Faith in tough times…

Several years ago a co-worker gave me a copy of Streams in the Desert, a devotional with 365 daily readings.  Over time I would pick it up and include it in my daily routine.  And then it would set on my shelf, waiting as I enjoyed another more current devotional.  The other devotionals might have been more contemporary, but not more current.  At this time in my life, it seems that it was written just for me, right now.

 

 

Bright winter snow scene - Faith in tough times - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

 

I am in the desert, again.  Thirsty for God.
It’s as if I am walking through vast stretches of nothingness and yet, unexpectedly, finding tiny oases of refreshment to encourage me onward.

Why is it that these oases are so unexpected?  Have I not asked God for more awareness of Him?  For His daily provision?  For encouragement to press on and through?

Once again, “Streams” was the vehicle God used to speak into my life.

One of the writers penned these words in preface to this scripture:

You may have hope or an earnest desire, but that is not faith, for “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”                   Hebrews 11:1

 

 

Snowy scene :: Faith verse - Hebrews 11:1 | AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

 

Often I write about trusting God and believing.  

We passed the 40-day mark of our current journey, two weeks ago. Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness.  And though that was far more challenging then my circumstances, I don’t want to spend the next 40 years like the Israelites did, wandering.

When I read the quote above, I realized that I have gone from standing and believing to earnestly desiring.  How did that happen?  That was not my plan.  God has given me, and you, the faith we need.  We can be “certain of what we do not see.”

I am grateful for the wake up call.  Today I will put feet to my faith again and join the psalmist in saying this:

 “I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”  Psalm 27:13

 

Are you in a desert?  If not now, can you remember a time in the past?
What is it that you are (were) waiting on God to do?

“…blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

 

 

Wintry Snow Scene :: Joy Day! :: Faith in tough times :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

 

One thing I know for sure, when we take time to give thanks in all things–we are strengthened to stand, in His strength and in His mighty power.  And that is so much better than anything I can muster on my own.

Will you join me in counting?
Just seven.  The good and the not so good from the past week.

I’ll start… I’m grateful for these gifts:

  1. Bluebirds!  I now know why they are called birds of happiness.  I was so blessed to have them visit my front window box.
  2. Outrageously gorgeous snowfall…other worldly in its beauty.
  3. The negative answer to a long-asked question.
  4. The tangible expression of  friendship and love.
  5. My husband’s servant heart.
  6. Laughter.
  7. God’s amazing provision.

It’s your turn…

Please scroll down to “Share Your Thoughts” and tap in yours.  Your shoulders will feel lighter.  I dare you!

 

Being certain of what we do not see….

Joyfully,

Diane

 

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Comments

  1. Wonderful post, as always, Diane! Thank you for reminding me that “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” I needed to be reminded of that!! Here are my 7:

    1 – My healthy and wonderful daughter turning 2 years old
    2 – Being able to celebrate her birthday with friends and family together
    3 – My home, even though it needs to be organized!
    4 – Being able to wake up and do what I love to do, everyday
    5 – Being home with my daughter while still pursuing my dream
    6 – God’s new grace everyday and his never ending love. wow.
    7 – Your insightful and encouraging posts!

    • Hi Jennifer!
      You are such an encourager. Now…I’m just checking…but I hope there is no little sweetie dive bombing around you and your laptop and your tea?
      Thank you for sharing your ‘seven.’ You have such a joyful spirit, my friend.
      May your week be extraordinarily blessed! [hugs]

  2. Beautiful post and beautiful photos. Thank you.

  3. 7 Good and Not So Good Things About the Past Week

    1-God gave me diamonds in the snow
    2-Birds singing in February
    3-Talking with my newly discovered and found brother
    4-Renewal of wedding vows 40 years
    5-Studying week 3 of The Beloved Disciple by Beth Moore
    6-Valentines cards and party
    7-Still experiencing the after effects of Ray’s (my husband) TBI

    This would be a good weekly blog hop
    BTW I’m hopping here from Inspire Me Monday and joyed the post very much.

    Marie @ http://asatisfiedspirit.com

    • Hi Marie!
      Thank you so much for stopping by and for taking the time to share your ‘seven.’ It makes my day. Thanks for your kinds words and “the idea”….I would never have thought of it. Will pray…
      May your week be filled to overflowing with HIS joy!

  4. The light in the first image is outstanding!

    Mollyxxx

  5. Such a beautiful post and stunning photos..

  6. As a parent, YOU MUST HAVE FAITH! Faith in the unseen, Faith in the Lord, Faith that what you have taught them, that those seeds have taken root and will withstand the storms raging around them when you are not present to provide shelter. Faith that the Lord will provide them that shelter. Faith is difficult… and that is when you pray. As my children have gotten older (my twins will be 18 in April) I have learned the true meaning of “pray without ceasing” because it seems that if I stop praying, doubt and worry about what if and what could happen overtakes my mind and I feel choked with anxiety. I fear for my children! But I trust in a higher power to provide for them. Thank you! Visit me if you get a chance 🙂 http://www.feelingtheemptynest.blogspot.com

    • “Pray without ceasing” – keeping our hearts and minds fixed on HIM…that is the secret. 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by Nicky. May your day be joyful!

  7. Today I am visiting you from the Thursday’s Favorite Things blog hop.

    The passage in the Bible about wandering always strikes a chord with me too. Time goes so fast, and I hate to lose any of it by just being so slow at spiritual learning! I really appreciated reading your post.

