A Faith That Triumphs.

 

Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of. - Charles Spurgeon | Carmelle made this with Spoken.ly:

Does my faith triumph?

That’s a question I have had to ask myself several times in the last few months. For years, I struggled with doubting my salvation. I’ve mentioned the sleepless nights before in previous posts, wondering if God really saved me, if He was really there, if He was really hearing my prayers and caring about me. I would spend nights in prayer, wondering why He wasn’t answering, but finally, I discovered the two things that were missing;

  1. I wasn’t meditating on His Word. The only time that I opened my Bible was during church services. After that, it was closed and forgotten about. When I did decide to read, I would read a single verse, then close it. God speaks through His word, and I was ignoring Him.
  2. I wasn’t actually trying. I lacked repentance. I had no desire for faith. I didn’t really understand what being a Christian meant, and the thought of spending so much time in prayer and in the Word seemed so boring and annoying to me. I didn’t know God, not really.

But eventually, I began searching more. I got serious, and during a church service, I rededicated myself to the Lord. I found my faith, but it wasn’t strong because I would have a good few days, then I would slip back into my old ways and go a week without pursuing Christ. I went back and forth for a long time and then, at another service, I was very convicted by the Spirit and went to the alter in prayer. The Pastor’s words spoke to me and I felt God urging me to go up to the alter…at this church that I had only gone to a few times, full of hundreds of people that I did not know.

God, that’s a bit outside of my comfort zone.

But then, the Pastor said these words in a very serious voice. “Yield to Him. Yield to Him.” And for whatever reason, those words pricked my heart and I realized that I had never yielded. I hadn’t given Him my life, not really. He’d saved me, but I was still holding onto certain things. I wasn’t willing to move out of His way, either. But that night, I yielded. I went to the alter and I prayed, other young people surrounding me and praying as well. I prayed with the Pastor, I got my heart in the right place. Since then, I have had bad days. A lot of them. But I’ve found the way to get out of the bad places. Through prayer and His word. During trials, I tend to lock myself in my room, my phone and TV shut off, a hymn playing on my computer, my Bible in front of me, my knees on the ground, just spending time with Him. Slowly but surely, I started to do that during the good times, too. I’ve found out how to ground myself, how to plant myself and plant my faith and water it. How to make it grow. How to yield to Him. I was finding out what my faith was made out of.

Then this week came along, and everything started falling apart a bit. I went slipping back down into my old place, feeling like I was ready to flee. I felt ridiculed. I felt worthless. I felt like everything that I had been doing was only making matters worse. I felt like I was pushing away friends, ruining relationships, and you know what all of those ruined relationships and ridiculing boiled down to? What was causing all of this strife?

My faith.

That faith that I was so proud of. That faith that I was clinging to with everything I had in me. It wasn’t a prideful faith, I was truly devoted to God and I was proud of Him. Oh, the love I felt for Him. I was listening to sermons again, enjoying church, studying my Bible more, praying more…and because I am so very flawed, these trials put a big crack into my foundation. Suddenly, I realized, once again, that my foundation has to built by God, not built by myself. So I prayed and asked God what I was doing wrong. Why am I ridiculed? Why is my faith causing so much strife? Why am I being put through these trials?

He gave me a very clear answer, and I had a big “duh” moment. What does the Bible say about trials? They are there to make us stronger, to remind us about why we’re following Christ in the first place. They remind us to turn to God and let Him strengthen us. James 1:12 says that those who go though trials and tribulations will be rewarded. Why do we endure these things? Because we love Him.

James 1:12

Perhaps, my faith failed all of those times before because I didn’t love Him enough. How can you love someone that you don’t truly know? I wasn’t seeking Him out and so, I didn’t love Him. I couldn’t. The love that I needed in order to get through trials wasn’t there before. But this time around, I had that love. I read books written by great Christians; Charles Spurgeon, Oswald Chambers, A.W. Tozer, Leonard Ravenhill, John Bunyan, Amy Carmichael, Fanny Crosby, Jim & Elisabeth Elliot…none of those people were without trials but they persevered. I want that faith. I want to be able to stand firm no matter what anyone else says, and no matter how many people ridicule me for it. The Bible also says,

2 Timothy 3:12 – Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Am I living as Godly as I could be? Absolutely not. I fail Him on a daily basis. I don’t pray enough, I don’t study enough, I don’t think of Him enough. But I am slowly starting to attempt this life, and Satan isn’t going to let go of me without a fight. And a fight he has given.

