Flowing Faith

March 20, 2018
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

From Emptiness to Fulfillment

From emptiness to fullfillmentIf you look for fulfillment in yourself, eventually you will be disappointed. And that’s the opposite of what the popular kids in the world tell you. Somehow we are to find ourselves by looking into our hearts. That’s not how it works in my experience. Instead, when you’re tired, all you can find in yourself is emptiness. Not happiness, not fulfillment, not purpose. But emptiness. And that’s why so many people turn into some kind of drug, whether it is work, sex, alcohol, you name it to find fulfillment. Yet it does not work.

You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes! (Haggai 1:6, NLT)

From emptiness…

We are empty shells looking for fulfillment and meaning but it’s not to be found within ourselves. A new car, wardrobe or boy/girlfriend won’t do it either. They might distract you for awhile but then you’re back at it again: staring at your emptiness. That empty feeling that nothing but God can fill is your best friend. And this is something most of the people don’t want to hear. Because they don’t want to need anybody. They insist on finding all they ever need in themselves or the places the advertisers send them off racing. So sad. Especially when the answer is right there all along. Jesus is patiently waiting for us to turn to him.

For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. (1 Peter 1:18-19, NLT, emphasis added)

…to fulfillment

Let’s not waste what Jesus did for us. It’s time to learn how to relate to Jesus on daily basis and how Jesus can be our everything. The Holy Spirit is calling you to come to Jesus. Turn to him. Pray. Read scriptures. Ask God to show what it means in your life. Then put it in practice. Listen to God’s voice (learn to recognize it so the enemy can’t trig you into believing lies to erode your faith). Ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit.

Then watch and see how your emptiness evaporates away. You’re meant to live your life with God, not alone. And life with God is a fulfilling one. As A.W. Tozer put it “to seek Christ does not narrow one’s life, rather it brings it to the level of highest possible fulfillment”. So say goodbye to emptiness and hello to true fulfillment in Christ Jesus.


Gracious God,
Forgive us for thinking we could ever find
fulfillment anywhere else but in you.
Come and fill every nook of our hearts.
Teach us how to live our daily lives with you.
Thank you for your constant love and grace.
Be praised forever and ever!
In Jesus’ name,

Q4U: Have you found your way from emptiness to fulfillment?

Be blessed my fellow pilgrim as you embrace Jesus for true fulfillment!

Photo courtesy of Nadim Merrikh via unsplash.com I am linking up with #tellhisstory.

March 16, 2018
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

God Provides

God providesSome people say God’s provision is not true. I disagree. Some people say God will make you rich. I disagree with that as well. God does not promise anywhere in the Bible he’d give all you want. But has promised to take care of us and give us all we need. There’s a huge difference. God provides for what we need, not for what we want.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19, NIV,*)

God provides salvation

The most amazing thing God provides for us is salvation. He sent his only son to die for us. This is game-changing because there’s no other way we could ever be made right with God, only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation is God’s gifts to us, there’s nothing we can do to earn it. It’s God’s provision from start to finish.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1:3, NIV, emphasis added,*)

Even salvation is not all God provides for us. He also takes care of us, protects and blesses us according to his plan for us. We might not always be able to see how God provides nonetheless it’s true. He is not so much interested in material blessings but he will provide spiritual blessings to all who believe in Jesus. We will be flooded with his peace, his love, his grace, his joy, his hope, his strength, his wisdom and anything else we need to  make it home to heaven our spirits intact. Our God is such a good father.

What we need most

What then do we need most on our faith journey? We need God himself, we need Jesus. That’s why we are called to pray, to spend time in his presence. Because he is what we need most. We might not realize it but when we have Jesus, we have everything we ever need. When Jesus is with us, heaven is already within us.


Gracious God,
Forgive us for thinking either you could not provide for us
or you should provide everything for us.
Open our spiritual eyes to see how you do provide for us.
Thank you for providing us the way back to you in Jesus and
thank you for always being with us
because it is YOU who we need most.
Enable us to truly enjoy your presence all of our days.
In Jesus’ name,

Q4U: Do you believe in God’s provision? How does God provide for you?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you trust God to take care of you!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses toBiblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].

