Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Faith is Enough to Overcome Any Challenge

You're bound to confront unexpected challenges that strike you with
the fear of the unknown. It's at times like these that you'll have to
choose whether or not to follow where God leads you – even when you
don't understand what's happening. But no challenge is insurmountable.
Faith is truly enough to overcome even the toughest challenge.

Here's how you can use the faith God gives you to overcome any
challenge you'll ever face:

* Live by the Spirit. Don't rely on your own limited strength.
Instead, plug into God's unlimited strength by asking the Holy Spirit
to guide and empower you. Trust that He will help you obey God's
leading in all situations.

* Believe even when you don't see answers to your prayers. Remember
that God is always at work, but sometimes He's working behind the
scenes until the right time to reveal His answers to your prayers.
Believe in who Jesus really is and in what He has done for you. Recall
God's promises from Scripture. Ask God to give you the confidence to
continue to listen to God's guidance and act on it.

* Be courageous. Understand that faith in the known is greater than
fear of the unknown. Pray for the courage you need to follow uncharted
paths. Expect that there may be a time of testing between the time you
act in obedience and the time you receive what God has promised.

* Be patient. Know that your faith must sometimes be tried to produce
patience in you and help you mature. Don't lose your vision simply for
a lack of patience. Trust God as you wait. Remember that God is never

* Build unity with other believers. Recognize that faith is effective
when there is unity. Understand that agreement on Earth releases
provision from heaven. Do your best to work with others to find a
place together in God's will, so that God's will supercedes your
individual wills. Then agree to do God's will together.

* Realize that true faith originates from God – not just good
intentions. Don't take claims based simply in good-intentioned emotion
seriously. Know that when sincere or zealous statements of faith have
no divine origin, they don't bear witness to the truth, and they don't
bring real comfort. Understand that it's much better to face reality –
no matter how hard that may be – and speak the truth in love than to
speak without God's leading and just tell someone what he or she wants
to hear.

* Don't worry about provision. Be assured that God will not only meet
your needs, but He'll do so abundantly. Pray specifically about
whatever practical needs you have, and trust God to respond.

* Don't substitute sacrifice for obedience. Realize that your greatest
sacrifice to God is not enough to justify disobedience.

* Stay focused. Expect your faith to waver if you allow other concerns
to distract you from God's guidance. Focus on your God-given goals
instead of the past, and on God's promises rather than your
circumstances. Invite God to remind you of how much He loves you, and
let that motivate you to stay steadfastly focused on what He wants for

* Let fear jumpstart your faith. Whenever you experience something
that troubles you, realize that God may intend that experience to be a
roadblock to help you change direction in your life. Turn to God with
all your heart when He's trying to get your attention, and ask Him to
direct your steps.

* Know that faith makes it possible to be secure anywhere. Understand
that anyplace is secure with Jesus, but no place is safe without Him.
Realize that God's provision isn't dependent on your own resources,
that His ways aren't subject to your approval, and that His timing is
often different from yours. Recognize that your security lies in
trusting God. Know that, no matter what, your faith can stand when
it's based on God's promises instead of your own understanding.

* Stand firm when you encounter evil. Know that faith born in the
light may be tested in darkness as you go through attacks from evil.
Be strong, pray, and keep believing when darkness temporarily hides
victory from view.

* Remember that faith without love is worth nothing. Realize that any
attempt to follow Jesus' example of ministry will be ineffective
unless you also follow His example of love. Don't let any of your
sacrifices or service for God be in vain. First, get your motivation
right by getting your heart right with God. Then – out of true love
for God and gratitude for His love for you – give to others.

* Let faith give you quiet confidence. Recognize that strength comes
not from power, but from the quiet confidence of an indwelling faith.
Expect that every time you submit your needs to Jesus, you'll
experience the confidence that only He can give you. Rely on that
confidence to do whatever God leads you to do.

* Act in faith when it's not convenient. Whenever you sense God
leading you to do something that doesn't make sense in your current
circumstances, be willing to follow His leading despite that. Remember
that it's rarely convenient to walk by faith, and that God may
challenge your faith when He wants to encourage you to grow. Choose to
hold God's call in higher regard than the circumstances surrounding

* Let faith build understanding in your relationships with others.
Know that you can share a bond with other people through faith, which
will transcend all your differences and unify you like nothing else.
As you interact with others, take the time to truly get to know them,
and let God's love flow through you into their lives.

* Fight so that the enemy doesn't steal your faith. Be alert to ways
Satan is trying to discourage you and tempt you to turn away from God.
Stay connected to God through frequent prayer, and build relationships
with other believers who will regularly encourage you. Remember that
good is more powerful than evil.

* Don't give up under pressure. Be assured that God will give you
faith sufficient for whatever you need you'll face. Never give up in
the midst of tough circumstances; just pray for the faith to handle
them well.

* Let your faith help you solve problems. Look beyond your problems to
the God who will give you solutions. Pray for creative ideas to solve
whatever problems you're dealing with, and apply the wisdom you

* Remember God's promises. Understand that, while you may be
unfaithful to God, God will always be faithful to you. Read God's
promises in the Bible and know that you can count on Him. Persevere in
tough circumstances, trusting that God will deliver on His promises to

* Recognize that faith works by love. Realize that the power behind
faith is love. Let love inspire you to reach beyond your own
inadequate abilities and resources and into the realm of God's help.
Be willing to try whatever God wants you to try, trusting that He'll
help you along the way. Remember that nothing is impossible with God.
Expect that you may even experience a miracle as God's love flows
through you.

