Life has its twists and turns and believing in God’s Word can be hindered by circumstances in our lives. When no prayer seems to be answered or a series of bad events hit us, our faith in the Father can easily dwindle. Honestly speaking, how can we keep our eyes on Him when they are full of tears? Our faith should not be based on our circumstances rather it is a function of how high we esteem God. When we realize that He is sovereign regardless our current state, we make Him bigger than the problems; we shift the focus from our problems to His awesome works around us.
This is how we shift our focus:
- APPRECIATE TESTIMONIES
The best way to be encouraged in the Lord is to celebrate the victories in other people’s lives; unfortunately, this has not been emphasized in our present times. We are so quick to tell our testimonies but hardly do we ask others to share theirs and simply rejoice with them; if we do rejoice, it’s often short-lived or followed by the expressionless statement, “that’s nice.” How about when someone gets saved? The story usually lasts for a while then no one really cares, we are quick to move on when great things happen to others yet even the slightest things in our lives seem to deserve standing ovations.
When the Samaritan woman spoke to Christ she believed Him based on the accounts He gave about her life-her many relationships, John 4:7-26. She was bursting with joy because she had met with Christ and she went to the point of telling her story and inviting others to meet Him,
John 4:28-30 The woman left her water pot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” Then they went out of the city and came to Him.
The reception of this testimony leads to Samaritans being changed; they knew this woman from earlier on and all she had done with regards to her several husbands and seeing what she had received from Christ, the joy of her redemption, they gladly indulge her in her time of testimony to the point of seeking Him(Christ) for themselves.
John 4:39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.”
When we rejoice with others we get strength for our own circumstances, we keep reminding ourselves that God is still at work and that our answer will come in due time. So whenever you hear a testimony, deliberately take time to appreciate it and glorify God, as you wait on Him in expectation that someday others will be rejoicing as you testify. Seek Him in the testimonies of other people and you will find Him.
- READ THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES
Our biggest mistake I must confess is not seeing miracles in front of us. We easily ask for what we do not have but hardly recognize what we have working in our favour. The problem sometimes is not the delay in the answer to our prayers instead, our prayers may be so loud that we cannot hear God’s answers!
Pray Until Something Happens (P.U.S.H.) is so often preached but many forget to listen and actually see something happening. It takes a level in faith to honestly believe that God has heard our petitions and that He is working on them.
Persisting in the throne room and growing our faith in the Lord as we trust in Him for an answer are ingredients to a heartfelt prayer, but we need to become spiritually alert to the things happening around us as we wait on Him. It calls for seeking God in faith as we observe things unfold in our favour. When we notice our prayer lives growing due to the problems we are going through, our faith increasing as we wait, then we begin to believe that He will actually work things out. Problems do occur in life but at times the effects of the problems work in our favour, I probably would never have fasted unless I had been put in a situation that I needed to seek God at that level.
A man came to Christ concerning his dying son and when Christ declared the child’s healing, he believed. This act of faith drew the whole family to Christ; a problem brought forth a spiritual practice, having faith, which in turn brought a greater good to the household, the gift of eternity.
John 4:49-53 The nobleman said to Him, “Sir come down before my child dies!” Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, “Your son lives!” Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” And he himself believed, and his whole household.
Noticing our spiritual growth during trying times increases our belief that God is working in our favour. We have to grab every opportunity of growth regardless how it seems; our response determines the outcome.
At times we need signs and wonders to believe, so how unfortunate will it be not to see these same miracles happening around us either in the testimony of someone else or in our spiritual growth. Take time to shift your focus and notice the good things around you, then you will believe. Can you shift focus even in prayer? The answer is yes, and read here on how to do it
John 4:48 Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.
- “The Crisis of Faith” by Fr. John Hardon, S.J. (insightscoop.typepad.com)
- Committed to Presence! (jacobjuncker.wordpress.com)
- Randomness (thelordswitness.com)
- Faith Over Fear (naturalbreeze30.wordpress.com)
- Comfort for the Troubled Heart (celiaelaine.wordpress.com)
Ecclesiastes 1:16-18 I communed with my heart saying, “Look I have attained greatness and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge.” And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceive that this also is grasping for the wind. For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
It would not be fair to leave you with this information and let you try to change by your own wisdom and strength-it is like chasing the wind. Only in Jesus Christ does all this make sense and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit will we know the way to go. Say this prayer and receive a new life..
Heavenly Father, I come to You in the Name of Jesus. Your Word says, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). I am calling on You. I pray and ask Jesus to come into my heart and be Lord over my life, according to Romans 10:9-10—“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” I do that now. I confess that Jesus is Lord, and I believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead.
I am now reborn! I am a Christian—a child of Almighty God! I am saved! You also said in Your Word, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13). I am also asking You to fill me with the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, rise up within me as I praise God. I fully expect to speak with other tongues as You give me utterance (Acts 2:4).
The prayer was obtained from the Kenneth Copeland Ministries.