Photo by Diana Simumpande on Unsplash. Linking up today with Dance with JesusFive-minute Friday. (Okay, this was supposed to be a five-minute post but I forgot it once I started writing. Sorry!)

March 13, 2018
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

Be Strong in Jesus and Pray Hard

Be strong in Jesus and pray hard - flowingfaith.comNo matter what you’re facing, be strong in Jesus and pray hard. You might ask, what does it mean to be strong in Christ? Such a good question. It means you draw strength from Jesus, not from your own resources. And as we know his resources are limitless. Hence we are both encouraged and empowered at the same time. Then we are ready to move on to praying hard.

In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. (Eph.6:10, AMP)

Be strong in Jesus and pray hard

Just like we need strength from Jesus to continue to strive in life, we need the power of the Holy Spirit to pray hard and without ceasing. And that is according to the Bible our calling: to be devoted to prayer and intercede on the behalf of all believers everywhere. And even that is not all: the whole wide world needs prayers for their salvation too.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. (Eph. 6:18, NLT)

We have not been put here on earth for fun and games only. We have a high calling to live like Jesus, for God’s glory. So we need to learn to pray like Jesus. And that is a tall order. Truthfully, we won’t get there on our own but when we draw strength from Jesus and power from the Holy Spirit, we can devote ourselves to prayer like Jesus.

Prayers change history with God

Prayer is a blessed and powerful way to be co-workers with God. You see, we have a living, prayer-hearing, miracle-making God who wants to hear from us. We are to be strong in Jesus and pray hard. That is the way to change history with God. With the words of Charles Spurgeon “True prayer is neither a mere mental exercise nor a vocal performance. It is far deeper than that – it is spiritual transaction with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.”

Indeed, we have a high calling to be devoted to prayer. How this works out in your life is between you and God. But there’s no question about your calling is to be strong in God and pray hard. It is both a privilege and an honor. You see, prayer is at the same time the sweet spot for us to experience heaven on earth for a few moments but it is also a power-tool to change history with God. Let’s not forget that. And let’s get on with it: let us pray.


Gracious God,
You’ve called us to be strong in Jesus and pray hard,
not on our own strength
but by drawing strength from Jesus
and being empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Thank you for entrusting us with such a high calling,
enable us to be devoted to prayer
and your salvation plan for the whole world.
Inspire and ignite our Spirit for your service.
In Jesus’ name,

Q4U: Are you strong in Jesus and devoted to prayer? What are your best tips?

Be blessed my fellow pilgrim as you draw strength from Jesus and devote yourself to prayer!

Photo by Natalia Figueredo on Unsplash. Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash. I am linking up with #tellhisstory.

March 9, 2018
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

Good News for Tired and Weary

Good News for Tired and WearyAre you tired and weary? Does it feel overwhelming just to think of doing any good deeds? Do you know what? It’s time to rest. And the best place for resting is in God’s arms. Yes, we are called to do good deeds but God does not send the ones who are tired and weary out. He calls them to come and rest in him. Later on, when you’ve recovered he will send you out again. But not before you’re well rested and filled with his peace, power, and grace.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28, NIV,*)

Good News for Tired and Weary

There’s no other place we can fully rest than in God’s grace. Also, there’re no worries about burdening God. You see, sometimes we don’t want to burden other people with our issues because we are not sure if they can take it. But there is no reason to think that about God. He does not ever become tired or grow weary. That’s why he can always help us by giving power to the weak and strength to the powerless. God can revive the exhausted, even you. 

Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
(Isaiah:40:28-29, NIV, emphasis added,*)

Just come to Jesus

When you are in God’s hands, you’re in a good place indeed. It’s safe to unload all you have to him. God’s understanding is beyond human reach so give him the freedom to work in you as he sees best. He knows what you need and he is ready to give it to you. Just come to Jesus as weary or tired you are and let him take care of you. Only Jesus can offer the help you really need. He will restore your soul and he will empower you to continue your faith journey.

I’ve often wondered how God does his restoration work in us. But it remains a mystery. I can only attest that it really works. Time after time I’ve experienced it. Unfortunately, it took me years to figure out that I do need to recharge myself in Jesus at least as regularly as I need to recharge my cell phone. You see, I am fully dependent on God’s grace to empower me to function well. Blessedly, that’s exactly how God wants me to live. Jesus and I, we form a blessed union: I give him my sin, my weariness, my ugliness and he gives me his grace, his strength, his beauty. Talk about being blessed.


