A lot people know the grade with which I graduated from Law School. I certainly made sure of that, what with my writing a post about it.lol.
See the post here if you haven’t, it will put today’s Bible Study in perspective for you.
I received a call from a fellow blogger(not sure if I should say her name) and she was telling me that she had had to refer to that post in some of her conversations with people.
She said her husband will always say that we are quick to say the good things God does for us but no one would want to share what we prayed for and didn’t get.
I wanted to do a study on faith then but well…laziness.
But recently, I have talked to two persons who were(are) struggling with their faith.
Because some things aren’t going as well as they expect them to so they are having issues with still having faith in God despite the circumstances surrounding their lives.
I recently read “Francine Rivers book-As Sure As Dawn” and I found myself weeping and praying at a certain point.
Because I realize that I need grace to stand firm in faith no matter what may happen to me.
So let’s delve into what faith really is according to the word of God.
“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”
Then Hebrews 11:6
“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”
Now, let’s look at those verses critically.
Verse 6 says he that wants to come to Him must believe that God exists…
Hold it there…
He must first believe that GOD EXISTS.
Now, in today’s world, we do not first of all believe that God exists, we place the fact that He rewards us first before the fact that He exists.
So we seek for jobs and God gives it us so we believe that He exists.
We seek for money and God gives it to us so we believe that He exists.
We seek for marriage and God doesn’t give it to us so we DONT BELIEVE THAT HE EXISTS.
Now, Hebrews 11 goes ahead to talk about Abel, Enoch, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac…(you should have whipped out your Bibles by now and be studying along with us)
People who believed God and what they believed God for happened.
Now, most of us only see these verses when we read Hebrews 11. Nobody bothers to go right down and see this…
“…But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.”
“All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised.”
Now pause here…
When I got a pass from Law School(which by the way could have been because of my own fault or not…), it would have been a difficult time for me had I not been anchored on the word.
And the Holy Spirit is awesome, even in times when we are confused.
He said to me…
“Faith works both ways, sometimes what you trust for comes, sometimes it doesn’t, still you trust, still you faith it, still you trust.”
Now, go back to Hebrews 11:39, it says that all these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, but none of them received what was promised.
So the main deal about faith isn’t receiving what we ask for, it is our faith in God who can give us whatever we ask for and that even if He doesn’t give us what we ask for, we still have faith and believe in Him.
Now, it is important that Christians of today grow themselves to a point where they can stand firm in God within and without abundance and all those material stuffs.
Francine Rivers book had me asking myself some tough questions.
Will I still trust God if I am raped?
Will I still trust God if I was married and had to be separated from my husband?
Will I still trust God is He strips me bare of everything I think that I have and leave me with just Him as my source?
We don’t pray for terrible things but we need to get this right.
Do we scream God is good because of only what He does for us?
If He doesn’t give us nothing outside of Himself, will we still be satisfied?
I believe that God wants us to move away from this bread and butter Christianity.
Some of us have been so brainwashed by the sweet tale of Christianity, a little difficulty in our lives and we drift away from Church, drift away from quiet time, drift away from talking with God and making Him our all.
Oh, it’s sad.
Who are we looking up to?
Hebrews 11:27 says:
“It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the kingâs anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.”
What are we keeping our eyes on?
Some of us are keeping our eyes on the visible things.
Oh God help us.
We say “I love you Lord” when all is well but when we fail or have a carry over in a course, we dump God in a corner.
Can we please fix our eyes on the invisible God and not the visible things?
Faith is the confidence that what we believe in God for will happen.
What gives us this confidence?
And God is constant, good, great, kind and able.
But even when He is able but doesn’t give us what we ask for(which ultimately most times turns out to be for our good) He is still good.
Sometimes, when some stuff happen to me, I can’t help but think that I am being drilled.
God wants Himself at the centre and not wherever I deem to place Him in my life.
Hebrews 12:27 says
“This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.”
Are you unshakable?
Or are we being blown about by any little thing that happens to us?
What is our faith anchored on?
Paul was a mighty man of God wasn’t He?
Was He a rich man?
But still He could say God supplies all I need.
I have all I need.
With Christ I can do all things.
Oh Lord, that we can get into such depths with you.
That we can say even though this present life and circumstance eats at me, I love you still, you are a good God.
It seems easy to read that now, but read that again and say it again when you indeed have tears in your eyes from issues in your life – that’s the true test of faith.
I want to be a lady who is unshakable in her faith in God.
A lady who has been drilled and knows that God is still everything and everything is God.
And I encourage us all today to feed our faith.
God needs people whose hearts are stayed on Him… rain or no rain, sunshine or no sunshine.
