Thursday, August 24, 2017

According To Your Faith - Keep Striking!

"Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you."
Matthew 9:29

What if we really grasped the true meaning of the words, "According to your faith"?
What if we truly embraced and adopted them as our life's theme?
What if we walked out our Christian walk with the thought continually in view that we would receive
from God exactly what our faith could take in?

I have mentioned before that Mom used to often remind me of something her Dad, my Papaw, aka "The Walking King James", would say, "God will be everything to us our faith will take Him for."

Now that Mom is gone, and I no longer have the precious blessing of hearing her remind me of these things, they seem to have even more of an impact on my life and pack more of a powerful punch. They say, you never miss the water 'til the well runs dry. You don't realize how much the little things your loved ones do mean to you until they are no longer here doing those familiar things.  

I have often felt led to write about prayer here at Homespun Devotions.  Prayer, by my personal definition, is the ongoing communion one has with Almighty God.  It is a never-ceasing conversation, picked up at various times throughout the day, a sort of ebb and flow of words both spoken and heard and interspersed and sprinkled into every, single event and happening in the course of life. Prayer is a dialog between the core of one's heart and the heart of God.

But, what is the force behind prayer?

What would compel a person to call out to an unseen Being, and whisper the deepest secrets, longings, and petitions of the heart?

What drives prayer?

Is it not faith?
Is it not the belief that God is really there....listening to all that is being said?
That He actually cares?
That He is entirely capable of making every one of those cherished yearnings come to pass?
That He has no limits?
That He can do anything?

Faith is the fuel that powers our prayers.

Hebrews 11:1-3,6 says,
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  For by it the elders obtained a good report.  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.  But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."

There is SO much depth in these verses.  Dissecting them would require more books than one could ever write and certainly could never be confined to the space of one blog post.  So, what I want to zone in on for the sake of this writing is please God, to have a relationship with Him, to get what we desire in prayer, there are two basic requirements.

1.  We must believe "that He IS".
The elementary fundamental of faith is that we believe that God exists.
I find it hard to comprehend or understand but there are people in this world who do not believe there is a God.  It is the height of foolishness to make such an absurd assumption.  Not my words.  His.
"The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God."  Psalm 14:1
Need I go into all of the blatant and obvious proofs that God is...that He actually exists?
I think, for the most part, I am preaching to the choir through this blog, and it is probably safe to say that if you are kind enough to take the time to read this, you and I agree on at least the rudimentary persuasion that there is a God.

2.  We must believe that God "is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him".
The second primary, essential component of faith is that we have to believe that God answers prayer.
That He actually hears what we are saying, and He rewards those who diligently seek Him.  Otherwise, what is the point of praying?

So, if we believe that God exists, and if we believe that He rewards those who diligently seek Him,
we can say, with absolute assurance, that we possess, at least a portion of what is called "faith".

There are "measures" of faith.  (Romans 12:3)

It takes faith to initially trust God for believe that when we come to Him and ask Him to forgive us of our sins, He truly does forgive, based upon the following verses from His Word.

"For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Thee."  Psalm 86:5

"All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out."  John 6:37

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  I John 1:9

"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."  Acts 2:21

"He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea."  Micah 7:9

"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."  Acts 2:38

"As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us."  Psalm 103:12

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."  Romans 10:13

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out..."  Acts 3:19

"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."  Hebrews 8:12

It takes a basic faith to be converted and become a Christian.  But, does faith end there?  What about the "dash" between the date of our conversion and the date God calls us home to Heaven?  Just how much will "our faith take God for"?  Will we settle in to a state of complacency and never receive anything more from the God who saves us?

Charles H. Spurgeon said, “A little faith will bring your soul to heaven; a great faith will bring heaven to your soul.”

I don't know about you, dear reader, but, speaking for myself, I surely want my soul to go to Heaven when I die, but I want more.  I want Heaven brought to my soul while living here on earth.  I am not content with a mediocre Christian walk.  I want more than "nominal" Christianity.