Let us pray

Gracious God,
You are so good to us,
you provide everything to us
yet all you want are our hearts.
We give them to you, Lord,
we give you our everything.
Restore us to bring you glory.
In Jesus’ precious name,

Q4U: Are you tired or weary? Do you know how to be restored?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you come to Jesus for rest!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses toBiblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].

Photo by Matthew Kane on Unsplash. Linking up today with Dance with JesusFive-minute Friday. (Okay, this was supposed to be a five-minute post but I forgot it once I started writing. Sorry!)

March 6, 2018
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

Experience the Joy of Your Faith

Experiencing the joy of your faithUnfortunately, people don’t think God is joyful. And by believing that they deprive themselves true joy. You see, God is joy and all joy derives from him. Somehow people have convinced themselves the opposite like God would want us to be miserable. But you could not be further from the truth. God wants you to be joyful. Not artificially but thoroughly joyful with every fiber of your being. Joy is possible because of God even in dark seasons of our lives. It is the essence of Christian living. So learn to experience the joy of your faith.

I have told you these things so that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy may be made full and complete and overflowing. (John 15:11, AMP, emphasis added)

Experience the joy of your faith

If God has meant you to be joyful, don’t live your life without experiencing the joy of your faith. Don’t get so adult or religious that there is no joy left in you. Because then you’re missing the blessing of your faith: God’s joy and delight in you and your delight and joy in him.

Joy indeed comes from the Lord. When we abide in Jesus, joy is transfused into us. Hence joy is God in us. That’s why joy is an essential part of Christian experience. So don’t hesitate to grow and experience the joy of your faith.

Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith(Fil. 1:25, NLT, emphasis added)

Isn’t it lovely that God wants us to move forward and learn to find increasing joy in our faith? That’s our goal in Christian living. Because the more we delight ourselves in the Lord, the more we become what God wants us to be. And joyfulness is a big part of it. Everything God does is also marked by joy. 

What if I don’t feel joyful?

If you do not feel that joyful in the midst of the chaos of your everyday life, crawl into the arms of Jesus. Joy comes from the Lord, it’s not something we can produce (like we can’t produce any other spiritual fruit either). When you feel joyless, let Jesus minister to you. The more we abide in Jesus, the more joyful we become. That’s because God is committed to bringing you joy in him. Not frivolous or mindless fun but honest-to-goodness joy in him. God truly is interested in you and your well-being. This is not about you forcing positiveness but you receiving joy as another gift from God. So let us receive it and rejoice!


Gracious God,
Your love for us is beyond our wildest dreams.
Thank you for wanting our best,
desiring us to rejoice in you.
Help us to dare to seek joy in you.
Take away anything that hinders us rejoicing in you.
Show us what it means to be joyful always.
Make us joyful just like you and
enable us to share your joy with others.
In Jesus’ name,

Q4U: Do you experience the joy of your faith? How?

Be blessed my fellow pilgrim as you seek God and truly experience the joy of your faith!

Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash. I am linking up with #tellhisstory.

March 2, 2018
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

Grace in Practice

Grace in practice - flowingfaith.comWe can waste so much time on regretting things or wishing things were different. Or we might live in continual shame that incapacitates us, keeps us from becoming what we were meant to be. So if you’ve ever heard of God being merciful for his children, it’s time to put grace in practice. And if you haven’t heard about grace, it’s about time somebody tells you the good news of Jesus Christ. You see, grace is not a dogma to believe but God’s power working in you.

If you have any regrets, sins, shame, failures, come to the cross of Jesus. Ask for forgiveness and then receive it in Jesus’ name. Don’t run away too fast either, ask for so much grace that you can finally let go of all your guilt, shame, and regrets. Because only grace can do that for you.

Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment]. (Hebr. 4:16, AMP,*)

Grace in practice…

How does it work? How can we put grace in practice? It’s very simple really. We just live by faith and not by sight. We believe what God says in the Bible and stake our lives on it. This means we believe God means what he says: we are forgiven by grace and we have abundant hope in Jesus. Hence we rejoice: we are free and we are loved. And when we give our regrets and shame and anything else that bothers us to Jesus, we believe that he makes something good out of them.