People who will serve Him even in times of war.
There is a need for us to grow spiritually, now more than ever before.
To have deep convictions in God.
To know that God exists regardless of whether we are rich or not.
Regardless of whether we are healthy or not.
Regardless of whether we are single or married.
We have to stop taking just milk and start taking solids.
But we cannot do this on our own, we need help… we need God’s help.
So please pray along with me…
“Lord help me to stand firm in you, whatever maybe, whatever may happen, help me to stand firm in faith, in Jesus Name, amen”
And I’d love to hear from you, it’s a Bible Study.
Did I miss anything? Of course I did, we can’t understand it all.
Please share what you got from this study with us in the comment section below, let me learn from you.
Till our next Bible Study,
P.S-I’m sorry I didn’t publish any post on saturday and monday.
I’m back from the conference I mentioned in my last post and of course it was an experience that words cannot explain.
And no, I am not going to write about it here like I did with thirsty
Most of us are single and aren’t held down by stuffs, so take some time out of the busy schedule and go on ya own time out with God and refresh yaself. *tongue out*
And someone was asking me today if I still blog… *insert blank stare here*
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lizzyJanuary 28, 2015 at 10:17 am
God bless you so much for this word…this is pratically for me…thank you soo much. I need to read dis over and over again
Frances OkoroJanuary 28, 2015 at 3:35 pm
Practically for you and even me Lizzy..yep, we have all got to step it up a notch.
God bless you bigly and turn around everything that needs to be turned around in you 🙂
Agnes AuduJanuary 28, 2015 at 11:17 am
Daughter of encouragement…I see u’ve got ursef hooked on my Francine Rivers,go ahead and try Frank Perretti and Ted Dekker.May God continue to replenish u in wisdom,grace and knowledge….this study is priceless*kisses*miss u loads!
Frances OkoroJanuary 28, 2015 at 3:39 pm
Aww, Agnes, I miss you more babes..more and plenty plenty..the day we go see again eh.. 🙂
And yes Francine Rivers has got me hooked. I have a Ted Dekker’s book on my phone and I will read it soon..
This study is priceless for me too. I’ve not attained the height but i’m pressing on.
*much love babes*
Tessa DoghorJanuary 28, 2015 at 12:24 pm
I would jare
Thanks for the encouragement
I am needing so much encouragement in this season
I wonder what is up with me.
NB By the way I love Francine Rivers so much though not as much as I love her heart
I wish I could give more of me to God the way she does
That is the only way she can create stuff that impacts the spirit like she does.
Frances OkoroJanuary 28, 2015 at 3:41 pm
Absolutely nothing wrong with needing encouragement Tessa, we all do..i’m glad this study helped.
And the good thing about all this is that we can give more of ourselves to God like Francine rivers..God is no respected of persons..oh this is great.
We just have to be ready to surrender all and let His Spirit flow.
graciemamaJanuary 28, 2015 at 12:25 pm
âFaith works both ways, sometimes what you trust for comes, sometimes it doesnât, still you trust, still you faith it, still you trust.â
Frances OkoroJanuary 28, 2015 at 3:46 pm
I thought it was #word too when I got Gracie… was struggling to accept it and wham, #word! 🙂
kekeJanuary 28, 2015 at 12:25 pm
Thank God for the pocket app, I will carry this page with me. You preached it like widespread fire.
I am learning not to struggle with anything, just trust and have faith because lord knows I am so use to planning and scheming for what I want that I imagine God laughing at me like,
“child when did we talk about this? you know you ain’t getting anything right, until I am ready, so calm down and wait”
Other times bad stuff happens and they have always happened to me which has been the cause of depression and therapy for me. But with faith, I have come to realise, life is not all about sunshine, and stars, there will also be storms and hurricanes.
And I also get what you said about drifting away, this has sadly become the norm this days, we hit difficult times, we stop going to church, no more quiet times with God and act like nothing exist. Then I ask, for whose benefit? Is it the church community, our believer friends or just people hoping God will answer when he sees how isolated we are from Him. Then it becomes a 50/50 walk, I do what I can to solve my problem and expect God to also chip inâ¦..that was me many moons ago. Until I began to have real honest conversations with God and stopped the questions did I get itâ¦..Faith is like a pause..to stand still *selah*
Every situation becomes a testimony for our purpose and when God is the focus, every problems, difficulties and temptation are like chattels, temporarily, while they appear to stand still in our lives like fixture, remember they are removable, because we serve a great Architect that has designed our lives to be capable of standing strong in Him.
