in God and His promises we won’t have the trust to call upon him in our time of need, nor the “faith muscles” to stand up when we most need to.

Much like how I hadn’t realised how weak I was in certain areas of my body until I suddenly had to use them, we can also be emotionally, mentally and spiritually weak and not fully realise it until we need that inner strength to overcome a circumstance, and realise it isn’t there when we need it.

If we are facing such a circumstance; whether that is a sickness, financial hardship, family issues or challenges of some other kind, we can always lean on Jesus and his faithfulness. We can “come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:16)

Plus we can take the opportunity every day to build and strengthen our relationship with God, and to know His word more fully. “Our faith isn’t a pill we pop, but a spiritual muscle we use”. When we strengthen our faith in God by reading His word, and spending time with Him and others who also know Him, then when we most need those “faith muscles” they will be ready to support and enable us to stand through any and every circumstance of life. We will know we can trust Him to bring us safely through; that we can pray and call out to God knowing with confidence that He hears us, and that we will have peace and comfort in the midst of a storm.

Today, I encourage you; don’t wait until you are in the midst of a storm or battle to decide you had better build some “muscles”. Take the time now, every day to shape up, and strengthen your faith and trust in Jesus so that when you need to stand you already have a strength and close relationship with Him to draw upon.

Jesus said, “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”(Matthew 7:24-27 NLT)

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”(John 16:33)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:10-13)

Prayer: Lord help me to be disciplined and wise enough to build my faith muscles every day, so that I both know you, and have the strength to stand and overcome whatever challenges I may face. In Jesus Name Amen.

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