My faith couldn’t triumph because I wasn’t even trying to get there. Those trials showed me what I was made of, and here is what I was made out of…

I was spineless. Faithless. Unrepentant. Unwilling. I was an actress, pretending to be something that I wasn’t. My foundation was made out of sticks, not stone and bricks. Satan blew, and there went my foundation, falling down with his breath. I want to be the exact opposite of who I was a year ago. Two years ago. When trials come and show me what I’m made of, I want my humanity to be peeled back until all people can see is the Holy Spirit moving in my life and holding me up. I want people to see where my strength is coming from, where my faith is coming from.

Amazingly, I went through this trial with an even greater respect and love for God. He reminded me that He let Job go through terrible trials. He let King David suffer. He let Paul suffer. All of His children have gone through terrible things, far worse than I have ever been through, and their faith triumphed. Nothing is too hard for God, and He is very capable of carrying me through these tribulations. Suddenly, the girl with terrible anxiety was no longer crying in her bed at night, wondering if God was there, but she was sitting in that same room, head in her Bible, ready to face whatever Satan through at her next.

I’m learning “where my help comes from” and that help is from the Lord. Not from me, not from Christian friends, but from Him. Everything that came along and inspired me, like the sermons, the hymns, all came through God. Because for once in my life, I let Him speak. I let Him take the battle on for me, and He triumphed. 

 

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51 thoughts on “A Faith That Triumphs.

    • kalinann October 5, 2016 / 8:04 pm

      It definitely isn’t! Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Like

  1. Terri's Thoughts October 5, 2016 / 2:40 pm

    This journey your on is a beautiful one, may God bless you every day

    Like

    • kalinann October 5, 2016 / 8:04 pm

      Thank you so much for the encouragement!

      Like

  2. GodlyDivaGal October 5, 2016 / 4:16 pm

    my pastor’s always sayin that without a test, there’s no testimony….

    Like

    • kalinann October 5, 2016 / 8:04 pm

      That’s very true! The tests make us stronger in the long run!

      Like

  3. Cassie from True Agape October 5, 2016 / 5:11 pm

    Thank you for sharing openly and honestly. Sometimes people think it should all be easy after being saved, but that is not the case and the Bible tells us that! I love the quote you started the post with. I pinned it!

    Like

    • kalinann October 5, 2016 / 8:06 pm

      Thanks so much for commenting, Cassie! That’s so true. One of the evangelists that I like, Ray Comfort, has spoken a lot about how dangerous that view is for new Christians or people who are not yet saved. They come to Jesus and expect things to be easy, then run away as soon as things get hard and get angry with God for letting them go through trials. We have to be prepared and know that God’s way isn’t the easy way!

      Like

    • kalinann October 6, 2016 / 1:50 am

      So thankful for the strength that He gives me!

      Like

  4. Mihaela Echols October 6, 2016 / 3:33 am

    Isn’t it crazy? The power of God? All it takes is a tiny bit and it can move mountains. This makes me think of the mustard seed verse.

    Like

    • kalinann October 6, 2016 / 1:38 pm

      It is amazing! I just read that passage last night and it made me think of this as well. His strength is amazing, and we can have it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Steve Goodwin October 6, 2016 / 4:56 am

    In my small group, we are studying 1 Peter 1:1-12 and today the discussion was revolving around verses 6-9. It says “6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you don not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

    It’s great to come through trials according to this as long as we are growing from them. It’s not always about us either. Some trials are meant for the people around us to see how we glorify Him with our actions! You are loved, you are a child of God, you have to keep this in the forefront of your mind and cast out the ruler of this world.

    Like

    • kalinann October 6, 2016 / 4:44 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment and the encouragement! I absolutely love 1st &2nd Peter. My church did a study on 2nd Peter a few months back and there is so much great truth there!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Terri's Thoughts October 6, 2016 / 2:53 pm

    I need more faith, I have faith for everyone else but when it comes to me, it lacks. Thanks for this encouragement

    Like

    • kalinann October 6, 2016 / 2:58 pm

      Thank you for reading! I can relate a lot to that!