Thank you again for sharing this message and don’t ever go days without posting again. It is like denying me breakfast & coffeeâ¦..God Exists and I pray that whenever our faith is tested, we will continue to be bold and unshakeable.
Frances OkoroJanuary 28, 2015 at 3:53 pm
I have learnt a lot from your comment.
Faith is like..pause…stand still, wait patiently..keep the only constant God.
Oh, thank you for sharing this.
And I can so relate with those conversations on imagining what God thinks/says when I throw a tantrum..
Oh, our Daddy is just so patient with this stubborn me..i’m learning to yield more and more…
And amen and amen to your prayers.
That we will not drift away.
Good or bad situation, we will still spend crazy time with Jesus like our lives depend on it, which of course it does.
And by God’s grace, I am here 🙂
Posts will be on as usual…
Thank you so much for being a (blog) real fam.God bless you.
CynthiaJanuary 28, 2015 at 1:57 pm
Amen to this online Bible study and thank you so much Frances for sharing with us. This piece is very relevant to my life at the moment so I sincerely believe God’s speaking to me through you. I also think people know that God exists but do not understand the true meaning of his existence hence why we falter in our faith at every negative circumstance/situation. I thank God for his everlasting love and mercies upon us though even when we fall because I have no idea where I would be. One thing I have also learnt(thank you Joel Osteen) is to own any situation we’re in even when we do not like it. He is your father and buddy so thank him from the depths of your heart for your current situation believing that it is for his greater glory and don’t sweat it but faith it!(in Frances’s words). That is the first step to absolute faith in God and I have seen changes in my life and faith in God since I adopted this prayer. This is an inner peace that comes with surrendering all to him. I have never heard of Francine Rivers but I’m so going to check her out judging from everyone’s comments. May God continue to bless us all as we continue to grow in our absolute faith and trust in him at all times. Amen!!
Frances OkoroJanuary 28, 2015 at 4:03 pm
I totally agree with you Cynthia, we may know that God exists but we don’t really know who He is.
It’s the reason why the Jews were so mad when Jesus called God His father. They didn’t understand that aspect of God.
Same way we don’t fully understand who God is so we may drift away when visible situations go awry…
And Joel Osteen is so right.
#surrendering to God is hard..oh its hard..but the peace we get from laying it all down can’t be quantified. Jesus sure knew what He was saying when He said cast all your burdens on me..His yoke is easy..brings peace, and is for our good.
I pray for grace to hold firm and tightly to the word we have received in Jesus name, amen.
Highly FavoredJanuary 28, 2015 at 2:00 pm
The perfect example of all these questions is Job’s experience. Despite ALL that he lost and endured, He remained faithful in trusting God. I’m sure he cried, begged God for Mercy, prayed and cried some more, but through it all He refused to turn his back on God. In the end God rewarded Him 10 fold for everything he lost!
Sometimes lifes trials are tests…….do you trust God that He will Never leave you nor forsake you? and that the righetous (those persons genuinely seeking to please God in their lives) will never beg?
kekeJanuary 28, 2015 at 2:05 pm
The Job example is spot on. That is a lesson I hold on too and thank God I have never had it as tough like that. But we strive and check ourselves in our problems to make sure we are still acting in faith.
Frances OkoroJanuary 28, 2015 at 4:15 pm
I tell you Keke, Job had it hard.
Most of us haven’t even seen quarter of what He saw, yet we fall..
It re-emphasizes a drive in me to increase in the Spirit
Spiritual stamina will help us not to fall away
#dept in the things of God…
Frances OkoroJanuary 28, 2015 at 4:08 pm
Yep Highly favored.. life trials are mostly tests..
I personally feel that when I go through tough situations, there is an invisible line that I have to cross..
Will I keep on in faith or trip right back the line.
Do I really love God like I say I do?
It can be so hard sometimes..but I pray we always pass the test whenever they come.
And Job’s story trips me too.
I did a study on it one time and this struck me “whether He slays me, I still trust Him(paraphrased)
Oh, that’s where I pray we will all be…
Dr. NJanuary 28, 2015 at 5:54 pm
Trust is deeper than Faith I sometimes think. One day I asked God “I know u’re ABLE. Are u WILLING?” Therein lies d issue
glowingscenesJanuary 28, 2015 at 8:59 pm
I think therein lies the ‘Will’ of God in the Willing to do it because like we believe Nothing is impossible for Him. And so when we wholly believe in God aka Faith because Faith is even believing in what we can’t see in the first place but knowing it is. Knowing it’s real and it exists. We have never seen Jesus, He’s not even a black man, but we believe. We believe every single thing His word says and herein is our basic faith. And so we can’t even pray for faith because we have it already. It’s more like a gift from God so that no man will boast of it. And so we now have to stretch it and keep exercising it to keep it in full force. I mean if all we lived by was living by sight, then when it’s time to live by faith, we will just collapse. 🙂
I hope I haven’t complicated issues with my epistle. lol. Summary of the matter is this. You don’t trust someone or something you don’t have faith in because you don’t see it but you just believe it. And so you trust and you hang on because you believe. Trust-Faith-Believe. They work together.