  8. Oy brother….where did the post go?! Oh the adventures with new toys…I’ll catch on if I but persevere!
    Right…seven! (Oh but what lovely photos and what a needed message you delivered…)
    * Robin!! I saw a ROBIN!!!
    * Treating he-who-does-it-all to lunch out.
    * The new fangled toy that loses comments. LOL
    * Big fat flakes.
    * the painting on a letter/card that landed in my mailbox.
    * the wee one colouring cookies with the grandad.
    * being able to SIT in a seat…Seriously reason to make joyful noise!!

    • Ooooo a new fangled toy!! Always good for stimulating a few gray cells. 😉
      We were just talking that when we lived in NY we usually had seen several Robins by now. It’s always so exciting!!
      Thank you Mel, for persevering and taking time to share your ‘seven.’ I think I might want to join you in that joyful noise. So very happy for you!!!!
      An aside…are you familiar with Rumpole of the Bailey, the BritCom? It’s been a while but the expression there was “she-who…”
      Wishing you a joy-filled day!

  9. What a fantastic post! There are always so many more beautiful things in life than we realize. And we need to say what we are thankful for in life I think.

    http://heidiswanderings.blogspot.com/

  10. Thank’s for sharing! I enjoyed looking at those beautiful photos! 🙂

    Stopping by from Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop 76- Hope you can stop by 🙂

  11. Were you talking about me? I am with you sweet sister. But thank you so much for this wonderful word
    of encouragement. And these reminders of truth. A list of 7 you say?
    1. Two beautiful Mallard ducks on the little creek behind our apartment.
    2. The sun shining today after a day of rain.
    3. My cat sleeping on the chair outside in the sunshine (he was cat napped twice in the last few months)
    4. Provision in unexpected ways.
    5. When I get to see my kids and grandkids
    6. Simply Dr. Pepper
    7. The Library

    I really enjoyed my visit. I’ll be back.
    Have a great day,
    Sherry

    • Sherry…you just made my day!!! 😀
      Thank you too for sharing your ‘seven.’ And such a wonderful seven. God is sooo good.
      May your day be extraordinarily joyful!

  12. Ah, another Streams in the Desert friend! Thank you for the lovely winter picture and we are thinking along similar lines today of trusting and faith. If you have a minut, please be encourage by my present post of
    Soul Twisters…Cherubs without Wings. Thank you again…Susan

    • “Streams” is amazing these days. It’s truly an anointed devotional. I’m so glad you love it too!
      Thank you for your kind words about my photos, too. Doesn’t God paint the best pictures?
      May your day be Joy Filled!
      P.S. Would you leave me a link so I can check out the post? Thanks!

  13. Hi! I just read another post about faith – about faith being a gift. Maybe I needed a little reminder about faith today… My grandson’s father took his life last week, …so all of our faith has been kind of tested…

    • Oh Esther Joy, I am so sorry.
      Heavenly Father, God of all comfort, may this family know your unsurpassing love and grace right now. Hold them tight and comfort them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  14. These winter scenes are so pretty! Love how the white is tinged with blues!

  15. Agh, but we have such an advantage today that our forefathers never had to believe in the seen and unseen! The ongoing, honest research in so many fields of scientific discipline reveals the handiwork of an all mighty creator. No matter where, the deepest oceans, the farthest reaches of outer space, or the miniscule interiors of living cells Christ’s influence is found. Oh yes, the scriptures reveal Christ’s creation of all things, and His power and influence but let us never forget that thanks to another gift from Christ (the disciplines of “science”) we see more and more that we are immersed in His handiwork. That should give us a certainty that Believers before us never enjoyed- a faith bolstered by scientific research in support of it. For me and I hope for you it makes the unseen future He promises on the other side of eternity all the more certain.

    • Thanks for sharing this perspective, Rick. It was a great reminder and I totally agree. My small group is going through the Truth Project right now and I have appreciated so much learning and being reminded of so many amazing discoveries through science of God’s thoughtful, complicated, and intricate design.

  16. Beautiful post! Your winter images are lovely! Hope you have a joyful weekend!

  17. My heart beats with the stories told through your photo’s. Sometimes not seeing, can be paralyzing. I read in another great book “My Utmost for His Hightest” today “Perseverance is combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen.” Let’s hang on to that today. Blessings from SITS!

    • Thank you for sharing that quote, Alene. I’m reminded that the Jordan river did not dry up until the people actually stepped in the water.
      May your weekend be joy-filled!

  18. Thanks for sharing this verse…Hebrews 11:1 has been some of my “daily bread” for the last few weeks. I am just standing on the “promises of God.” for every good thing He has spoken over my life and others to come to pass! Thanks for the reminder!

    • Oh Nancy…I so need my feet cemented in his promises. Grateful to know they are all “Yes” in Christ Jesus!
      May your weekend be extraordinary!

  19. One thing I know for sure, when we take time to give thanks in all things–we are strengthened to stand, in His strength and in His mighty power. And that is so much better than anything I can muster on my own.

    yes, i believe this unequivocally. and it is so hard to thank when you are in the dessert… Heb 11:1-2 my favorite verse in the entire Bible. there are times the only peace i find is in clinging to them.

    i lvoe this post, open honest, and real….thank you for sharing your heart!

    • Yes! Yes! Standing in Him alone today.
      Thank you Lisa for sharing your thoughtful words today. I so appreciate it.
      May your weekend be filled with JOY!

  20. Thanks for always being such an inspiration to us Diane!
    Congratulations – you’ve been featured this week at Inspire Me Monday at

    Create With Joy
    http://create-with-joy.com

    • You are so kind and encouraging Ramona!! Thank you for always being such a warm and inspiring hostess.
      I am sooo very blessed that you would choose to feature this post. Thank you!! [hugs]

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