May 19, 2020
Ep 97: Having Faith in Different Seasons
Having faith often looks different in different seasons of life. And sometimes I have this pattern in my life where I might go a season—a few weeks, a month, maybe even a few months—without going to church. This is embarrassing to admit, but life gets hard. You have babies . . . You get sick . . . Sometimes it’s just tough to get there.
But every single time I go back to church after one of these seasons, I notice something: I have this mindset that I’m doing it for God. I’m going to be a good Christian. I’m going to go to church. I’m going to get my brownie points. I’m going make God so happy with me because I’m showing up. And every single time I go back, I experience the same feeling: I was there for me.
God invites me to church. God invites me into His story and into His plans. Not because He needs me, but for me—because I benefit from it.
I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced something similar, but I think it’s really common to believe that about anything we do. Whether it’s going to church, reading our Bible, praying, or even giving our time, we start to believe the lie that we’re doing it for God.
But the truth is that it’s for us. God is all powerful. He doesn’t need you or me. He doesn’t need our money, time or talents. He doesn’t need anything. He’s God! He can move mountains, raise the dead, heal the blind, and part red seas. He can do anything. But He chooses to invite us into His story, and it’s for our benefit.
Every time I give, I think I’m doing it for God and others. And every time, it changes me more than it changes them…
I want to give you three things that you can do to live out your faith in different seasons. And as you step into God’s plan and God’s calling and God’s purpose for you, you’ll experience the ripple effect in the kingdom and in yourself.
You’ll be amazed at how He peels away these layers of pride and wounds and selfishness and sin we didn’t even know were there. But as long as we have faith and live it out, we’re growing to become more like Him.
3 Ways to Live Out Your Faith for Yourself and Others:
So, let’s talk about three really simple things that you can do to live out your faith for yourself and others.
1. Show up.
Matthew 18:20 (NIV) says “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Sometimes the best gift you can give someone is your presence.
When God is in you, you can show up and show Him to people just by being present. Your presence is a gift and a ministry to the people in your life.
So, just show up. Show up at church. Show up for your friends and family. Show up when someone needs help with their kids. Show up when someone needs a meal. Show up when someone just wants to sit and talk. Just be there for people.
When you give, God is inviting you to open your hands and hold your life, your time, your talents, your money, your energy, your plans, and your agendas with open hands. I believe God calls us to live a life with this posture with open hands where we can freely give and also freely receive.
So, what does that look like for you? Here’s what I know: Every time I give, I think I’m doing it for God and others. And every time, it changes me more than it changes them.
Did you know that God actually moves on your behalf when you pray? I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I pray, it can feel like I’m just going through the motions. But that’s not true! When you pray, it actually changes things!
If you’re feeling stuck, helpless or stagnant in your faith, you might feel like prayer is the last thing you want to do. But I want to remind you that Scripture is full of examples of how God moves in response to His children. God changes things on behalf of his people when they pray. He can’t wait to hear from you and hear your heart as you talk to Him with boldness with confidence.
These simple things are easy ways for you to live out your faith no matter the season: show up, give and pray. When you do these things, you live out your faith as a light to a dark world for other people to see with Jesus helping, leading and guiding you every step of the way.
Having Faith When Life Gets Hard with Amanda Bible Williams
Y’all, I cannot wait for you to listen to my conversation with Amanda Bible Williams today as we talk about faith. Amanda is the co-founder and Chief Content Officer of She Reads Truth. She Reads Truth is a worldwide community of women who are on mission to read God’s Word together every single day.
On this episode, Amanda and I talk about:
- How She Reads Truth began, and how it’s grown into what it is today
- The questions you should ask yourself when you’re faced with a big decision
- How to read the Bible—especially when you don’t know where to start
- How to understand Scripture without being a Bible teacher
- How to know that God is good, especially when life is hard
Encouragement: God Can Use Your Crumbs
I don’t know about you all, but I’ve gone through seasons of my life where I’ve just felt like I don’t have anything to give. I want to give. I want to help people. I want to make a difference. I want to show up. I want to do all these things that I feel God calling me to do. But sometimes, I’m just empty, exhausted, burnt out or going through a tough wilderness in my own faith walk. So, how in the world can God use me when I’m struggling to have faith on my own?
About six years ago, I was going through one of these wilderness seasons in my own life. I had been serving as a leader with Young Life on top of working all the time for a nonprofit. It was my last year serving, and I just felt like my heart wasn’t in it. I felt like a hypocrite. I was leading and teaching these high school students, and I didn’t even have it together myself.
All I had to offer were crumbs for these kids. And I remember God saying, I can use crumbs. I can use what you have.
Friend: God can use you—even when you feel like you don’t have much to give. God can use what you have right now. You might be going through a tough season just like I was. You might feel like you have nothing to offer. He can use you with what you have right now. Today. Don’t discount yourself. You don’t have to have it all together.
My friend Christine Caine always says, “God does not call the qualified. He qualifies the called.” If God’s calling you, it’s because He wants to use you—even if all you have to offer are crumbs.
2:12 Having Faith in Different Seasons
4:15 Three Ways to Live Out Your Faith for Yourself and Others
16:13 Having Faith When Life Gets Hard with Amanda Bible Williams
50:30 Encouragement: God Can Use Your Crumbs
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