Frances OkoroJanuary 29, 2015 at 10:46 pm
No Itunu, you didn’t confuse me the more.lol.
You made this clearer.
I’ve never really thought about how belief-trust-faith works…
See why #onlinebiblestdudy is good.
I should look into this more and more.
As for the willingness of God part..hmmm, that’s one lesson that was drilled into me last year and I can’t help but think that I will always have to remember it for the rest of my life.
God is able in everything but sometimes, it may not be His will for us even if He is able.
Thank you so much for explaining better Glow 🙂
Frances OkoroJanuary 28, 2015 at 7:36 pm
You need to see my face scrunched up in thought. Dr N..trust..faith..trust..faith..
I have only an idea on this, you for still teach us small…
And I think you are right too..God is able but is He willing? Willing to do things we ask for that may not be good for us in the long run?
I wish you had expanded on this(yep, I’m soaking up some thoughts on this study)
But thanks for this, set my thoughts on a roll.
vickyJanuary 28, 2015 at 7:46 pm
wow, it’ll be selfish of me not to share this. GOD is taking you higher and i pray for such grace too. you said it all, i learnt to anchor on God in all situations. i’ll keep this post in mind. thanks for sharing.
Frances OkoroJanuary 29, 2015 at 10:49 pm
Amen and amen Vicky.
Grace to spread the word more and more about Jesus Christ..
And yep, a lesson that should never be forgotten.
#totally anchored on Christ, whatever maybe.
Thank you for sharing 🙂
glowingscenesJanuary 28, 2015 at 8:49 pm
When I read this, I could relate to a post I wrote last year which I told you was laid upon my heart that I was going to write after I read your PASS post in law school. I’ve always wanted to write it for a long time especially after some certain challenges I faced between my graduation and now. You can read it up here.
It’s not easy but by God’s grace, we’ll attain the height of loving God and praising Him in the Storm. Because He will always be God and His goodness is not based on our feelings or whatever is happening in the world today. He is good. Hence one of my best songs is Don Moen’s God is good all the time. Before I never liked the song o because I was wondering how God could be good all the time…lol. But as I started to grow and understand God and draw closer, I saw He’s good. Sooo good. 🙂
Frances OkoroJanuary 29, 2015 at 10:53 pm
*God is good, all the time..
He put a song of praise in this heart of mine…
God is good…*
I certainly pray for more grace to always know and follow after the plain truth that the song of praise in our hearts do not arise out of only happy circumstance..nope, they should arise out of EVERY circumstance.
Because God put the song there and it’s based on who He is..never changing, constant and forever good God!
Before I go on a roll.lol.
Thank you Itunu for this..I’m learning a lot.
Will definitely check out your post 🙂
NaijamumJanuary 29, 2015 at 8:08 am
Awesome post! For some of us, it works inversely, we tend to believe and exercise more faith when things are not going to our expectations but when we need help, that’s when we believe in God. Well done Pastor Frances.
Frances OkoroJanuary 29, 2015 at 11:00 pm
That is certainly true Naijamum.
I have experienced some trying times that made me stronger in faith in God and some situations that I faltered in..
But all in all, my prayer is for grace to not decrease in my faith in God no matter what happens but to increase…same for us all in Jesus name, amen.
And err, no Pastor oh, just Frances 🙂
egoFebruary 3, 2015 at 12:16 am
*I must apologise, cos this will be a long comment*
I totally understand what you mean. I graduated from uni in 2013 and was struggling ‘what next’ with God. I was asking for direction, clarity, and all the reply I got was Matthew 6:33. Also, a major reason I was unsettled was that I had been banking heavily on certain promises people made to me while I was in school (I didn’t even realise how much hope I had put in them). I worked hard, got a great result, but they had their own issues and couldn’t fulfil their promises. So I prayed a lot for God to provide for them to provide for me LOL. Then I got this ministration that God should be my sole source of sustenance, significance & identity. I liked it, so I asked for it regularly for the rest of the year.