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. (Romans 8:28, AMP,*)

…changes us

Grace truly changes things in our lives. When grace operates in our lives, it is the divine power that works within us. The past we thought had ruined everything for us, becomes instead building material for God to create something beautiful out of it. God will use our past to form a much better future for us.

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. (Eph. 1:19-20, NLT,*)

The same power that raised Christ from the dead is in operation also in our lives. How awesome is that? When we put grace in practice, shame is not anymore a stumbling block but it changes into a stepping stone instead. Only by God’s grace, our regrets do not anymore suck out all our energy but they become fuel for the future. Grace means all our mistakes, regrets, failures and shame will be changed to serve God. Hence let them go. Let God use them for his glory. Good riddance. And hallelujah!


Gracious God,
You are always more than we need,
thank you for your love and grace.
Thank you for not leaving us to live in shame.
Forgive us, Lord, and pour out grace upon grace.
Help us let go of our past and give it to you.
Create something beautiful out of our failures and regrets.
Use our past for your glory, make it shine for you.
In Jesus’ name,

Q4U: How do you put grace in practice?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace grace as the empowering gift God meant it to be!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses toBiblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].

.Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash Linking up today with Dance with JesusFive-minute Friday. (Okay, this was supposed to be a five-minute post but I forgot it once I started writing. Sorry!)

February 27, 2018
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

Little Is Much when Jesus Is in It

Little is much when Jesus is in it - flowingfaith.comSometimes we frown on our lives because they are too plain or small to our liking. Like big and bold would somehow be the only acceptable way to live. I disagree. One’s rowdiness, or even successfulness, does not necessarily produce a meaningful life. And the amount of attention you get does not tell the value of your life. Because your value comes from the Lord, not from the size of your following or popularity. The world might differ but little is much when Jesus is in it.

Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love (Eph. 1:4, MSG).

Your value comes from the Lord

Did you know your value is full and complete right now just as you are? Your value does not change depending on how productive or unproductive you are in your life. Every life is valued the same. You can’t earn it, it’s a gift to you. The value of your life is non-negotiable. You’ve been made by God and into his image and your value is beyond any charts.

You are valuable no matter how plain or small your life is.
And you are loved no matter how you feel about yourself.

How to become more?

But what if you’d like to increase your influence anyhow? Just know that becoming more does not happen by trying more. The secret to becoming more is in surrender. I know, surrender is most likely the last thing you associate with becoming more. But it is so in God’s kingdom.

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:24-25, NIV)

Little is much when Jesus is in it

You might be surprised how much God’s power enlarges your life. Jesus fed thousands with the little boy’s lunch. Little is much when Jesus is in it. It’s not about you but about Jesus in you. Our job is to surrender to Jesus daily and he will enlarge our territories and influence and anything else needs to be done. In God’s time and in God’s way, of course. When we surrender to Jesus, little becomes much, much more.

So don’t worry about how plain or simple your life is, just give it to Jesus. Don’t compare yourself to others, that’s devil’s business. Just embrace Jesus daily and let him use his power in your life. He can do so much more with your life than you ever could. Little is much when Jesus is it.


Gracious God,
Your love is astronomical and astonishing.
And you love us just as we are
yet you want so much more for us.
Thank you, it’s not about us but you in us.
Let your Spirit blow in and through us as you wish.
We surrender to you and eagerly wait how you will use us.
In Jesus’ name,

Q4U: What do you think? Is surrender the way to a meaningful life? Do you think little is much when Jesus is in it?

Be blessed my fellow pilgrim as you embrace God and what he is doing in your life!

Photo by Aditya Romansa on Unsplash. I am linking up with #tellhisstory.

February 23, 2018
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

God Is the Source of All Beauty

God is the source of all beautyBeauty – how do you define it? It’s a hard task, isn’t it? Beauty is much more than just loveliness. In some ways, I think, we can intuitively sense beauty is something other-worldly or heavenly. Maybe a better question would be: how does encountering beauty make you feel? Or what or who does beauty remind you of? These questions would lead you more towards the source of beauty.

