Thursday, March 31, 2016

When You’re Down, Expect To Be Picked Up

FAITH cops a flogging many days of our lives, but it’s when we give up on our faith that we’re left flogged.  Really, the longer we’re down the more expectant we should be that God’s about to do something new.
If we don’t give up, we cannot remain down and out.  Only when we resign ourselves to expect what we’ve got will we get what we’ve got.
When we’re down, God is about to pick us up; encouragement is just around the corner.
When we’re down, we’d generally rather protect our pride than risk optimism for what will ultimately take place.  A corner is about to be turned.  We’re headed for that corner.
There is nothing surer than the prospect of being delivered from that horrendous day.
When impatience strikes and we’re tempted to strike out in anger, what defuses the anger and appeases the frustration?  Something funny.  Do something to have a giggle.
When fear racks our experience with anxious murmurings, what eradicates that sense of dread?  Staring that fear in the face and choosing to smile, and to start to step, or keep stepping, in faith.
When we have no oomph about us, and the depression’s driven deep, what challenges that lethargy that would keep us down?  The setting of a simple, achievable goal; something to do straight away, without even a moment’s doubt.
When we’re down we need to expect that we’ll soon have reason to be picked up.
When we think up our situation expectantly, we choose a God-fulfilling prophecy, and they always tend to come true.

© 2016 Steve Wickham.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Mind Set on Faith Settles the Heart of Fear

MUCH experience of mental illness is a wandering and wavering mind tumbling over heartbreaking hurdles, listlessly, without purpose and with resignation, into an awaiting abyss.  It bequests living suicide.  A life not worth living.  And only one thing is missing.
Where joy is stripped from our being, through patches of life that seem easily to overwhelm, we travail in our heart and our mind goes vulnerably along for the ride.
The absence of joy should trigger our awareness of fear, for where joy is A.W.O.L., peace and hope fall dreadfully absent too.  The alarm bells ring.
All this is arrested when we rise with a mind of faith — a smart, courageous mind.
The mind set on faith settles the heart suffering in fear.  A mind, steadfast and faithful.
God knows why we fear.  It’s because our world is broken, our inner experience is flimsy, and the spiritual dimensions of life variegate.  Layers of our existence require faith in God.
Faith emanates out of the mind, unified by our decisive will, because of a heart set on the purposes of God.  Indeed, a mind set on the promises of God settles a heart committed to God’s purposes.  Such a mind backs its own heart.
Faith begins in the mind.  But fear is produced in the heart as the heart experiences felt realities it cannot control.  The mind reminds our being that God has promised to be with us, to never leave nor forsake us, and to give us hope for a future we believe for, and that He is entirely and abundantly good.
The mind buoys the heart, and yet the mind must first be tested by what the heart alone can feel.
Decide for God’s goodness in your mind, for God proves faithful by decisions of faith.
© 2016 Steve Wickham.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Faith Rises In the Darkest of Night

FAITH was made for the darkness, for the trials of tumult that send us into an oblivion of doubt, and for the times where we have no belief in ourselves — let alone God.
Sometimes God will use a person’s felt uselessness, and allow them to feel hopeless, in order that they richly desire resurrection.  It’s faith that sees us raised.  It’s the fight that makes us clamour out of the pit.  Faith refuses to accept what it sees.
Faith is either absurd or a miracle — to believe fully in something good when all is very bad.  But faith cannot be absurd because it works.  We don’t know why it works, which makes it a miracle.
If life is horrid, don’t believe in the horridness.  Believe in the goodness coming.  Goodness always comes.  And when it does, finally faith is vindicated.
Faith works because of the goodness inlaid in God.  As God is entirely trustworthy, faith vindicates trust.  Faith is a trust in a time of distrust.
Be the good you can be and God will make good of what you do.  Faith expresses goodness in badness, and it turns murkiness clear.
God makes of faith a banquet of favour.  He mixes the ingredients of our trust with His goodness, and His timing with our patience, and concocts a delicacy.
Faith takes us from a place of horrific violence, through the depression of wartime, into a time of longstanding peace.
Faith rises in the dark of night.  It needs adversity.  Faith is superfluous for the brightness of day.  God’s Presence is thick in the mire when we reach out because all there is left is faith.
Faith holds on by the sinews of hope.
© 2016 Steve Wickham.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Faith is Made Perfect in Adversity

POINTS of temptation in life, where giving up can seem the only momentary option, can drive us into an anxiously depressed pole.  Overwhelmed with just how bad life is, we may panic and lose all sense for logic and reason.
The opportunity during these moments is to slow down, take some deep breaths, and consider that what seems horrendous is probably nothing so threatening.
Faith says to such a situation, “Relax, press in, trust God, and everything will be fine!”
Let’s not besmirch the presence of difficulty.  God has a role for hardship in propelling our faith toward a deeper reliance on Him.  These trials that bear themselves against us right now make us pine for better times of past, but they may just as easily prove to be the very thing that awakened us from a sabotaging spiritual slumber.
Adversity awakens the giant.  It evokes alert courage for action.
Adversity was made for faith, for faith’s made perfect in adversity.
The hard thing ahead of us is made easier when we see how God’s helped make hard things behind us doable.  We only have to believe the hard thing is possible.  God proves faithful in the rest.  All we need to do is show up, to keep stepping by faith, and God will lead us through the valley of the shadow of death.  And He will return to us our joy, hope and peace if we will just trust Him.
God adds something to us when our faith refuses to give up.
He takes our faith — as small as a mustard seed — and He makes of it something tantamount to perfection in adversity.  Faith cannot rise without it.
The more adverse the situation, the more we show up, cheerfully, because by choice we can, the more God blesses us with His strength in our weakness.
© 2016 Steve Wickham.