Do not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
First of all, Let me start off today by saying, THANK YOU, GOD, that this is ONE Scripture diligently applied by the woman who brought me to Christ. Her name is Joy Bollinger, and trust me—I gave her PLENTY to “faint” about 38 years ago when she set out to witness to a 23-year-old hardnosed agnostic named Julie Winterer. Raised in a devout but dysfunctional Catholic family of 13 kids, I was so angry at God that I actually used to say I wanted to burn Gideon Bibles in hotel rooms. As a wild child of the 60s and 70s, I tried everything to be happy—from astrology and tarot cards … to transcendental meditation and witchcraft—you name it. My vocabulary would have made a sailor blush. According to the world’s standards, I had everything going for me—a hunky boyfriend with a Corvette and a boat, a great job, my own apartment (at a time when other friends still lived at home), and I was acing an advanced writing course at Washington U., a prestigious college in St. Louis. But I wasn’t happy. I felt a lot like Peggy Lee singing, “Is that all there is?”
Then one day, this annoying gal at work approached me. She was divorced with a kid and no boyfriend in sight. I hated her because she came in humming every day, happy as a lark while I was utterly miserable. And then it happened—one life-altering moment when she and I were alone—I looked up from my typewriter and said, “Just what in the heck (except my language was a bit saltier back then) makes you so happy all the time?” She said, “I’ve been praying you would ask.”
Oh, no, a Jesus freak, I thought to myself, but I found myself going to lunch with her, badgering her with questions and accusations. I don’t remember now if it was weeks or months, but either way, I met Jesus Christ through the remarkable patience of a God-sent angel by the name of Joy—pretty appropriate name, eh? Today, Joy is still in my life as a dear friend and mentor, a woman I go to when I need a touch from God, have a back-breaking prayer request or just need to tap in to the wisdom of one of the most anointed people I have ever met. Joy lives in another state now, so believe it or not, one of the only pictures I have of us together was taken at my wedding—she’s the bridesmaid in the middle.
Joy is an author, speaker, teacher and prayer warrior extraordinaire and recently she sent me an excellent article she taught on weariness that I thought I’d share with you today. If you get a chance, hop on over to Joy’s website at http://www.sayitwithjoy.com/sayitwithjoy.com/Welcome.html to say “hi,” browse and soak up her wisdom because, trust me—she is a true blessing from God!
THIS WEEK’S MEGA GIVEAWAYS GOING ON RIGHT NOW!!!
Before I turn you over to Joy, be sure to check out this week’s giveaways at my dear friend, Casey Herringshaw’s blog “Writing for Christ,” where she’s celebrating her Blogaversary with tons of giveaways from the following authors: Erica Vetsch, Ruth Logan Herne, Candace Calvert, Ronie Kendig, Jessica Nelson, Audra Harders, Lisa Jordan, Melanie Dickerson, Cara Putman, Anne Mateer, Meg Moseley and MaryLu Tyndall, to mention a few.
THEN … the blogaversry week wraps up with a grand finale of authors, including me (my interview posts at 3:00 PM) on Monday, November 21, where TWO commenters will have a chance to win their choice of one of my signed books OR a writer’s critique PLUS a copy of the “A Kiss is NOT Just a Kiss” handout from the ACFW workshop Ruth Axtell Morren and I taught this year. Hope to see you there—here’s the link:
Without further ado—my dear friend and mentor, Joy Bollinger, speaking on “Weariness: A Faith Destroyer”:
Weariness affects all of us, but Galations 6:9 tells us “do not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Webster’s Dictionary defines “weary” as being exhausted in strength, endurance, tolerance, and patience.
Probably the most difficult attribute for humans to possess is patience. We live in a world that offers instant text messaging, microwavable meals, drive-up restaurants and churches, and even drive-up wedding chapels. We turn our computer on and we’re instantly connected to the world. Technology has trained us to expect quick results and fast service. Because of that, we have grown impatient. We stand in line and we’re irritated. We wait in traffic and get red-faced, because it isn’t moving fast enough. However, one of the attributes of a Christ follower is patience, and to achieve patience, we must learn to “wait upon the Lord,” for in His time we will have an answer. It may not be the answer that we are looking for, but it will be an answer.
Victory only comes when we understand the tactics of the enemy. His plan is to erode our resolve so that we become mentally and physically weary and question God’s willingness to answer our prayers. That battle fatigue is a red flag alerting us that we need to press in and fight weariness with God’s Word.
