As I fell into bed on Sunday night, a scary prayer came to mind: “Jesus, are you even real?” Because if you’re not real, I might just be one of those crazy church ladies. And by the way, how is it that the same woman who gave this morning’s message at church is wondering tonight if You’re real?”
I thought back over the roller coaster weekend that left my heart overwhelmed. I’d tried not to look at bedroom dust bunnies and unwiped kitchen counters as I prepared the message for Sunday morning. I’d taken frequent breaks to talk with my two teens; both were struggling with significant issues. I’d also wondered what woman in her right mind would volunteer to speak two Sundays in one month?
That night I drifted off to sleep asking, “How are you going to answer this prayer anyway, Jesus? Do you even hear me?”
Monday morning I opened my Bible, and these words spoke loud and clear:
Two hours later I came across the same words again. I knew Jesus was answering my prayer from the night before. He wanted to remind me of two things:
1. He has words of eternal life.
I realize much of my prayer life consists of talking at God. “Help my teen girl navigate heartbreak.” “Give me peace in this traffic jam.” “Help me meet this deadline.” “Jesus, can you just help me make dinner???”
Rarely do I stop to listen to God, but when I do, it makes all the difference. Because when I stop to listen, I hear His voice, and I know He’s with me.
When we pause a moment to pay attention to God’s presence or listen for His voice, our hearts are encouraged. When we take a few minutes to read His words in scripture, they spark faith and hope in us. His words of eternal life strengthen our hearts.
2. I have come to believe and to know.
Doubt knocks at my door more often then I care to admit. Yet when I look at what God has done in my life, it’s impossible not to believe He is there and He is for me. My heart takes courage when I remember His goodness:
- God healed me from rheumatoid arthritis 25 years ago. Walking without pain is a gift.
- God provided the last $600 my son needed for a mission trip. He did this out of the blue, after my son realized he could do nothing else but pray.
- God shines all over my 17 year old girl’s face as she tells me over breakfast she’s choosing life today.
- God has given my husband and me a vibrant, loving community of believers, six years after we started the heart-breaking work of church planting in a spiritual desert. If that’s not a miracle, I don’t know what is.
Friend, I don’t know what’s on your plate today, but if you’re like me, you need to have your heart strengthened once in a while.
What scriptures encourage your faith? How about calling one to mind? What good things has God done for you that make you say, “I know He’s real and He’s for me?”
Our hearts are strengthened when we take time to listen for God’s voice and read His Word. Our faith grows when we remember the good things He’s done for us.
Now it’s your turn: What’s a favorite scriptures that encourages you? What has God has done for you lately?