2014 started out on a spiritual high, but a physical low. I had so much faith though, so I didn’t care. I figured if God is my source then everything is fine. Well, I got some big miracles from my list of expectations, but there were disappointments – one of which was the major prayer request of my life at the time. I prayed so much that I had faith that God would do it. On the eve of the deadline of the major issue, the Word on my mind was “all things work together for those that love God”. It gave me so much hope, so when all hope was destroyed I was dazed, stunned. Like, “God did You abandon me or what?” Anyways, God’s grace took over, He was patient with me and encouraged me in ways no one else could. I realised that I had been stripped of every support system I had clung to, there was nothing left to bank on, all my plans had been taken away, and all I had left was God. Well, it was what I asked for except I didn’t know it would be so painful. So, I clung to Him and trusted in Him alone.
I am still learning to trust God, but I have come a long way from this time last year. This is the most satisfied I have been in my adult life, and it all comes from Him and not my circumstances. My life is currently going in a direction I was so set against before, but I am truly happy and confident about it because I really trust in God. We find it hard to trust God in hard times because we fail to realise that He isn’t limited by life’s circumstances, that what we see as ‘the end’ might just be ‘the beginning’ to Him. I guess this is why so many success stories are borne out of failures.
So I will continue to trust God even if all fails, because I know that my opinions are way inferior to His knowledge, that His ways are far above mine, that He loves me with an everlasting love and has great plans for me, that even if I mess up He can create beauty from my ashes, that all things will work together for my good because I love Him.
Frances OkoroFebruary 3, 2015 at 2:49 am
No Ego, I love the long comments. Read yours twice…
Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience with us, oh, it would so help us all…
I heard a pastor say once that when God wants to be your source, He strips you of every other source you have so all you have is HIM.
Easy to say but when we go through the stripping…..
But then the purging and refining isn’t always easy, it’s almost like grating our innermost insides….(if there is any word like that)
But I just love God…He doesn’t leave us lonely through it all.
He always comforts us and provides His word for us…
Through the shaking, He prepares us for what He has for us.
This also struck me – “because we fail to realise that He isnât limited by lifeâs circumstances, that what we see as âthe endâ might just be âthe beginningâ to Him.”
I’ll always remember that.
Thank you Ego.
GloireMarch 4, 2015 at 5:59 pm
Thank you for this, Frances.
Let’s twist it up a bit. What if God tells me I’m gonna get raped? Or sth devastating.
Will I be like “sure Dad. Whatever You say, I know You’re gonna be there.”
What if He’s not there?
Bear with me a sec, fam.
Jesus knew He was gonna be crucified. He was in sorrow He took some friends aside. He asked that the cup be taken. He la’er submitted.
But then, on the cross, He asked “my God, why have You forsaken me?”
It’s possible God withdraws a lil sometimes.
Like a mum taking her child to the room at night & switching the lights off, knowing the terror the child would face, but knowing the child’s gon’ get good.
Just twisted it a bit fam.
E.g, you know a bad thang’s gon’ happen, but it doesn’t happen the way you planned.
Maybe you know you’ll lose your job. You plan. But then sth further rocks your boat, say you lose your house …
Apologies for the epistle! Blame Aunty Frances & the trips she makes my mind go on!
Corrections & analysis are super welcome!
Frances OkoroMarch 7, 2015 at 12:42 am
Apologies kwa Gloire?
You set my mind on a spin too.
Like really, what if the stuff that happened was made known to us before it happened, will we go along and go straight on into it.
Jesus knew what was going to happen and even when He felt abandoned cuz He was separated from God because of our sins that He took upon Himself, He still didn’t come down from the cross, He continued along with it till the very end.
Can I do such?
I love these questions cuz they help me to assess myself and how much I’ve grown in faith and trust in God.
Have I grown this much?
Thank you, this analysis is very welcome, it set my head on a spin too
OluwaboriDecember 16, 2015 at 5:56 pm
Wow! This really inspired me. God is God in the good times and even in the bad times. While we face difficulties, he is nt far from us, we just have to keep on trusting him, knowing that whatever we are facing fits into his plan for our life. As long as God is still with us, we ll come out victorious. When we come to understand his will for our lives, we put the reins in his hand and just have faith and trust in His love for us. God is good and faithful and never disappoints His children. Even when we don’t get what we ask for, he gives us what we need. Your blog has been a great source of joy and inspiration to me during this past week that have come across it. I am not sure where this new stage of my life will take me, but I trust that God will hold me in His hands and direct me to where he wants me to be.
Frances OkoroDecember 18, 2015 at 7:56 pm
Nice to meet you on here Oluwabori… its always such a joy to come to this place of trusting God deeply…nothing can quantify the peace it gives…i am certain that God has you fixed in His arms…
And do stay on here, hope to see more of you…