Sunday, July 27, 2008

Faith Zone Challenge #3 and #4

Yesterday I did not post challenge 3. I spent the day relaxing and recuperating from a string of headaches. So today I am posting Challenge 3 and 4.

Challenge 3 (Friday):

Challenge #3: Forgive them. Forgive that person whom you have been holding a grudge against for days, weeks, months, maybe years. Bask in the freedom that you will gain from being obedient to God in this way. Your rewards will be great.

This one was hard and revealing. During my morning quiet time I realized I had a group of people to forgive. I don't want to go into too much detail on the blog because I don't want to hurt others.

The people I forgave are relatives. They have hurt my feelings, interfered in areas of my life that they should not have and in general passed negative judgement on me. I'm not perfect but I don't think anyone deserves what I have often times received from them. What has been so frustrating is that at other times they "seemed" fine with me. I think the duplicity is what hurt and frustrated me the most.

It was hard to forgive and the tears flowed but I needed to stop poisoning myself. I choose to let God heal those hurt places. I choose to continue to grow into someone fabulous by God's grace and not become an ugly person because of bitterness. I choose to have faith that God is bigger than my bitterness. And I choose to let Him replace it with His love. Thank You Lord Jesus!

Challenge 4 (Saturday):

Challenge #4: Share your faith with three people today.

Well, I did not do so well with this one. I really did not go out much on Saturday. I went to the beauty shop at 6 AM so the two beauties and I could get dolled up (they start school tomorrow). I made one trip later to shop for shoes for my oldest beauty since younger beauty was off with a friend. I did not verbally give a testimony to the beautician, the receptionist at the salon or the clerk at the shoe store. However I was pleasant and nice to them. For me that fell short. I wish I had slipped them a verse or asked if I could pray for them or told them "God Bless you" or something that let them know that God was real to me. So perhaps I can do that going forward. I at least was aware of my attitude. I certainly did not want to be acting like a friend of the enemy. So in that respect I guess I did okay.

My time with God continues to go well. Some verses that have struck me in Day 3 and 4 of the challenge are:

"Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord, His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth." Hosea 6:3 (NKJV)

What I love about this verse is the concept of latter and former rain. Former rain comes in the fall and prepares the ground for seed (softens it). Latter rain came in the the spring and caused growth. If you apply this to the trials in your life, it would go something like the following. Some trials are preparing you for something God wants to do in your life (Former rain). Some trials are stretching your faith, making you grow (Latter rain). When I look at it this way, it makes me realize all the more how my complaining is out of place, out of line. God is working!

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong,. Let all that you do be done with love. 1 Corintians 16:13-14 (NKJV)

What fabulous instructions. Watch. Watch for God's return. Watch what you say and do. Watch for opportunities to share your faith. Stand Fast. Stay in the Word. Keep praying. Again, share your faith. Defend it when needed. Be Brave. Depend on God for the hard stuff, for all the stuff really :) Be strong. All I'd add are the words "in the Lord". Finally, do everything with love. Exude the aroma of Christ. Let the Light that is within you shine through daily.

Be blessed! I'll finish up with Challenge 5 tomorrow


Beachy Mimi said...

Thank you for the reminders. Unforgiveness can really eat at a person. Forgiveness is so cleansing.

Amy said...

I love what you shared about the latter and the former rain.
This morning has found me crying and struggling with a lot of pain in my foot. I needed yo read this today. I need to trust that He is allowing me to go through for a reason.

Thank you!
God Bless,