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A Lenten Focus on Faithfulness

Posted in Encouragement, Faith, Faithfulness, Holiday reflections, Overcoming difficulties, and Self-care

Today is Ash Wednesday. It signals the start of Lent, a 40 day reflection of Christ’s journey towards the Cross and to His Resurrection.

The word Lent comes from the English word meaning “springtime.”  It nudges us to awaken or renew our understanding of God’s grace in Christ and deepen our commitment to Him.

A common tradition of this season involves giving up something we enjoy (like a type of food, drink or activity). Our “sacrifice” symbolizes Christ’s sacrificial death for our sin and provides greater focus to our faith.

I aim to give up something that pierces me to the point where I get a greater grip on His grace and truth. I wanted it to be ice-cream, but that would only scratch the surface.

After more prayerful consideration, a more fruitful offering appeared:  Give up my need to know all the details – especially when all I feel is frustration, discouragement or fear.

I know it’s a process. But I long to bring the natural (and anxious) wondering of my mind to the necessary conclusion of my heart:  God is faithful. This fast will challenge me for sure; but God is more than up to the task. He treasures our trust.

Because Lent is not just a time of reflection; it is also a time of preparation.

In Mark 9:31-32, Christ prepared His disciples for His death and assured them of His resurrection.

“…He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but three days later he will rise from the dead.” They didn’t understand what he was saying, however, and they were afraid to ask him what he meant.” – Mark 9:31-32 NLT

As the disciples heard Christ’s words, they wrestled with the why, how and when these events would happen. But they were afraid to ask Jesus.

However, Matthew 7:7-8 tells us, He welcomes our asking.

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”

That’s a good thing. Because when life comes mingled with the unfair, the unexpected or the unwanted, I can have a lot of questions.  But my peace lies in trusting His answers — regardless of the details He provides.

I’m thinking I’m not the only one.

During this Lenten season join me and a few guests to this blog as we reflect on when we’ve needed His healing, renewal or restoration. As we touch on real life experiences, we’ll explore how difficulties can lead to our most pivotal moments with God.

Join us here each week and bring your story too. As we peer into God’s faithfulness this Lenten season, I believe we’ll also see how our response to Him matters.

It matters because faithfulness is a quality attributed to God and to people. When it is attributed to God it means He is unchangeable. He is eternally consistent with His Divine nature and the Keeper of every one of His promises. (See Numbers 23:19)

When faithfulness is attributed to us, it implies loyalty expressed through consistency in our words and deeds. Unlike God, we are not perfect.  However, we can be persistent in our seeking Him and in making every effort to obey His instructions. (see Luke 16:10)

His Perfection invites our persistence.

I’m grateful for each friend and faith-walker who will share with us this Lenten season. As they share their stories we’ll explore what or who God uses to teach us about (or remind us of) His faithfulness and love.  We’ll also consider ways to demonstrate faithfulness in our walk with God.  I believe this Lenten journey is sure to bring us more hope for the heart and joy to the soul.

8 Comments

  1. Love this, Joy. And I’m right there with you when it comes to, “giving up my need to know all the details…especially when all I feel is fear.” I wrote about that very thing yesterday. God bless you on this journey through Lent!

    March 1, 2017
    • Joy
      Joy

      Hi Shelby! Praying for you too as we release our need to know all the details to our faithful God. Thanks for stopping by – blessings to you!

      March 1, 2017
  2. Joy, I love “His perfection invites our persistence “. That will resonate thoroughly:) What a challenge as a woman to NOT know all the details?! As a planner and a fixer, yikes that’s a hard one. Thanks for this and blessings!

    March 2, 2017
    • Joy
      Joy

      Hi Gretchen. Yes, my fast from “knowing ALL the details” is definitely not easy. I was at a point, however, where my thirst for details was outpacing my ability to rest in Him…I’m sure there will be more on that later! Blessings to you too Gretchen!

      March 2, 2017
  3. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth

    Joy I look forward to reading your blog during this Lenten season. I always look forward to fasting and praying during Lent. But this is a season where I transition from the home Harold lived in for a short time into my own space and need God’s direction in a mighty way.

    March 3, 2017
    • Joy
      Joy

      Thanks Liz. As we focus on God’s faithfulness this Lenten season, I believe He will reveal what’s necessary for us to settle into His will and experience His peace. I’m praying for you. May you experience all He desires as you transition into your next space.

      March 3, 2017
  4. I especially like giving up the need to know all the details. That is so me. As you know, God is not as interested in giving me details as He is in conforming me to the image of his Son. But, nosy me gets frustrated when I don’t understand. Good reminder.

    March 6, 2017
    • Joy
      Joy

      Yes our “spiritual” nosiness can lead to frustration! Thankfully, our faithful God is patient as we learn to trust Him more.

      March 6, 2017

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