The Benefits of Believing

By Helen Arnold

Have you ever had one of those weeks?  A week where everything feels like it is crashing in around you.  Sometimes it is not anything specific.  It just feels like everything is just too much:  the kids, the not having kids, the lack of sleep, the work, the lack of work, the bills, and just life in general.  

Have you ever found yourself driving to church having spent the morning arguing with your family? Seriously does it matter if you’re wearing odd socks and your favorite color is pink? No you cannot wear your gymnastics leotard to church.  And, yes Mom/Dad really needs their coffee, and the fact that they’ve not had it yet is due to the above topics being discussed for the umpteenth time.   Sigh…  You find yourselves arriving at the parking lot, taking a deep breath and putting on the mask (a.k.a. big smile)! And, when you're asked ‘how are you?’ you respond “life is great, wonderful or Fine!” Yet the reality, as you sit down, is that your heart is beating, you feel heavy burden and wiped out.

You then take a moment, breathe and look at the title of the talk.  “The benefits of believing in Jesus Christ”. At that moment being at home and having a netflix marathon sounds a lot more beneficial. 

We’ve all had those moments of feeling tired and worn out. However, God promises us his strength for daily living.

 

God gives power to those who are tired and worn out, and he offers strength to the weak. Isaiah 40:29 (NLT)

 

We can all identify with these feelings and many of us wear a mask to make it look like life is ok. This promise is for us today. It is a benefit of believing in Jesus.  

This power does not come from a cup of coffee, a piece (or several slices) of cake or a Superman cape. It is the power which raised Jesus Christ from the dead.

 

The Apostle Paul explains it as he wrote:

I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him.  It is that same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead! Ephesians 1:19-20 (LB)

 

Have you ever watched a movie and watched the paramedics give someone who’s heart has stopped a huge electric shock back to life?  Jesus wasn’t raised back to life by a jolt of electricity.  He was raised back to life by the power of God!

That same power is what will give us strength when we feel weak, and as he offers it - it is up to us to take it. That said, we still have a responsibility to do our part. 

For example:

  1. Trying to get enough sleep
  2. Eating well
  3. Exercising regularly
  4. Saying Yes to the right things 
  5. Saying No to the other things

It’s all about balance, but in those moments when balance seems impossible and the road seems all uphill -  God says I’m possible.    

Sit down, look at Jesus Christ and then look at the problems of your day.  God’s power that raised him from the dead, is the same power that is promised to help us now.  Thankfully,  Paul gives us instructions on how to access this help.  He says:

 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

 

Three ways of doing this come to mind: 

  1. Speak or write a letter to God
  2. Tell him what you are thankful for - we can all find something!
  3. Then tell God what your need is - God being God already knows but he loves it when you take time to be with him.

Through this relationship with Him, He promises us a peace of mind and a sense of His wholeness.

Focusing on Jesus helps remind us that He is bigger than anything we may ever face. He is bigger than our biggest problem and is with us always.  

So on Sunday, as we sit in Church and our heartbeat returns to normal after the stress and agitations of the morning,we find ourselves thinking- “Thank you God that we have food in our pantry, that we have a choice of clothes to wear, a cell phone to call our family and friends on,  and that we do indeed have a cup of coffee in our hands.”

We also find ourselves face to face with the power of the Cross, not only a power that our minds cannot understand but also a power that gives us everlasting life and peace in all situations.

 

Whatever your current walk today - God so loved YOU that he gave his only son, that whoever BELIEVES in him should not perish but have everlasting life.  John 3:16 (NIV)

 

My prayer for us all, is that you know, that you know, that you know, that the same God who raised Jesus Christ from the dead is the same God who is with you right now.  Do you know this power today?

Click Here to listen to Brave Faith Project Pt. 4, and share with us what God has done for you this week.