Friday, May 3, 2019

Gaining Faith on the Journey by Melinda Viergever Inman

Meme that focuses on faith.

Gaining Faith on the Journey 

Jesus slept on the boat. Even as water poured over him, the wind howled, and disciples cried out in fear all around him, still he slept. He didn’t wake of his own accord. They woke him. That event in a storm on the Sea of Galilee demonstrates what bona fide, 100 percent pure faith looks like.

Even in human flesh, Jesus was fully God, and being fully God, he knew he could sleep deeply and soundly, for his mission was not going to end with him drowning in the bottom of the sea. It would end on a cross. Knowing this, for the sake of his disciples alone, Jesus calmed the wind and the storm.

“Why are you so afraid?” he said to them. “Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:40)

“The antidote to fear is faith,” reads my ESV Study Bible note.

When I feel terrified, when I worry about my bold and adventurous offspring, when I stare into the 3:00 a.m. darkness puzzling over the details of my husband’s coming retirement, when another vehicle careens toward mine in our ridiculous metropolitan traffic, and when my autoimmune disease gnaws at my bones and the nucleus of each cell, I need not fear.

When I don’t understand the market or the latest Amazon strategy when I’m puzzled about a particular piece of the publishing process, when I don’t know if I can keep up with all the latest trends in marketing, and when I wonder where my sales are heading, I need not fear.

“When I am afraid, I will trust in You” (Psalm 56:3).

If I had faith like Jesus, I would know in every fiber of my being that nothing can harm me or mine until the day God has ordained that we walk into his presence. I would know in my bones, without any thought otherwise, that each event that touches our lives is ordained by God, orchestrated together for our good. I would know that this covers my writing journey as well, every single bit of it. But instead, faith isn’t inherent in me, and I must remind myself of the truth frequently.

Recently our pastor stated, “Responding to the unknowns by faith is where the Gospel radically changes our lives.”

It boils down to this: How will we act when we are afraid and when we doubt?

Will we cower in fear? Or will we peacefully keep rowing or bailing or writing, even as the boat seems to be sinking, even though Jesus is in the boat?

“Faith is a journey of continuing, ascending hilltops,” our pastor said. On this journey, we are to keep our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. “Faith is formed amidst the ongoing race.”

We don’t get to take the Faith Seminar and walk out girded and prepared for the rest of our lives before the Lord turns us loose in the world. No. We must learn this lesson as we run the race, as we sit in the boat, as we send off the query, as we await word from the publisher, and as we watch our sales tank.

Trials that shake us up are one of God’s chief means for perfecting us. Trials allow us to see the true state of our faith, how weak, how strong, how in need of fortification. As a believer, my life should be characterized by faith, not by midnight hand wringings.

Our faith is demonstrated by how we choose to act, what thoughts we choose to censor, what ideas we refuse to allow inside our heads, and how we choose to continue to press forward with the mission the Lord has given us, the mission of writing for him. All of this requires intentionality.

Will we press on in our writing? Will we lay aside fearful lack of faith and trust Jesus?



How will we act when we are afraid and when we doubt? #seriouslywrite #encouragementforwriters via @MelindaVInman


Melinda V Inman, Author of Refuge; Fallen; and No Longer Alone


Raised on the Oklahoma plains in a storytelling family, Melinda Viergever Inman now spins tales from her writer’s cave in the Midwest. Her faith-filled fiction illustrates our human story, wrestling with our brokenness and the storms that wreak havoc in our lives. Find her weekly at http://MelindaInman.com/blog/. To find her work and to be notified of future published novels, follow her at http://bit.ly/MelindasBooks/.

Connections:

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melinda-V-Inman/189731601076470
Website: http://melindainman.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MelindaVInman
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Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MelindaViergeverInman/posts/p/pub






10 comments:

  1. Having faith while writing is a blessing. Knowing He is with me and guiding me along the writing journey is truly a comfort.

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    1. That's what keeps us going! The presence of the Lord and his leading is a blessing!

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  2. Love this: "We must learn this lesson as we run the race, as we sit in the boat, as we send off the query, as we await word from the publisher, and as we watch our sales tank."

    So true that we grow more along the way than we do in study--important as study is. Great message!

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    1. You're so right, Nancy! The journey is where we gain faith, because of the struggles along the way and the Lord's presence with us in all of them. We grow so much! Thanks for commenting.

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  3. Loved this, Melinda: "Trials that shake us up are one of God’s chief means for perfecting us. Trials allow us to see the true state of our faith, how weak, how strong, how in need of fortification. As a believer, my life should be characterized by faith, not by midnight hand wringings." If God isn't losing sleep, I don't need to either. Trials certainly are are essential to forge strength of character. I appreciate your authenticity here today!

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    1. I love what you said here, Mary: "If God isn't losing sleep, I don't need to either." Amen! Yes! That's exactly it. These trials do forge strength of character. Since we all do go through these, authenticity is necessary.

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  4. I love this post, Melinda, especially this: “Responding to the unknowns by faith is where the Gospel radically changes our lives.” And "...Jesus is in the boat." It's easy to forget that God is right here with us and He is in control. I know this post is very real for you. Thank you for your bravery as you round each corner and for sharing this post with us. Blessings to you as you continue to write and serve our Lord.

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Stephen. One of the blessings of chronic illness is that there's always plenty of material! When I write, it's typically something I'm experiencing or learning. Therefore, the encouraging words from a sermon can inspire a post that can encourage more than just me, for others are going through the same thing as well. And, aren't we all! We all face trials of various kinds. It's the common theme of human existence. They're necessary for growth, and Jesus is in the boat with us shaping our lives and training us. Trials are normal life in a fallen world.

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  5. Thank you, Melinda. Such a powerful post. No, we don't get to sign up for a "Faith Seminar" it comes from life...building faith upon faith as we trust the Lord in the trials and things that want to makes us fearful instead of faith-filled. Love this thought, "If I had faith like Jesus, I would know in every fiber of my being that nothing can harm me or mine until the day God has ordained that we walk into his presence."

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  6. I hope you're not finding two replies here, Karen. Google went kaput, and I had to start over. Thank you for stopping by to comment. It's easy for fear to creep in, for these trials are intended to shove us toward Jesus. The Lord knows best what will do that and what will reveal our heart to us. The outcome he seeks is strong faith. He's in the boat, and he is the destination. Remembering that strengthens me.

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