Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "My Faith Looks Up To Thee"1 (Lyrics)
With the support of my Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Evans, the church, and my parents, I felt that I was being called to become a missionary. God's Spirit encouraged me to share my love for Him as I sang His praises both in and out of the church. Nothing is sweeter than life with Jesus as our hope and salvation, and nothing is more exciting than fulfilling our God-given purpose. Everything appeared to be perfect — until it wasn't!
Although I was blessed, temptations and hardships still came my way. I experienced heartbreak, illness, depression, loss of loved ones, and chronic pain.
My world became very small when my days were consumed with myself, and my worth consisted of collecting more and more trinkets, rather than sharing my God-given resources. During the daytime, I was distracted by the busyness of life, but in the quiet solitude of night, I faced the fears that I held in my heart. When my spiritual gifts went unopened, I began to cry, "Why am I here?" or worse, "I'm bored," and I forgot my purpose, because my heart become blind to the needs of others. Instead of the voice of wisdom guiding my day, I randomly chose this way or that, and living became meaningless.
Thankfully, the story did not end there.
Why does God allow trials and temptations in our lives? It is essential to understand that these trials serve a purpose: to test and prove the genuineness of our faith.
"Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny." – C.S. Lewis.
Before leaving His beloved disciples for one last time, Jesus left them — and us — this wonderful promise:
John 14:16-17a,18 – And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. No, I will not abandon you as orphans — I will come to you. (NLT)
Whenever I look back over those times of affliction, I can honestly say that God has kept His promise! Philippians 4:13 reminds me that "I can do all things (like facing the trials head on) through Christ who strengthens me." (NKJV) Jesus' Advocate never left my side!
From beginning to end, believers need the Holy Spirit always to be tending to us. He comforts us, helps us, guides us, reminds us, teaches, comes alongside, counsels, intercedes, and advocates for us. There is no area of life in which the believer does not need the help of the Holy Spirit.
Thankfully there is a solution to keep the Holy Spirit active. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 and Galatians 5:16 give us steps to take.
- Rejoice always. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
- Pray without ceasing.
- In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
- Walk in the Spirit, not the flesh.
- Sing! Because, my friends, God always keeps His promises!
Prayer: Lord, You promised abundant life and blessings from on high. Thank You that You fulfill Your promises each day. We can rest in the truth that You will provide for us and meet our needs tomorrow and the day after. We praise You because Your well of blessings will never run out. You are a wonderful Father! Amen.