Nominal - existing in name only; very small; far below the real value

Nominal is not for me.
Is it for you?
Don't you long for more from God?
We "have not because we ask not".  James 4:2

One day, two blind men followed Jesus, "crying and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us."
Jesus asked them, "Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.  Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened."
Matthew 9:27-30

According to your faith, Jesus said.
Had they only believed He could heal one eye, only one eye would have been healed.
Had they believed He could restore partial vision to both eyes, partial vision would have been restored.
Had they never approached Him that day, they would have gone on the rest of their lives blind.

"God will be everything to us our faith will take Him for."

What will your and my faith "take Him for"?

Our lack of receiving has nothing in the world to do with His ability to provide.
His resources are there in unlimited supply.

"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?"
Jeremiah 32:27

"Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."
Matthew 17:19-20

In Luke 18:1-8, we read,
"And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:  and there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.  And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them?   I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?"

It takes great faith to keep praying when you see no results, when it seems that the heavens are brass, when it feels like no one is listening, and there is no hope of change in sight.

It takes great faith to pray intercessory prayers, to push past the fear and doubt and unbelief, to press into a determined pattern of prayer, to make up one's mind that regardless how long it takes, giving up is not on the table for consideration.

It takes great faith to importune, like the woman in Jesus' parable.
The judge didn't fear God, and he didn't respect or care about people.
The thing that finally broke him down and persuaded him to grant the woman's petition was her "continual coming".
Her dogged determination.
Her utter refusal to give up or stop asking for what she wanted.
This judge had no love in his heart for the importuning widow.
She got on his nerves and was a source of weariness to him.
But, because she kept coming to him, pleading with him, and it appeared that she had no intentions of giving up or backing off until he gave her what she was asking for, he caved and did as she asked.

Our Heavenly Father is nothing in the world like the judge in this parable.
He IS God, and He holds in His heart the deepest regard for His creation.
He loves us with an undying, unconditional love.
He loves us so much that He came to earth in the form of an infant, grew up in a human body, and willingly laid down His life on a cruel, rugged cross to die for our sins.
He was tempted, tested, and tried in every imaginable way.
He did everything He possibly could to prove His unfathomable love for us.
As Jesus ended this parable, He said, "And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them?   I tell you that He will avenge them speedily."

Those who persist and press through the temptation to give up and who continue to cry day and night unto the Lord of Heaven will be avenged.  It may not happen right when we think it should.  It may take some effort.  We may pray to the point of exhaustion, but Jesus promised that if we continue to pray, God will avenge us.

I am very challenged by the story recorded in 2 Kings 13:14-19.
When Joash, King of Israel, was in need of victory over Aram, King of Syria, he came to visit the prophet, Elisha, who was sick and soon to die.
Elisha told King Joash to get a bow and some arrows, to put his hand on the bow, and then Elisha
put his own hands over the hands of the king.
He then told Joash to open an east-facing window and to shoot an arrow in that direction.
After Joash shot the arrow, Elisha explained the symbolism of his directive,
"The arrow of the LORD'S deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them."
The arrow Joash shot through the window was a representation of victory over his enemy.
After explaining this fact, Elisha then told Joash to take the remaining arrows and strike the ground with them.
In response, Joash struck the ground three times.  
Elisha immediately became angry with Joash and said, 
"Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice."

If only Joash had kept striking!  Why did he stop at only three strikes?  Elisha had just told him that the arrow was a portrayal of sure victory over his enemy.  Wars are made up of individual battles.  Elisha knew that three battles would not be enough to completely annihilate Syria.
Joash was seasoned...he should have known this, too, right?  Wouldn't you think he would have kept striking the ground repeatedly, until he made sure and certain the number of times would be a sufficient number of battles to finish the job?

I don't know if it was hopeful thinking on Joash's part...maybe he was hoping he could get by with less than what was necessary?  Was he hoping to not have to put forth so much energy to engage in so many battles?  Was he trying to take the easy way out and hope he could squeeze by with less than what was required?  Was he tired?  

Had Joash continued to strike the ground, he would have accomplished complete victory.
As it was, he stopped at three times, and that is exactly the number of times he got to strike Syria.  It was not sufficient.  It fell short of being enough.  

