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Faith Imagined: From Strength to Strength

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

January 2, 2009

From Strength to Strength

God never promised life would be easy. In fact, hardships in life are a guarantee. I used to wonder about this. How come some days with Christ seem so easy and refreshing and other days seem to test my very resolve? Was I do something wrong? If I were a good Christian little girl, wouldn't I always have peace in my heart and a song on my lips?

God gave me freedom from my wrong thinking when I read Psalms 84.5-7:

Blessed are those who strength is in you, who have set their hearts on
pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.

The first few lines of the verse directly states that we will need strength in this life; therefore, God knows that things will be hard. But we need to understand that this is a journey (pilgrimage) and we must resolve to walk the paths that God directs us on no matter how easy or difficult or how boring or glamorous.

Also, this life is the "Valley of Baca" or the Valley of Weeping, but we can make it a "place of springs," which means this life will be filled with hardships but somehow we can find refreshment and joy. To find a spring in the desert was no small blessing -- it was a life-saving miracle! I am determined to look for those springs because I know they are everywhere. I just need to allow the Holy Spirit to guide me to them.

And God also says that He will rain down His blessings and they will form into pools during our trek through the desert. This was like a breakthrough for me. I always wondered why I could feel so close to God and so refreshed and joyful one day and a month later feel exhausted and distant from Him. This is because God promised us "springs" during our walk through this life, not an endless ocean.

Springs mean that we will be refreshed at times, but then we will have to get up, break a sweat, and make our way through the desert by exerting our sheer determination and dependence on God. We will have moments of being rejuvenated, but then God will allow us to use our own two legs and forge ahead through this pilgrimage relying on His strength.
We will not be able to drift on a lifeboat, while sunning our backs and waiting for our life to gently escort us to Zion. On the contrary, we'll probably be dragging our broken bodies to Zion, which is okay because "The joy of the Lord is your strength" Nehemiah 8.10.

And when we each reach our final destination (face to face to God in Heaven) we will be worn-out and depleted, but we will be filled with the excitement and peace that we completed the journey that God created for us. So during my journey, I will rejoice when I come to a spring and I will soak in every last bit of refreshment from it; but when the water is gone and I'm feeling like a cannot take another step, I will find my strength in Him!

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Blogger Susie said...

Alisa, I think all these times of hardship, difficulty and boredom you (and all of us) experience are the very things that make us cry out to God for help. His guidance is what we seek when we are weak and when we are dissatisfied with the things of this world.

I for one am enjoying the lessons that come about through your search for truth. Sorry you are going through them, but know it is for His glory. Also, it is speaking truth in my life and teaching me scripture I have obviously missed along the journey.

10:46 PM  
Blogger Twisting His Arm said...

I enjoyed this post and I can't stop laughing about this sentence you wrote:

"We will not be able to drift on a lifeboat, while sunning our backs and waiting for our life to gently escort us to Zion."

Too funny and too true!!!

4:15 PM  

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