God is the source of all beauty

In the matters of beauty I’ve been inspired by Steve DeWitt’s great book Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything. He points out that in essence, God is the source of all beauty and goodness. DeWitt states, “Beauty boomerangs from God into created beauty, then through the senses and soul of the image-bearer, and finally back to God with praise and glory.”

For from Him [all things originate] and through Him [all things live and exist] and to Him are all things [directed]. To Him be glory and honor forever! Amen. (Romans 11:36, AMP,*)

DeWitt paints with his words a beautiful picture of God’s perfect beauty: “God’s beauty is the bouquet of His perfections in His person, unveiled in His purposes, and displayed in His glory.” God’s beauty is indeed so much more we can imagine. God’s beauty is him, his holiness, his loving-kindness surrounding us. Whenever we encounter beauty in any form, it reminds us of the source of all beauty.

Nature is God’s self-portrait

I find DeWitt’s idea of nature as God’s self-portrait intriguing. Through nature, God helps us to get to know him. “It [nature] is not God, since God transcends what He has created, but it reveals in physical form what He is like spiritually. God creates beauty so we can know what He is like. Since He is and always has been glorious and beautiful, creation reflects this with seeable, tastable, touchable, hearable, and smellable reflections of His glory and beauty.”

“Holy, holy, holy is the LordAlmighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”
(Isaiah 6:3, NIV,*)

God created beauty for purpose

DeWitt states God created beauty to give us the experience of wonder and ultimately to worship. Hence, he writes “Beauty is both a gift and a map. It is a gift to be enjoyed and a map to be followed back to the source of the beauty with praise and thanksgiving.” And that’s what we should do whenever we encounter beauty anywhere. We should give thanks and praise to God for providing and creating it but also for our pleasure in experiencing it.

God is an awesome father who gives to his children in so many ways, beauty being one of them. And there’s beauty even in brokenness. So let’s keep our eyes open for his glory, for his beauty in all forms. And let’s ask him to make us more like him. Holy and beautiful.


Dear God,
Thank you for blessing us
with your beauty and goodness.
Surround us with your radiant love
and inspiring beauty.
Open our eyes to see more of you
and get to know you better.
Make us more like you,
holy and beautiful.
In Jesus’ name,

Q4U: How does beauty make you feel? Do you recognize God in beauty?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you look for God’s beauty around you!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses toBiblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].

Photo by Simon Matzinger on Unsplash Linking up today with Dance with JesusFive-minute Friday.

February 20, 2018
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
1 Comment

Unsuspected Enemies of Growing in Faith

Unsuspected Enemies of Growing in Faith - flowingfaith.comDo you want to grow in your faith? I think that is what we all want. But we might not want what it takes to make it happen. We’d like to get the benefits of a mature faith but we’re not willing to sacrifice for it. Or we’re not ready to wait for years while obediently keeping on doing what’s required. Craving instant gratification is an enemy of spiritual growth for sure. So is pampering yourself in comfort.

Unsuspected enemies …

Ouch. That’s what I thought when I read this John Ortberg quote “The decision to grow always involves a choice between risk and comfort. This means that to be a follower of Jesus you must renounce comfort as the ultimate value of your life.” Isn’t safety and comfort exactly what we seek in this life? We want that comfy feeling. Happiness, we call it. God sees it differently. Comfort and spiritual laziness are unsuspected enemies of growing in faith. That’s why God is calling us out of stupor and offering us something more. Better. Bigger. Bolder.

Growing in faith involves a choice between risk and comfort. Following Jesus requires us moving our feet in the direction chosen by God. And especially it does not mean staying put in your own bubble. Faith is not needed in doing the same old, same old over and over again. Hence faith does not grow.

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience. (Col.1:9-11, NIV)

… of growing in faith

So what should we do? How could we renounce comfort as the ultimate value of our life? The first step is to notice the power comfort has in our lives. And the second step is to bring it to God in prayer. Over and over again. I believe surrendering to Jesus has to happen every morning like we had never surrendered before. Otherwise, we take the reigns and stay in comfort.

Only when we live in the Spirit, we are bold enough to take the risk to truly follow Jesus into the unknown territories of life. When we dare to take risks for Jesus, our faith is stretched and it grows. So don’t live without prayer, without surrender, without the Holy Spirit lifting you up and installing boldness and empowering grace in you. Your life is not meant to be boring and repetitive. It’s meant to be an adventure more beautiful and exciting than anything in your boldest dreams.