      Like

  7. Samantha Lee October 6, 2016 / 4:00 pm

    “Yield to Him”… wow, beautiful, weighty, incredible words.

    Like

  8. Taria Shondell October 6, 2016 / 4:47 pm

    This is an amazing testimony… and not that I can identify with!
    Thank you for the reminder of what I neee to do!

    Like

  9. Vian Deborah Elisabeth Rustam Eriksen October 6, 2016 / 5:02 pm

    Dear sister,
    I was so encouraged by this post!
    I’ve been Reading Your blog for a few weeks, and it makes my heart so happy to see fellow believers on fire for the Kingdom of God. I was saved around two years ago, after professing to be a Christian for most of my life. I must say it’s been quite the lonely road ever since. I have Christian friends around me, but still, I’ve been longing to get to know “narrow minded” (in the best possible way!) Christians; and With narrow minded, I mean those that don’t care for much else than the cause of Christ and promoting His Kingdom. I’m not always good at that myself, it’s so easy to get caught up in my own selfish world, but Reading Your blog has helped me refocus and remember that I’m a pilgrim – not here to stay.

    By the way, I’m sorry about my ‘broken’ English, it’s not my first Language.

    God bless you!

    Like

    • kalinann October 6, 2016 / 5:05 pm

      Your comment blessed me so much! Thank you so much for reading. That’s a wonderful longing to have, to know like-minded Christians! This world is getting so dark, and it desperately needs to see Christ’s light! I love seeing your desire to share your light with others! Your words encouraged me!

      Like

  10. Mary October 6, 2016 / 10:24 pm

    Living a Christian faith and lifestyle brings about very up and down days. On the good days, Satan sees us happy and doesn’t like that very much at all- he then tries to ruin that, and tries to distract us from God. Satan always tries to blur your vision of what’s right and often times, we feel that in our daily lives. Once we are grounded in Christ’s word, it allows us to stay rooted even during a storm. I’m so happy that you were able to overcome your down times this week. It’s not always easy following Christ, but it’s rewarding.

    Like

    • kalinann October 6, 2016 / 11:45 pm

      Satan is a strong force to reckon with without God on our side, isn’t he? We’re so very blessed to have God with us when we allow Him to walk and fight beside us!

      Like

  11. GodlyDivaGal October 6, 2016 / 10:29 pm

    Yes – it all comes from God – ALL of it! 🙂

    Like

    • kalinann October 6, 2016 / 11:45 pm

      Amen! We can’t do it with our own strength!

      Like

  12. debolton October 7, 2016 / 11:32 am

    I feel when we stop focussing on the Religionew part of faith and fother us on building the relatinship with Godifferent it allows us to triumph through Him. All things with and through Him.

    Like

    • kalinann October 7, 2016 / 12:47 pm

      The relationship we have with Him is certainly the most important thing! We can have all of the knowledge of religious things, we can follow laws, be a good person, but we have nothing unless we have a relationship and faith!

      Like

  13. tara8910 October 7, 2016 / 12:39 pm

    Our trials really do make us show our true colors. God is there. He understands why we have a hard time and loves us anyway, spurring us on to a deeper relationship with Himself.

    Like

    • kalinann October 7, 2016 / 12:48 pm

      Thanks so much for commenting & reading!

      Like

  14. Carrie Anderson October 7, 2016 / 1:44 pm

    James 1:2-4. Trials perfect us in patience (long-suffering) so that we will be perfect (whole, complete, lacking nothing). Remember Pilgrim’s Progress? Lots of trials before he reached the kingdom. I really learned this lesson for myself through a nasty trial that coincided with a bible study of the Book of James (of course, right?). I would cry out to God, asking why. Why, why, why? What did I do wrong? His response?

    It just is.