I have pondered this story over and over and over again.
I have read others' interpretations of it, and I have sought the Lord for clarity of what He is trying to tell me, personally, through this story, and this is what I believe.

As critical as I can jump in and be of King Joash, I can see that he and I have a lot in common, 
in the "strike-a-few-times-then-give-up" department.
I am way too quick to throw up my hands, become "weary in well-doing", think God is not listening and there is no use to keep asking, and accept less than God's best.
As "believers" in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as those who partake of His Divine nature (2 Peter 1:4),
we live far below our privileges...simply because of our refusal to enter into persistent, determined, resolute, strong-willed, intercessory prayer.

I reckon the arrows that Joash struck on the ground to the weapon of prayer.

How much do we want what we are praying for?  Do we "strike" in prayer a meager three times, then stop?  Are we in this for the long haul?  To do whatever it takes to get God, our Father's attention?  To intercede and labor in prayer until we see our petitions granted?  

God rewards those who diligently seek Him.

In the Greek language, "diligently" or "diligence" means...
earnest swiftness or intensity,

In the English language, "diligence" means...
constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind.

Dear friends, may I ask you a personal question?
Of course, I do not need an answer.
God does.
Tell HIM.
What do you need?
What are you lacking?
What are you praying for?
Are you physically ill?
Financially bankrupt?
Spiritually drained?
Mentally exhausted?
Facing an insurmountable, immovable, unbudging mountain in your path?

What do you need?
How much do you want it?
Can you believe?

"According to your faith be it unto you."

Think of it this way.
Think of your own personal Goliath.
What is looming over you right now?
What do you need most from God?

Now, think of this.
What is the best, most desirable outcome in your situation?
If God asked you, "What do you want?  How do you want this to end?  What is the best-case scenario for you?", what would you say?
How would you respond to that question?

Then, what if after you told him, He said to you,
"According to your faith be it unto you."

Can you envision the perfect outcome?
How much do you want to see that?
Are you willing to "diligently" seek God for it?
To keep praying, even when it seems hopeless?
To intercede, even when it becomes beyond difficult?
How many times are you willing to strike the arrow?
What if one more prayer would deal the final blow to your enemy?
What if it just took one more time, and you gave up striking?

Pray on, my friend.
Keep asking.
Keep knocking on Heaven's door.
Go to war in prayer.
Don't stop striking until you see the hand of God move on your behalf.

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
Hebrews 4:16 

If ever I can join your fight in prayer, always know that I am here for each and every one of you precious readers.
So many of you have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with my family and me,
and we have all reaped the benefits of those "refuse-to-give-up" prayers.
I want to return that strength to you when you need it most.
We're in this thing together.
We may all be from different denominational persuasions,
ethnic backgrounds, 
varying positions of service on God's battlefield,
and diversely unique stations and seasons of life,
but you are my are my sister.
I'm praying for you now and trusting God that you will remain strong in your fight of prayer.
That you will see Goliath fall, mountains crumble, and waters part in your situation.
Always remember this.
You are not alone.

"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."
Romans 8:26

"It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."
Romans 8:34

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  1. Cheryl, what an awesome post this morning for my eyes to read. Loved every word of it. Oh I desire to be so much more for Christ. I do not want to be the normal Christian! Ain't nothing fun about being normal (LOL) I want to go beyond my beyond with Him and be a testimony that ONLY God could do that through me. I love, love, love the quote you posted: Charles H. Spurgeon said, “A little faith will bring your soul to heaven; a great faith will bring heaven to your soul.” What a wow moment this morning. Thanks for sharing your heart. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

    1. Dear Cindy! Thank you SO much for your dear words of encouragement! Oh, they blessed me so much. May the dear Lord bless you for your support and friendship. Sending love and hugs to you, sweet friend. :)

  2. This is the second post I've read today about prayer -- and I do struggle to be faithful in this discipline. Thanks for the encouragement to persevere.

    1. I love when the Lord does that...when He wants to get something across to me, He does it with more than one confirmation! He is a faithful God, Who absolutely wants the best for us in our Christian walk. Thank you for your support and sweet visit, Michele! God bless you, my friend.

