Apr 22

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Jeremiah 17:7–8

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

This last year, for us, has been a trying year.  It tested how firmly planted we were in our faith and whether our roots of faith were truly deep enough. A year ago, my mother passed away.  Three weeks later, just as we were beginning to process our grief, a global pandemic descended on us, forever changing the world around us.  Additionally, our son and his family moved across the country, all in a presidential election year with the inevitable divisive messaging that accompanies such a political season.  The “storms” of life were whirling around us!

But in the middle of those storms, we continued to find ample opportunities to determine how well established we were in our faith. Loss, grief, uncertainty, and separation all came into play, providing new seasons to surrender to God and His truths. And as we dealt with each of those challenges, we found ourselves being pulled toward Him, connecting with Him in fresh ways and discovering new rhythms in our faith journey. As our strength, confidence and stability continued to grow, we learned how to live our lives without fear, simply by focusing on Him.  

Ultimately, as the roots of our faith continued to grow deeper in Him, we were refreshed by His “living water” that allowed us to thrive and bear fruit through all of life’s storms.

Prayer Prompts:

How firmly are you planted in your faith? Is your confidence in God as the foundation that sustains you? When the storms of life surround you, do you turn to Him in prayer, allowing Him to hold you firmly in place?  Spend time reflecting on these questions.  Then, ask God to grow your roots of faith deeper in Him.    

Consider your current rhythm of spending time in God’s Word.  Is your faith being nourished by His life-giving Word?  How does reading and meditating on Scripture encourage you through difficult times?  How does your time with Him help you to thrive and bear fruit for His Kingdom purposes?  Spend time reflecting on these questions.  Then, ask God to strengthen your discipline to listen to His Voice as you engage with His Word.  

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) 

What’s a current “storm” that you’re facing?  What do you need to tell God about it?  What burdens do you need Him to carry?  How could He calm your fear and anxiety so that you can be filled with His peace?  Share your thoughts with Him. 

Spend time thanking God for the promise of His presence in the storms of your life.  Express your gratefulness and confidence in Him that He will sustain your faith and trust in Him, even in the most challenging situations of life.    

Jim Stephenson

Friends Elder and Men’s Ministry Leader