    The early church in Acts also suffered trials. Why did I think I should be immune? The lessons we learn. He disciplines those whom He loves 🙂

    Like

    • kalinann October 7, 2016 / 6:00 pm

      Pilgrim’s Progress is one of my absolute favorite books. I love the book Grace Abounding as well, I believe it was by Bunyan, too. It talks a bit about his trials and how he finally got saved and found a strong faith. Such wonderful lessons through those trials! I always wish I was immune to them during the trials, but afterwards, I’m always thankful.

      Like

  15. Jennifer October 7, 2016 / 2:01 pm

    I feel like we all need to learn where our help comes from and that we have to be built from the ground up by our faith. Trials are the bumps we climb on in our path to sanctification. I’m learning this too.

    Like

    • kalinann October 7, 2016 / 6:01 pm

      Very true! I expected for my faith to be strong from the moment I got saved and until I came to the end of my life. I obviously expected trials, but not so many of them! God definitely had to remind me that my strength comes from Him, if I try to rely on myself, I’m gonna be doomed!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. ELIZABETH MARSHALL October 7, 2016 / 4:52 pm

    Wow. Thank you for being so open and sharing where you are on your faith journey. It is wonderful to read how you are working to find that solid foundation each day. Keep it up. Praying for you

    Like

    • kalinann October 7, 2016 / 6:01 pm

      Thank you so much, Elizabeth! Those prayers mean the world!

      Like

  17. Scott LaPierre October 7, 2016 / 5:13 pm

    Hi Kalinann,
    I really appreciate your transparency in this post. I’ve always felt like those who question whether they’re saved are better off than those who never question their salvation. I base this partly off 2 Corinthians 13:5a which says, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.”

    After testing ourselves it seems God wants us confident in our salvation: 1 John 5:13 says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

    Some time back I wrote a post titled, “Am I saved? Six tests to know!” Here’s the link: https://scottlapierre.org/am-i-saved-six-tests-to-know/

    I don’t normally share links to posts in comments. I do here in the hope that looking at those tests encourages you and gives you confidence.

    Like

    • kalinann October 7, 2016 / 6:03 pm

      Thanks so much, Scott! I read your post and loved it. I actually just sent the link to a young woman I know that is struggling with salvation and how to know if you’re really saved, I pray that it will help her! I loved the points you made and how we can back them up with scripture. I’ve honestly never thought of the doubts to be a “good” thing in a way, but you’re right. It’s a reason to examine ourselves and be real, and make sure that we’re not on the wide road! God says that the way is narrow and few find it, and that many are deceived and think that they are saved, but aren’t. I’d much rather have to “double check” than fool myself into thinking I’m saved and being proven wrong on judgement day!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Scott LaPierre October 7, 2016 / 6:06 pm

        Kalinann,
        That blesses me, thank you! I’m very glad my post encouraged you and might encourage your friend too.

        I’ll pray for your friend as well!

        I think your testimony could encourage others. Would you mind sharing some of these thoughts on the post itself? You can put whatever you’d like, including a link back to your post. I hope others might benefit (on the post itself) from the things you’ve said.

        Like

      • kalinann October 7, 2016 / 6:08 pm

        Absolutely! I’m sure she appreciates the prayers. She’s very new to anything involving Christianity or the Bible, and she has been rather shocked at how many Christians have come out of the woodwork to pray for her as she begins this journey!

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Shan Walker (@shanGURUwalker) October 8, 2016 / 9:58 pm

    Wow. Great words. It’s hard for us as God’s children to think about the fact that He allows us to suffer sometimes. Enjoyed this.

    The How-to Guru

    Like

    • kalinann October 9, 2016 / 12:59 am

      Thanks so much for commenting and reading, Shan!

      Like

  19. Tami October 12, 2016 / 12:22 pm

    You have described me almost perfectly. I am finding that I miss that closeness with the Lord and want to get back into His Word and a life of service, as I once was. I’m refreshing to know that I am not alone in my struggle.

    Like

    • kalinann October 12, 2016 / 5:33 pm

      So many people are struggling with this, myself included!

      Like

  20. GodlyDivaGal October 12, 2016 / 4:40 pm

    that’s when our faith is really tested

    Like

  21. Kristi October 17, 2016 / 7:57 am

    God walks with us through these trials to encourage us and keep us focused on Him. I love how he doesn’t waste the difficult times but redeems them for His glory!

    Like

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