Thursday, February 4, 2016

Spiritual Journey Thursday - FAITH

 I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly basis.  It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together.  We welcome anyone who would like to join us!
For the next couple of months, we are writing about each other's One Little Words.  Please join us!  If you have a One Little Word this year and would like to explore the spiritual aspect of it, let me know, and I will add you to the schedule!  Today's OLW is Justin Stygles's word, FAITH.  Justin does not have a blog, but he will be reading our posts.  You can find him on Twitter.
     I looked back at my Spiritual Journey posts, thinking surely I had written about FAITH before, but I couldn't find one!  I only found one called Fear, Faith, and Teaching.  It didn't necessarily have a spiritual aspect to the post, though.  So I guess this is my first Spiritual Journey Thursday post on FAITH!
     I teach a class on Spiritual Gifts at my church.  We use the Network curriculum.  Network describes spiritual gifts as special abilities given by the Holy Spirit and distributed to every believer according to God's design and grace for the common good of the body of Christ.  Faith is one of those spiritual gifts.  Network defines the spiritual gift of faith as:  The divine enablement to act on God's promises with confidence and unwavering belief in his ability to fulfill his purposes.  People with this gift believe the promises of God and inspire others to do the same, act in complete confidence of God's ability to overcome obstacles, demonstrate an attitude of trust in God's will and his promises, advance the cause of Christ because they go forward when others will not, ask God for what is needed and trust him for his provision.  I found another resource here that clarifies it, also.
     Faith is a powerful thing.  Certain words in the definition stand out to me:  unwavering, promises, inspire, confidence, and trust.  That's faith. If you don't have the spiritual gift of faith, you may have to work harder at it (and even if you do, it has to be applied!).  It's not always an easy thing to manifest.  Faith can be elusive.  It can waver and buckle.  Fear can creep in and steal it.  Worry can weaken it.  Anxiety can replace it.  Doubt can challenge it.  But when it is fully realized, and accompanied by love, it can move mountains.

January 14: Carol Varsalona - BELIEVE
January 21:  Margaret Simon - PRESENT
January 28:  Michelle Haseltine - SELAH
February 4:  Justin Stygles - (Blind) FAITH
February 11: Leigh Ann Eck - INTENT
February 18:  Irene Latham - DELIGHT
February 25:  Violet Nesdoly - MINDFULNESS
March 3:  Julieanne Harmatz - ADMIRE
March 10:  Holly Mueller - WAIT
March 17:  Linda Kulp - SIMPLIFY
March 24: Doraine Bennett - SHINE
March 31: Donna Smith - BOLD


  1. These last few weeks of 2016 have been challenging for me. Presence has been forced upon me by my tailbone injury. My faith falters. Somehow when we are in a situation, it's difficult to see the purpose, to feel faithful.

    1. I prayed once for you, Margaret. That is shameful to say. But I am putting your name on my refrigerator. You are now officially on my daily prayer list then. I will be praying for total and quick healing.
      Though this may grow your faith, it may be growing faith in other people's lives.
      Sometimes God has others watching over you that need to be a blessing to you; and sometimes He has others just watching you to see your faith in difficulties and be encouraged and changed by it.(Not that this makes pain any easier to take necessarily...LOL!) But know there are prayers! We need you up and running again!

    2. I know how physical illness can threaten faith firsthand; so, understand your dilemma. In times like that, I always pray the prayer of the father seeking a miracle from Jesus: "Lord help my unbelief." It never fails. He brings peace and faith.

  2. Holly, thank you for this post and the amazing song. I finished my post but then read yours and just had to listen several times to the song to validate my joy this morning. My prayer was heard. You know I have been waiting for news of my catscan and it came last night. I am full of praise this morning and note that in my post.

    1. Heading over to your place next, Carol! I've been waiting to hear.

    2. Thanks, Donna. I love the fact that this community is so supportive.

  3. I loved that morning song. Gonna put that on the kitchen speakers now to listen again!
    Thanks for your hosting this spot on Thursdays. I need this.

  4. Thank you for your thoughts, Holly! For me faith is not something to be worked on as something I must allow space for it to enter into me, my life... almost the opposite of work. As in, rest, be open, find the blue sky above the clouds, and faith will burrow in, take root. Happy day to you!

  5. Of all the SJT posts I've written, this one leaves me most unsettled; thank you for your kick-off post, Holly. Selfishly, I was happy to see how many times your definition of faith commingled with trust...Also, since my dilemma was with the word (blind), I was curious to see that you had focused on "just" Faith...I think I learned a lot from my introspections about Blind Faith...even if I'm not feeling happy or settled by what I've written. God bless you; thanks!

  6. I always love reading what everyone else writes about these words. It shows me how many directions they can go and how much we can learn from the perspective of others. For example, I hadn't even thought of "faith" as a spiritual gift, Holly. Irene's thoughts interest me too, in that her definition of "faith" speaks of an underlying optimism that soaks through each situation. As always, thanks Holly for setting us on this path!

  7. I had not thought of faith as a gift from God. I have always thought it was something expected that we have to strive for. Faith then is like Grace. Jesus died so we could have faith in Him. It is a gift. Gifts are unearned and based on our status in Christ.