As You Begin 2014, Why Not Make A Resolution To Strengthen Your Life In The Word Of God, So You Can Stand Firm In Faith Even When The Winds Of Adversity Blow.
There’s nothing like the beginning of a new year to inspire people to make some needed changes in their lives. One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is a commitment to become physically fit. There’s nothing wrong with this aspiration, but in 1 Timothy 4:8, Paul points us to a higher goal, “For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
A truly strong life is not displayed externally but internally. Instead of body building, we should focus on becoming spiritually strong. In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus told a story that illustrates the difference between a strong life and a weak life. He said those who are wise build their lives upon the rock of hearing and applying God’s Word. But those who merely hear the Word and never act upon it are building upon shifting sand.
Both of these lives looks pretty stable on the outside—as long as the weather is good. But the true test of strength occurs when storms come. The way we respond to hardship, trouble, suffering, and disappointment reveals whether or not we’ve built on the rock of obedience to Christ’s words. Those who have no firm foundation quickly succumb to doubts because they don’t understand why God would allow these difficulties into their lives. Often they feel overwhelmed and are filled with fear, anger, self-pity, or discouragement.
This year may bring a few storms into your life—most of them will probably be small, but perhaps one or two will greatly challenge your faith. As you begin 2014, why not make a resolution to strengthen your life so you can stand firm in faith even when the winds of adversity blow? The time to begin building on a sure foundation of biblical application is not in the midst of the storm but every day as you choose to live in obedience to Christ and the principles found in His Word.
A strong life is committed to knowing and applying God’s Word. The Bible is our most treasured possession because it’s the Lord’s voice speaking directly to His people. That’s where we gain His perspective, come to understand His purposes, and receive His guidance. But just knowing what God says won’t make us strong. We have to actually do what He says (James 1:22). Obeying the Lord should be the norm in our lives, not the exception.
We’re strengthened when we make prayer a priority. This is our connecting point with the Lord and the means for nourishing our relationship with Him (Ps. 5:3). I’m not talking about merely bringing Him our list of requests but actually communicating with Him, person to person. The best way to do this is with your Bible open on your lap. As you hear God speak to you in His Word, respond in prayer, asking Him to show you how to apply the passage to your life. Share your concerns and seek His guidance. In my times alone with the Lord, He’s often given me a Scripture passage that applies to the situation I’m currently facing.
Christ is the source of our strength. When the Apostle Paul was in jail, he wrote these words: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). Nothing could discourage Paul because his strength didn’t come from within himself but flowed from His relationship with Christ. That’s the attitude every believer should have. We know that whatever He’s called us to do, He’ll empower us to accomplish; and wherever He sends us, He’ll lead the way.
A life built on the foundation of obedience is fruitful. When we’re actively applying God’s Word, we will not only display the fruit of the Spirit in our character (Gal. 5:22-23), but our very lives will be multiplied. As others observe what God is doing in and through us, they will want to find out what He could do in them (Heb. 13:7). I can remember two pastors who greatly influenced me. As I watched how the Spirit filled and used these men, I was motivated to give my best to the Lord—to study and faithfully present the Word of God.
A strong life can withstand storms and is able to learn from them. Instead of complaining about hardship and questioning God’s love, strong believers understand that the Lord’s purpose is not to remove all trials but to use them to strengthen, transform, and equip His people. Storms are never meant to destroy us but to increase our faith (1 Pet. 1:6-7). Every trying situation is an opportunity to believe what God says in His Word and apply it to our thoughts, attitudes, and behaviour.
We are each building our lives on something—either the firm foundation of God’s ways or the unstable sand of our own. No matter what you’ve done in the past or how old you are, it’s never too late to begin building on the rock. This is one construction project that won’t end until the day the Lord takes you home.
May God Bless Nigeria, America And Israel And Take Care Of Us; May God Make His Face Shine Upon Us, And Be Gracious To Us; May The Lord Lift Up His Countenance Upon Us, And Give Us Peace, In Jesus Christ Name, We Pray! Amen!
May The Grace The Lord Jesus Christ, And The Love Of God, And The Fellowship Of The Holy Spirit Be With You All. Amen!