* Know that faith is never in vain. Don't judge your faith by the
apparent failure or success of your work. Remember that faith is not
based on what you can see. When you don't see the results you'd hoped
for when you prayed about something, remember that God still has in
answer. When your current circumstances don't indicate anything to
assure you that God is working, wait for the right time and know that
God will reward your faith.

* Understand that faith is not limited by time or space. Realize that
God is always near even when He seems distant. Whenever you feel
overwhelmed, be assured that God sees you and cares. Know that someone
is always interceding for you in prayer – either Jesus in heaven, or
another person who cares about you. Recognize that prayers from
another dimension (heaven) or another location (even across the globe)
are just as powerful as those uttered by someone in the same room with

* Expect God to reward your faith. Know that God will never send you
out to accomplish something without generously providing everything
you need in order to do it. Understand that God will sometimes
surprise you with extra blessings when He sees you respond faithfully
to His guidance.

* Recognize that God calls young people to be just as faithful as
older ones. If you're young, don't let your age be an excuse or a
hindrance from living out your faith. Remember that maturity isn't the
same as chronological age. Respond to God's challenge to live a life
of integrity that pleases Him and represents Him well to others. If
you're older, do all you can to encourage youth to live out their

* Remember that faith is worthwhile. Be patient during times when your
faith is tested by hardships. Remember that the effort you must make
to follow God's leading is always worth it.

* Let faith motivate you to give. Remember how much God has given to
you, and let your gratitude for His generosity motivate you to give to
other people. Know that God sees when you give with pure motives, and
will reward you in heaven for doing so.

* Don't trade your faith for comfort. Know that you'll regret any time
you back away from something God wants you to do, just because it
makes you feel uncomfortable. Instead of focusing on temporary,
earthly rewards, focus on the eternal rewards that God will give you
if you're faithful to follow where He leads.

* Don't sacrifice obedience on the altar of common sense. Understand
that faith's security lies in obedience. Rather than basing your
decisions on circumstances you can see, seek wisdom from God, who has
the benefit of a complete perspective on every situation. Rely on
God's guidance instead of your own limited understanding.

* Bolster your faith with daily guidance from God. Don't neglect
regular prayer time during which you seek divine direction. Know that
God always has something to say to you; make time to listen to Him.

* Let your faith transform your weakness into strength. Read, study,
and meditate on God's Word, the Bible, often. Realize that the
substance of faith is inherent in God's Word. Expect that when you
receive His Word in faith, you'll also receive the strength you need
to live it out.

* Realize that you can't reach a positive goal by taking negative
steps. Understand that faith can either be strengthened or defeated by
your actions. Decide to trust God, even when you don't understand or
like what He's doing in your life. Don't give in to wrong feelings and
act outside of God's will. Ask God to help you stay positive.

* Know that your faith will affect future generations. Remember that
the greatest gift you can give your children, grandchildren, and the
others that come after them is a heritage of faith. Hold onto your
confidence in God, realizing that doing so will benefit not only you,
but others who will be inspired by your example.

* Remember that faith is the substance and evidence of the unseen.
Know that faith points to the One who gives it: God. Remembering that
your faith is a gift from God, decide to use it to serve God as your
gift back to Him. Make good use of the faith God has invested in you,
and trust that as you apply this intangible resource, you'll see
tangible blessings as a result.

* Realize that God can multiply a single act of faithful giving.
Expect that, when you lovingly give even a small gift to help someone
in need, God will use it in ways that go beyond what you can imagine.
Be willing to let your possessions go when God asks for them, knowing
that the little gifts you give may become great.

* Let the knowledge that God truly sees and cares about you strengthen
your faith. Realize that, through your relationship with God, you are
truly known and truly loved. Let His deep personal love for you
increase your hope for the future and bolster your faith.

* Be active, not passive. Don't squander your time and energy on
activities that don't relate to God's purposes for your life. Don't be
idle and then pity yourself when others receive opportunities you
would like. Ask God to give you the self-discipline you need to grow
in your faith and serve diligently.

* Link your faith together with other believers' faith. Build
meaningful relationships with other believers. Participate in and
contribute to a healthy church. Know that when believers are linked
together in active faith, they form a chain of deliverance. Be
obedient enough to give to others in need, and humble enough to
receive from others for your own needs.

* Remember that faith is founded on, and maintained by, an intimate
relationship with God. Recognize that faith isn't measured by anything
else but the quality of your relationship with God. Make building a
close relationship with God your top priority in life, and know that
God will respond by giving you more and more faith.

Adapted from When Faith is Enough: A Safari of Destiny that Reveals
Principles to Live By, copyright 2006 by Fern C. Willner. Published by
Believe Books, Washington, D.C.,
Fern C. Willner graduated from both Evangel University in Springfield,
Missouri and Zion Bible Institute in East Providence, Rhode Island. At
Zion she met her future husband, Rev. Charles Willner, with whom she
went on to share a life of adventure and ministry along with their
seven children. Fern went to be with the Lord in 2002. This book seeks
to keep her vibrant testimony alive.

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