The prayer was prayed, “Increase my faith.” And from that day, it seems God ordered a stress test for many days.
I was given exhortation from His word to start off: If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small. (1)
My flesh wanted to go back to bed and never leave, but my feet followed orders that said, “Get up. Just breathe!”
“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?”(2)
This is the Word after my prayer I did read. The question to myself was, “Is this encouragement? I can hear the stampede.”
So, in seeking wisdom, I turn to Proverbs 3, So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine.
“Yes Lord, yes. That this, will all be mine.” But what comes next in the black and white text:
My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loath His reproof, For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights . . .
Is that really what comes next? Is this all included in my “Increase my faith,” request?
“Good-night!” No wonder our flesh so often wants to turn off the Light.
But I open an ERV version with a search engine, of the next verse to see. Did we even know there is a version of the Bible titled, Easy-to-Read?
I pray, “Dear Lord, let this be some kind of encouragement to me.”
We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and he is the one who makes our faith complete. He suffered death on a cross. But he accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy he could see waiting for him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne.
Think about Jesus. He patiently endured the angry insults that sinful people were shouting at him. Think about him so that you won’t get discouraged and stop trying. (4)
OK, Hebrews 12, has me “think about Jesus,” instead of myself, that I might stop my deep sighing.
So, hopping around with the theme “Perseverance,” I’m instructed to turn to 1 Peter 4. Of course I turn there, because I need all the help I can get to keep from sighing again and to take the next step.
If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.(5)
And “Amen,” is easy to repeat, “Amen.” but then I keep reading in 1 Peter again: Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (6)
Increase my faith as I watch You, dear Lord, fully trust and rest in Your Father as You endured the cross for me.
Faith will bring me to victory.
Step by step, in weakness I rise, but I will set my eyes on You Lord Jesus, that is how I will win the prize.
(1) Proverbs 24:10
(2) Jeremiah 12:5
(3) Proverbs 3:10-12
(4) Hebrews 12:2-4
(5) 1 Peter 4:11
(6) 1 Peter 4:11-13