I heard a testimony yesterday from a young man from Uganda. I am always amazed by what God is doing through people, but was particularly struck by this testimony.
Against any odds we could ever imagine battling, this man is escaping poverty, getting educated, helping thousands in his country know God, investing all he receives back into his village, orphan’s lives, and the church ministry he and three others followed God to.
I think I have obstacles. What a joke. This man fought obstacles. Lost. Brushed himself off. Tried again. Lost. Tried again…..and eventually the doors would open…only to present a new hurdle.
That is faith.
Is Your Faith a Fair-Weather Friend?
Sometimes I pray and when no doors open I move on to the next set of doors. Do you sometimes assume that if a door doesn’t open for you that it isn’t God’s will? What if He wants to give us all of the desires of our heart but He measures that in perseverance?
What if we don’t even become passionate or let an idea set into our heart until we know it will happen? We don’t even know if we truly desire it.
Is that faith?
Is Compromise Always Good?
I understand the concept of compromise to create peace or harmony. We need to give a little to make things happen.
But what if compromise has become so much a part of our make-up that we don’t even know what is important to us anymore?
Recently someone told me a philosophy they had that went like this:
If I don’t expect anything, or if I actually assume the worst, then I won’t be disappointed.
At first I was shocked. Who wants to go through life always assuming the worst? How would God feel knowing we just assumed He wouldn’t act, or couldn’t, or worse, didn’t care?
Is Our Subconscious Taking Control?
Then I realized that at times that is my subconscious. I don’t actually think it but it is reflected in my actions.
…..I didn’t follow-up on that lead. Why? Just forgot. Didn’t feel like it? Or did I just assume they wouldn’t be interested in my services?
…..Sent someone an email and they didn’t respond. Was the topic important? Was there a response needed? Oh well, don’t want to bother them.
……If I speak my mind on the church committee they may see me as being un-Christian. I just won’t say anything if I don’t agree.
……I don’t want to get hurt, so I don’t pursue a friendship.
Maybe you are experiencing this subconsciously:
….. I can’t bring my faith to work, it isn’t accepted.
……I won’t possibly get a promotion, so I will just be happy with what I have.
……My son or daughter didn’t score high enough on the ACT, if they don’t get in to ABC dream school they can always go to the state university.
……If I don’t niche my business too much, I will not have to turn away needed business.
Is It Satisfaction or Numbness?
The end result.
Maybe we are not disappointed as much because we have become numb. We have diminished the importance of our hopes and dreams. We have relinquished the strength of our convictions. What do we stand for? (I know my post yesterday was about taking a stand in our communication. It is on my mind these days.)
This man from the poorest family, in the poorest village, from the poorest region of the poorest country knew what he stood for. He wanted to survive. He wanted to help others survive. He wanted to know God. He wanted others to know God.
His path was clear in his mind even if it was overrun with obstacles and roadblocks.
Is It Time to Fight or To Just Give Up?
What do you do when the odds are against you and the barriers are daunting? Do you compromise? Do you assume it isn’t God’s plan? Do you give it a half-hearted effort but never get your hopes up?
Do you pray to the God who loves you…
Put your very best effort forward…
Pick yourself up when you fail…..
Gain support from Christian advisers…..
Read stories of perseverance from the bible… (look at Joseph’s story and Gideon!)
Try again with renewed effort and vigor….