As I read a blog titled Why God Repeats by Lori Hatcher two words stood out: training and truth. In my prayer that morning, I expressed all the ways, I felt my training was panning out. I reflected on the ups and downs, the twists and turns, the advances, and the setbacks. I told God I felt His training was hard. I understood, at that moment, the road I am traveling is not the road I chose for myself. I had been chosen and called to this path.
After the birth of my first son, I felt like a statistic. You know, the girl who went to private school, was meek in behavior, and graduated college pregnant. I was young and feeling like I had disappointed the expectations everyone had of me. I was even mocked for having a baby less than a month after graduating college.
I began to doubt my significance even though their expectation of me was not my own. All I knew was once I learned of my pregnancy, something within me awaken. Most would simply say the light bulb came on. I felt a sense of purpose and responsibility. I knew I was to carry my unborn baby and birth him into this world.
With that instruction, everything you could imagine unfolded. From pressure of abortion, an illness I forced doctors to find and treat, a year of college in one semester just to stay on course to graduation, to a birthing process that required medical attention. All of that was training.
I didn’t know, then, that the truth revealed in a dream would require training to experience. God showed me a son standing next to his father on his graduation day. When I awoke, I knew I was pregnant. As a baby believer in Christ, I didn’t know this would be how God would choose to speak to me. I did know I was on a mission. Turns out, I needed that vision. The road was so difficult, the promise felt impossible to reach. God used a pandemic to accomplish the last leg of that promise and my baby boy graduated high school right on schedule. A proud moment for sure.
I set off on a journey with a promise in hand. I had a dream. From the moment of revelation, great tests would come as the journey was training for the promise. God knew the truth; I needed hope. He knew He had to show me hope. He knew that hope would keep me moving my son and I forward. He knew the dream would surely happen.
Truth is, I needed to know how to persevere when faced with impossible tasks, how to overcome when doubt felt more like depression, or how to keep going even when I was misunderstood.
I learned the finish line is the place where the new begins. At the end of something old, the training in transition would equip me with tools for the new. I have learned how to hold on to truth as I travel the roads set before me. I encourage you today to hold on to whatever is true while you are training in transition. Your new will be your next!
I leave you with the scripture that Lori left for her readers: Matthew 5:3-11. New International Version reads as follows. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Have you ever felt lost, overwhelmed, or grown tired during different seasons of your journey? Have you ever felt like you’ve done all you know to do and things STILL did not pan out?
You are not alone. You are equipped with the power needed for each leg of your life’s journey.
As we walk in our purpose, we will endure a variety of tests and pruning experiences that serve the plan and destiny set for our lives.
Exercising our power is crucial in becoming the best version of ourselves, positively empowering others, and transitioning to the next levels in life.
When I think of the word power, I often feel empowered. However on days when my strength is low, I scowl at it only because I know, deep down, it is also my personal responsibility. I am responsible for tapping into and utilizing my power, whether that means affirming myself, journaling promises, or empowering others in their time of need.
Power a necessary component of faith and hope. It is the ventilator when you need help to breathe. It is the resuscitator when your heart is failing. It is the energy to believe even when your dreams and promises seem to die. It is a tool best used for a life well-lived.
Most often, it is in the middle, the time between the promise and its manifestation, where we find ourselves wrestling with patiently waiting as time ticks by. Our circumstances or conditions may cause us to struggle with staying rooted in faith. We may cave into feelings of frustration or loneliness or worry about what we lack. There may be times we cry out, get angry, or give up.
This is when tapping into our power is essential to HOW we wait. How we wait is just as important as what we do WHEN we wait.
We all have our moments that challenge our persistence to keep on keeping on. I can count the times I have fought the urge to give in and quit.
Perseverance is a skill best flexed during these very moments. It is in the moments you don’t quit, you WIN!
You may not feel like you’re winning but you are! Think about it. Why are the blows coming faster or harder? It’s because the enemy sees you’re not going to quit. You’re not going to let go of the promise, your hope, or your faith.
This is you winning! Each time you give thanks, refuse negative thoughts, or never cease to pray you’re winning.
We must also remember some of the issues we’re facing are situational messes we’ve created. While our creator is making the way straight, we are called to perseverance to receive the restoration, blessing, or miracles He is preparing.
“Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking nothing.”
James 1: 2-4
I’m a mom of two boys. One will be 20 in a few weeks then the other will turn 10. The age gap is so big! At this point, I’m either a pro or I’ve forgotten what to do (lol). When my youngest son was learning to ride his “big boy bike”, as he called it, peddling was very difficult. I knew that peddling is the “power” needed to ride a bike. However, a few days in, I noticed he was getting stronger and he was continuously peddling without many boosts of speed from me.
I had an aha moment! I challenged him to go FASTER. He was so content and confident peddling without my help yet there I go upping the ante.
Now to put this in context, his bike had training wheels and I was walking very close to him. He fell once but I was so close I caught him BEFORE he technically fell. In other words, I caught him once he began to lean too far.
