Faith + Works
Trusting God doesn’t come from faith alone. It comes from years of experience, even when things aren’t looking up. God can provide for us over and over again, but until we begin to truly be mentally present during hardships, we will never appreciate God’s grace and mercy. There are scriptures and parables all throughout the Bible, that show over and over the times God has looked out for those who love and choose to follow Him. Although society wants us to “trust the universe” or to focus on “sending energy”, the most important thing for us to do as human beings, is to truly learn what is means to trust God.
A way that we can truly dive into our own faith, is by tithing faithfully in our church. Giving what we can, what is recommended according to scripture, or beyond that is an example of working faith. We can also work our faith by praying and believing that our prayers have been heard. Praying hopelessly or praying to a God we’re not sure we believe in, isn’t the same and it’s frankly not recommended by scripture. The Bible says to pray without ceasing, and that means for people other than ourselves. For each other and for the inevitably fallen and sinful world that we live in.
By doing those things we are truly allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts and minds. We grow in our faith by exercising our faith, just like we exercise any other part of our being. God wants the best for us; He wants us to succeed. Although suffering is a part of life and suffering is a major part of our salvation, in the end, God wants us to win and He wants us to be so overjoyed to be in His presence. The last thing God wants for us is to fall into despair, but everything we fall into allows us to appreciate the times God brought us out of those dark situations. When people pass away, we tend see it as a loss, instead of seeing that person being translated into God’s presence. This is another example of converting our beliefs into faith and exercising our faith and trust that God will take care of us.
Behind My Smile
The incomprehensible joy that we feel when we trust God, comes from our faith in Him. Being able to sleep at night and rest easy during difficult times comes from years of God proving Himself to us. At some point, we need to switch the roles and prove ourselves to God. We’re not perfect, so there will be many times where we fall or struggle; there will be times where the last thing we think about is God. As long as we try, we know that we’ve done our best. There is nothing more we can do except try, because we are imperfect and God would never expect us to be perfect.
Reminding ourselves of these very powerful scriptures is very important. Sharing how we feel with others and what works for us, can help the next person that may be struggling with something. Whether that person is open about it or not, it is important to remain encouraged and strong in our faith; flexing our faith in God. Behind My Smile Apparel was created to help share the good news that God has given us. Their website includes several different varieties, colors, and artistic designs of the scriptures that encourage us the most. When times become unbearable, we turn to the Bible and the Saints who lives before us to show us what worked for them, and what can possibly work for us!
Behind My Smile Apparel is a faith-based brand that stands out when it comes to Christian fashion. These designs are very bold and vibrant, and the scriptures that were chosen to be on the apparel are very appropriate for their meaning. They help remind us that God is on our mind, God wants the best for us, and that pain and suffering can be translated into prayer and passion. This doesn’t mean that everyday is going to be sunny, and in fact very few may be sunny for some of us, but the hope that we have in Christ is not in vain. The times were decide to dive into God’s marvelous love will not be all for nothing; He cares.
Turning Judgment into Prayer
There have been many times that I have been in conversations, where people condemn the sinner for sinning. People condemn people for being humans; for being wicked. We were all born into a fallen world, where the one thing we do best, is sin. The thing we’re greatest at, is failure, and that is why we need a Savior to show us how to live and how to be better human beings. When Christ came to Earth, he came to teach, heal, and encourage those who were meek and poor in spirit. He did not come to condemn, he wasn’t unloving, and he didn’t judge people for who they were. He rejected their sin and embraced who God created them to be.
I was recently in a debate with a Protestant Christian about how she thought that a former pastor who had murdered his entire family was more wicked than anyone else on this earth. Be that as it may, sin is sin. There is no big sin or tiny sin; sin is exactly what it is. This man had been dealing with issues for a large portion of his life, which had a lot to do with medication a combination of other things that caused him to inevitably snap. There is absolutely no condoning of sin in my mind, but there is compassion for both the man and his family. Had he been in his right mind, probably none of this tragedy would have occurred, or probably not this extent.
We need to begin converting judgement into prayer. Instead of putting shame on a man who’s soul is no longer alive in his body, pray for his soul and the souls of those he took with him. Pray that he is in some sort of peace, and that he isn’t in further torment or torture. No matter how wicked a sin may seem to us, we cannot condemn the person who committed it, because we ourselves are full of sin daily as well. If there is a sin we haven’t committed it is only because we either don’t know how, we don’t have the time, or we haven’t had the inclination to do so. We should become more like Christ in every way, and that includes compassion.
Humility isn’t something I fully understand or will probably ever truly understand. Humbling experiences are, in essence, humiliating. Allowing these things to happen and allowing God to work through us, is a part of life. We will never truly know or understand God’s timing or planning. As mentioned before, suffering is a major part of our life. It’s the major part of our life we don’t like the most, but it’s the part of our life that really matters. These are the times where we are able to put everything we’ve learned into practice. We are able to take the tools that God has given us, and put them to great use.
If life were easy, and we didn’t really have much to struggle with or learn from, we would never grow. We would never learn from our mistakes and we would never be able to know what it means to truth God. We wouldn’t understand what it means to put our faith and hope in God, and we wouldn’t appreciate God’s incomprehensible grace and mercy He bestows upon us. In reality, we wouldn’t even need a Savior, because we wouldn’t need to be saved from anything. All of these things work together in its own orchestra that we call life, and in the end we maybe begin to grasp why we had to go through the things we did.
Walking in Faith
Now that we know everything in our life has a purpose, we can relax knowing that God would never give us more than He knows we can handle. It may not seem like something we could possibly ever get through, but a year from now, we can look back and see how God brought us out of such a crazy situation. Everyone has their own understanding of what their faith means and how important it is to trust in someone; anyone. God wouldn’t set us up to fail, even if we didn’t give God a second thought, He still created us and wants us to turn to Him at all times. He doesn’t only want to hear from us whenever we are going through something, but He wants to hear from us throughout the day.
This is why there are prayers set up as morning, midday, and evening prayers. This is so we get into the habit of talking to God often and thanking Him for everything He has done for us. It’s more about seeing God as a friend and less of a stranger or someone that we have to obey, because we don’t. We choose to follow Christ every day, and we choose to pray to God every single day. By turning judgment into prayer, and by trying to be like Christ, we are exercising our faith. We have to decided everyday to trust in God; it’s not a one-time decision that we make.
The more we begin to trust God and to have faith in fact that He wants more for us, and that He would never want for us to fail, we should be more at ease. Looking at the lives of those who were made Holy by God before us, is also another way that we can be encouraged. The Saint didn’t become Saints by giving the minimum amount of effort into being more like Christ. Their lives show us that it is possible to work hard at becoming like Christ. Although we can never be Christ, we can do our very best to follow closely behind in his footsteps by living a compassionate and pious life.