Weariness births discouragement, and discouragement breeds doubt, and doubt generates unbelief that stops us from believing that God will deliver what He has promised and answer our prayers. The road to victory is never an easy road. It takes persistence and an uncomplaining, grateful heart. For God tells us to praise Him in all things. Praise is mentioned 259 times in the Bible. Psalm 50:23 tells us whoever offers praise glorifies me.
The Israelites were unthankful, and weariness set in, diminishing their faith in God. As their faith faltered, they began to complain bitterly, even though God had provided for them in every way during their journey. Their ingratitude, unbelief, and disobedience fueled God’s wrath against them.
As we go through our own journey, we can lose the battle with our adversary, if we base our faith on what we feel and not on God’s Word and His promises. We cannot become discouraged or give up because of what we see or experience with our five senses. We must operate in the Spirit and not in the flesh. The flesh will deceive and mislead, but the Holy Spirit will always guide us into truth.
God has armed us with strength for whatever we must face. We need to put on the whole armor of God so that when the enemy sends his fiery darts, they are deflected.
How do we do that? We speak the Word over our life EVERY DAY! We give thanks to God in all things. The more we talk about our problems, the more discouraged we will become. We are to speak those things that are not as though they are. Speaking the Word renews our strength so that we can wait upon the Lord with expectancy. It is then that we gain victory over the enemy. We are to thank God for His purpose and plan for our life and then we rest in the knowledge that He has a hope and a future for each one of us.
If we look beyond today, trying to figure things out, weariness will set in. God tells us not to worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will take care of itself. Worry, fear, and doubt will drain our energy, our strength, our faith, our passion, our hope, and our peace.
The war between faith and doubt is in the mind. James 1:8 tells us that a double minded man is unstable in all of his ways. Unstable means “prone to change, failure, or to give way under pressure.” We cannot straddle the fence with a mind that waivers between doubt and faith. It must be one or another.
My husband was diagnosed, two years ago, just before Thanksgiving, with stage four thyroid cancer that had metastasized into his lymph nodes and larynx. The prognosis was grim. They talked about removal of his voice box, radiation, and chemo. My husband chose not to give into fear but to walk in faith and believe God’s word. He dismissed the bleak predictions and astounded the doctors at MD Anderson’s Cancer Center in Houston, TX with his remarkable recovery and great attitude. He still has his voice box and a repaired larynx. Though his recent blood work revealed he is not cancer free, his cancer markers are within acceptable limits. His attitude is so uplifting that his coworkers have told me that he is an inspiration to everyone around him. They are amazed at his joyful outlook that he brings to work every day. How does he do it? My husband has a spirit of praise and gratitude that sustains his faith, daily.
Psalm 119:164 says, Seven times a day I praise You, Because of Your righteous judgments. As you know, seven in the Bible means completion. Isn’t that what God tells us…that He will do a complete work in us? Our praise and thanksgiving is our “yes” to God and gives us the ability to say, “Lord, I trust you.”
If we want victory in our lives, we must first trust God with our lives and believe that God’s Word is true. We then speak His Word over the problem, for His Words are Spirit and life. My husband began speaking healing, living scriptures over his body two weeks before his 14 ½ hour surgery and has continued every day since then.
We cannot believe lies that tell us we will never be healed; will never reach our goals; will never see our loved ones saved; will never have a mate; will never have that child we’ve longed for, or will never succeed; the lies go on and on. By accepting a lie, weariness consumes us, and defeat overtakes us as we see faith slipping away.
Christians are called to be victors and not victims. We are to be armed with strength for every battle, and that strength comes from God’s Word. Our struggle is not with flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers of the air. God will answer our prayers in His time. He is never late. Our job is to continue to pray and believe. We must let go of fear, doubt, and worry. God rewards the faithful and the faith-filled.
The Israelites, after 40 years of wandering through the desert, gave up because of weariness, unbelief, and fear. All they had to do was go up and possess the land that God had promised to them. They refused and only their children were allowed to enter. We need to ask ourselves, “Am I like the ungrateful, unbelieving, and complaining Israelites who relinquished God’s Promise because of unbelief?” As believers in Christ, we must daily confess God’s Word and believe that His Word is true and that it applies to us.
When we are met with resistance, we should rejoice, because God’s answer is just around the corner. We must press past the obstacles and those things that discourage us. Every struggle and adversity prepares us for even greater blessings. It’s the difficulties that stretch us and increase our endurance and our faith.
When we get closest to our miracle, that is when the enemy attacks the most. That is when negative thoughts urge us to give up. We must not become discouraged and weary by the length of the battle. Instead, we should be placing our hope and our trust in the Lord, for He is always victorious. Therefore, as joint heirs with Christ, be encouraged today and give thanks to God who gives us the victory.
Happy Weekend, All!