Gracious God,
Forgive us worshipping comfort.
Help us to renounce comfort as our ultimate life value.
It’s YOU we want, it’s spiritual growth we desire.
We surrender to you, Lord.
Fill us with your Spirit and
make us daring and bold for you.
Enable us to live lives you’ve designed for us
and keep on growing in faith.
In Jesus’ name,

Q4U: Is comfort the ultimate value of your life? Or are you growing in faith?

Be blessed my fellow pilgrim as you dare to step out of your comfort zone in order of growing in faith!

Photo by Stephen Di Donato on Unsplash. I am linking up with #tellhisstory.

February 16, 2018
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

How to Be Prepared for Tough Times

prepared for tough times - flowingfaith.comOften we have big why questions when horrible things happen. But that question does not help us to deal with disasters. Because we can’t understand why certain things happen. Some of the evil things are caused by humans, directly or indirectly. But there are a lot of mysterious, inexplicable suffering in the world too. Whatever the cause of the current suffering is, taking it all in is taxing. Then it’s just time to lean on God, trust Him for seeing us through these hardships. But there are ways how we can become prepared for tough times. Let’s find out.

The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. (Hebrews 11:1, MSG, emphasis added,*)

How to be prepared for tough times

So when disasters strike, there’s no time to learn to handle them. The learning needs to happen beforehand. If we want to learn to handle tough times, we need to dig deeper into faith. Because our faith is our handle on what we can’t see. We need to find out why we believe what we believe and why we live or what’s our ultimate purpose in this life. So when tough times arrive next time, we don’t need to be paralyzed with fear or spend time speculating why something happened. We can move on to deal with the reality based on our beliefs that we have tested beforehand. Hence the best way to be prepared for tough times is to know 1) why you really believe in Jesus and 2) why you live, what’s your purpose.

Every God-begotten person conquers the world’s ways. The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith. The person who wins out over the world’s ways is simply the one who believes Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:4-5, MSG,*)

I would have never chosen my hardships but through them, I found out faith really works. And having a war-tested faith gives you boldness to live because you know from a first-hand experience that God will see you through no matter what happens. That’s our God. He can change even the bad in our lives into good if we let him take over. I believe in Jesus because he has proven to me that he will never leave me nor forsake me. When you know why you believe in Jesus, nothing will shake your faith either.

Our purpose is to glorify God in all we do

What gives me the confidence to keep on keeping on when things get tough, you ask. Sure, I’ve learned that God knows the big picture and is working behind the scenes. I can trust him to be good even when it does not look like it. But this faith, this trust is not all I have. I’ve also learned the purpose of my existence is not just to have fun but to glorify God. And that changes the game for me, that makes me prepared for tough times.

So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ. (2 Tess. 1:11-12, NLT,*)

I don’t need to understand what’s happening or why it is happening

But I do need to truly know God is good all the time and he will see me through anything and everything. Meanwhile, I can bring glory to God with my actions. I am God’s beloved and he has called me to share his love with others. Hence I know why I live. That gives me the incentive to keep on keeping on even when nothing makes sense. And God will provide me everything I need to accomplish all the good thing my faith prompts me to do. In the end, it’s all about letting God fill us with his grace. Then when we are weak, his grace makes us strong. When we are clueless, he gives us wisdom. And when we are helpless, he comes to our aid. Hence we are always blessed. Even if the world is shaking around us, Jesus is our peace. Hence we can be at peace at all times.

Gracious God,
Help us to learn to lean on you
when things get tough.
Instill in us unwavering faith and trust in you
so that when things get tough,
we can keep on praising you.
We want to bring glory to you, Lord.
Be our strength, be our wisdom, be our everything.
In Jesus’ name,

Q4U: Are you prepared for tough times? How do you handle hardships?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you dig deeper into faith to be prepared for tough times!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses toBiblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].

Photo by Mikael Kristenson on Unsplash. Linking up today with Dance with JesusFive-minute Friday. (Okay, this was supposed to be a five-minute post but I forgot it once I started writing. Sorry!)

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