When TOUGH becomes FAITH

I removed his shoulder from the burden;
His hands were freed from the baskets.
You called in trouble, and I delivered you;
I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah”  

  Psalm 81:6-7

I had a long conversation with my friend, Indy, the other day. She shared this verse with me. And oh,  how I needed it. I love that God uses the people in our lives to share His message with us. To remind us when we need reminding.

This year has been a tough year. I have had passports and money stolen in foreign countries and here at home, I have had two broken bones in my arms, I’ve had spiders in my house (THAT is a BIG deal to me!), I’ve had family legal battles, made big decisions to change things in my life and just the normal stress of having a home, children, and a purpose in life.

There are two things that I want you to get out of this: One is that throughout all these difficutlies, all the pain, all the strife, God has led me through all of it. What was meant for harm, actually came out strengthening my faith and resolve to be a follower of Christ. God has truly fulfilled that promise, that what is meant for bad will be good. Just so I’m perfectly clear, it hasn’t been easy. My flesh has wanted to scream in pain at all the progress in my spiritual life, because, you can’t be close to God and close to yourself. Surrendering it all, laying it down, and then saying and maintaining the attitude that God’s got this…is not an easy thing to do. But we have to do it anyway. That’s where a tough life gets into hardcore faith..by having the FEAR of the Lord and clinging to God and HIS way in every way possible.

The other thing that I want for you to get out of this, is Psalm 81. When we call upon God in our trouble, it says in Psalm 81 that he meets us in the “SECRET PLACE”, having tested us in the waters of Meribah. First, where is your secret place? That is where you meet God, where you read His Word, where you sing to Him, worship Him, speak to Him. If you are not meeting Him in the secret place, start today. That is where your answers are.

Second, Meribah means strife. God tests us in the waters of strife. Will you be able to grow spiritually when your life is in strife? This verse reinforces the fact that God does care, and especially in these trying times, when life is stressful, whether some big tragedy is in your life, or just the small stress of living life is upon you, if you turn to God, He will not only lead you through it, but will teach you to continue to put your faith in Him.

I know that the tough times in my life have become newfound, stronger faith. And I praise the Lord for that!

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