Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. ~ Psalm 37:3-4
I have found that great blessing follows “faithfulness”. Faithfulness is putting your trust in the Lord and doing good, even when you don’t feel like it. To “cultivate” faithfulness means to sow, develop or improve faithfulness—ever increasing faithfulness! And the good news is that God will help us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to walk in the faithfulness he requires.
Some years back I used to take a 6:00 a.m. walk every day. I had to take my walk early, before my husband went to work, so he could keep an eye on the kids. And because my kids didn’t attend regular daycare, that walk was usually the only time during the day when I would have a chance to pray and be alone with God.
So every morning I would rise early, check the outside temperature, have a quick cup of coffee, and head out the door.
During the winter I would dress in multiple layers, including three sweatshirts, gloves, hat, and a neck gator. Many mornings the temperature wasn’t even over twenty degrees! I needed a flashlight during the darkest days of winter and I did a lot of praying when I would hear the angry bark of a stray dog. Although the winter walks were a challenge, I always felt invigorated and refreshed by the time I came in the door. But to be honest, the summer walks were so much more pleasant.
Oh those summer walks! A brilliant, sunny morning, walking in shorts and a tee shirt, the smell of fresh cut grass, flowers blooming, and birds singing. And you should have seen all the other walkers out there! Now, during the dark, cold, dreary winter months of “flashlight” walking, I hardly ever encountered anyone. But once spring and summer hit, there was no end to the early morning walkers.
So often, God uses circumstances in my life to teach me deeper lessons. During that time in my life He taught me that blessings that would be poured into my life if I took the time and effort to just keep doing the right thing—whether I felt like it or not. He showed me that when I persist in right behavior, even in adverse circumstances, it’s as if I am laying a foundation of faithfulness….. one paver at a time. For example, when I made the choice to walk and pray each morning, several areas of my life were blessed because of it. I had an undisturbed prayer time, so my relationship with the Lord deepened. Also, I exercised my body so my health flourished. I also believe that our continued faithfulness can be a key to answered prayer.
There can be times in our lives when we are aching for an answer to prayer, or maybe we have a desire in our hearts yet to be fulfilled. One of the most powerful actions we can take, if we find ourselves in that position, is to just remain faithful in the things God has directed us to do. Sometimes when we’re in a dark place, and things are not going well in our lives, it’s easy to give up, and give into our desire for relief and fulfillment apart from God and His ways. We’ve all been there…. But we have to keep going! We have to persist in doing what we know is right. We can’t stop running the race, sit on the side of the road, curl up in the fetal position, and give up before the race is over. We’ve got to keep running and keep pressing forward into the good things that God has for us. He won’t fail us. His promises are true and we can bank on that. In fact, I’ve found the promises God has spoken over my life more stable, concrete, and solid than anything else in this world.
So if you’re feeling weary of putting God first, doing the right thing, taking the right steps, and going forward in spite of your pain—let me encourage you; you will reap a harvest if you don’t faint. Keep doing the right thing, and keep laying those pavers of faithfulness. God sees. God knows. And He will reward you when the time is right.
Paula Friedrichsen has been speaking at women’s retreats and church conferences regionally, as well as nationally, for years. She is a member of Church on the Mountain in Crowley Lake, California, where she serves as Communications Coordinator.
Paula began writing professionally in 2004, and saw her first book, The Man You Always Wanted is the One You Already Have, (Multnomah, 2007). She also writes magazine and newspaper articles, as well as book reviews.
The heartbeat of Paula’s ministry is to encourage believers in a deeper and more intimate relationship with Christ. Whether she’s talking about marriage, joy, abundant life, or even how to thrive in today’s faltering economy—the sub-theme of every message is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
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