I began to compliment him on his ability to steer and peddle. Then I hit him with it. “GO! GO faster Braylon!” He began to wobble just hearing my challenge as he began to panic.
I quickly responded, “You’re not going to fall. I am here to catch you if you do. The last time I caught you, I’m not going to let you fall. Just GO!” At that very moment, I felt a soft conviction in my spirit.
How many times has God affirmed He was there with us? I mean CLOSE beside us? How many times has He reassured us we are not alone? How many times did He say go but we were stuck in a place of fear or content and comfortable with the path we’re on or in the habits we’ve grown accustomed to?
I thought to myself. I am His child and He is my Father. Not only do I have my training wheels (His word), but I also have my Father’s presence walking very close beside me. Like Braylon, I was terrified of falling or falling short. All along He’s telling me to GO and to not be afraid.
Then I felt this impression. “I haven’t let you fall. I have not let any of my children fall.” We think we’ve fallen but even at our lowest times, we have never seen that fallen place because Christ took our place. He gives us this promise in Psalm 37:24.
“Though they stumble, they will never fall for the Lord holds them by the hand.” (New Living Translation)
That means in your day-to-day life you can and will experience His goodness by exercising your power.
When we are obedient and walk in faith, we trust Him with things and people most dear and we allow Him the opportunity to work in us a new heart and a renewed mind.
Even if we fall short, He is still there beside us, guiding us, affirming us, and keeping His word. Whatever God has called you to submit, do, or change, be willing. Never forget His word will stand and accomplish what it was sent out to do.
( W ) WARFARE
Nothing worth having comes easy. Warfare comes when there is something of value to gain. Our most valuable treasures are faith, hope, and love. Don’t be deceived! It is not our jobs, cars, homes, money, etc.
Think about it! Through our faith, we believe we will be healed, meet a significant other, or walk through opened doors of opportunity.
Hope is the muscle of faith. It’s the super-buff bodyguard that protects all that we believe God has promised us. It is what transfers power to us when we are weak. It is vital during times when our faith is being stretched and tested.
Distractions, delays, and set-backs are not denials from God nor evidence that God has changed His mind. Warfare teaches us that God is faithful. It teaches us that we don’t have to know how things will work out. When we look back in reflection, we can see situations that worked out when we did not know how they would.
Warfare can come when we are doing what is right! There’s something valuable the enemy is trying to prevent. It may be that God will use you to reach people, about to give instructions to you, or about to show His faithfulness.
The enemy would love for you to believe that every time you experience issues or setbacks it’s because you’re doing something wrong, God has abandoned you, or your prayers are not heard. All lies! You can be walking smack dead in the center of God’s will and be attacked!
Even if and when we are in situations we create, He still loves us and will protect us. With a turned heart, He will sort out our messes. Why? Because He’s our creator and father. What loving parent would not stand up for or help when their child is in trouble? None! Our Heavenly Father is the same and that much more!
“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-though your faith is far more precious than mere gold.”
1 Peter 1:6-7
1 Peter 1:6-7 serves as a reminder of the joy God so wants us to have and hold dear. God fully understands the world we live in. He knows we face situations and people (including our mindset) that can rob us of our joy. Whether we see it or not, joy is set before us.
If you’ve been praying and your answer is NO, understand there’s a better solution or route you may not have thought about or even have the knowledge to comprehend.
If your answer is to wait, this is a perfect way to build your trust in God’s plan and His ways. Waiting could also prevent you from making a bigger mess out of the situation or relationship.
If your answer is yes then you are to rest in joyful expectation and patience. Embrace it and continue to allow Him to work on your behalf. No matter your answer the message is the same. Joy is always set before us!
Whenever we face difficulties we have the confidence of remembrance. Think back on His faithfulness. Think on the times He brought you out or when He blessed you despite your circumstances. Then use that as evidence that He will do what He speaks.
(R) REAPING THE PROMISES
“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (New Living Translation)
Great news! We don’t have to get to Heaven just to see God’s goodness! This is refreshing! Growing up, many sermons were fashioned around our next chapter (Heaven). I rarely remember sermons of the here and now. Now that I am an adult, I am exposed to and seek out messages about living out my best days while I am here on Earth.
We have specific instructions that our promises (blessings) and promised places require. Every step we take brings us closer. No matter if our steps seem to go backward, forward very slowly, or in the “wrong” direction. God knows how to direct our steps.
There will be a time when there will be one LAST step to take.Think about it. Seriously think about it. What if you are one final step away from receiving a long-awaited promise or arriving at your promised place? Take that step!
Trust that your last step is coming. Do not quit in the middle. Tap into your POWER.
Perseverance….hang in there.
Obedience….the key to unlock your next level.
Warfare….the weapons will not prosper.
Encouragement….what you say to you matters.
Reaping….God’s promises will manifest.
I leave you with this promise. Hebrews 10 35-36 “So do not throw away your confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.”