  3. Cheryl, you have blessed my heart again with this post. I also want to be an exceptional witness for Christ. I agree with Cindy, that Charles Spurgeon quote is wonderful. May I always keep it in mind. Thank you so much for pouring your heart into this post and encouraging us on our walk to be closer to our Lord. Blessings, Betsy

    1. Oh, Betsy! You ARE an exceptional witness for our dear Lord! You are such a blessing to me and to so many others! I love that quote, too...I think I may have first found it in Streams in the Desert years ago, and it has always stuck with me. I crave more of God and want Heaven brought to my soul here. Your encouragement is an invaluable gift to me, and I am ever thankful for your friendship and support. God bless you, sweet friend. :)

  4. Dear Cheryl,
    Oh thank you for sharing, and for this precious song as well. I haven't heard that in years, but it was such a precious song for me at a time when I was carrying a heavy burden for a dear friend. Now today, I am praying for her son who is in his own deep trial. What a gift to remember that Jesus is always interceding, even when we feel weak in our prayers, HE is still carrying those burdens we place before HIM. Many Hugs and Blessings to you dear friend!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Bettie! I hadn't heard that song in years, either, and it just came to me as I was writing this post. May God have mercy on your dear friend and her son through this difficult time. Yes, praise God, He is ever interceding! Sending love and hugs to you today, sweet friend, and hoping you are feeling better.

  5. Wow... Powerful and heart and soul felt post! You nailed it, sister.

    I find this to be very encouraging and well informed.

    Love that quote from your Papaw! (same name we called our grandparents) Wisdom in this world is truly from God and no one who doesn't know him can share in it. It's impossible.

    Thanks, Cheryl. "Pray without ceasing." Amen.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, encouragement, and support, brother. My family and I are ever thankful for you and the blessing you are to our lives. God bless you and your family abundantly.

  6. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful post. Prayer is everything. God loves us and He wants to hear our prayers.. How wonderful..

    1. Yes, amen, sweet sister! God bless you and keep you always!

  7. Cheryl, I desperately needed to read this. I have sometimes felt defeated and sometimes my faith gets weak. Thank you for this very timely post. It is just what I need!

    1. Oh, bless your dear heart, Regina. I am SO thankful God used this to help you and minister to you. I am praying for you, sweet friend. Please keep encouraged to press on.

  8. Seeking until we find and not to give up. Thank you for your awesome post dear Cheryl. May God deliver your family from all that comes against you and cause the walls to fall as you march around them and give the shout that they should fall.

    1. Thank you so much, Hazel. I so appreciate your kind words and the encouragement. You are such a blessing to me! God bless you!

  9. Thank you for the encouraging post that you've written on never ceasing to pray, Cheryl. I was just saying to a friend yesterday that sometimes I feel that God has forgotten me. However, I just keep on praying, and trusting in God, and being thankful for Him. God bless you!

    1. Oh, dear Kitty! I know it sure can feel like God has forgotten you...I have felt that so many times, too. But, we know, in reality, that He has not forgotten...He can't. He engraved us on the palm of His hands. Zachary told me the other day that He did that engraving with nails! Oh, that just touched me so much! God bless you, sweet friend, and may He ever hold you close and heal your hurting heart and work out every burden for you. I pray for you often and send my love to you today.

  10. I've been weak in the last week. Pun intended. ~smile~
    I really needed to read this tonight.
    Thank you.
    I am going to feature it in Happy Homemaker Monday...if I have energy to write it. If not, I'll use it next week. Everyone should read this.

    No matter what I feel, I WILL live and not die and declare the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Psalm 118


    1. Dear Laura! I am SO sorry about all you are going through right now...I pray for you so often and just trust Jesus to hold you close to Him and to help you through this awful ordeal. I am so blessed to know this post ministered to you and brought encouragement to you as you walk through this fiery trial. Thank you ever so much for featuring means so much to me. God bless you and heal your body and strengthen you in every way today. Keep looking up. Keep encouraged. Keep pressing on, regardless. Sending many hugs and much love your way, my dear, precious friend.

  11. Our pastor just completed a three week series on the three gifts for prayer; God the Father (he is our daddy - so we have access/relationship with him); the Son (he stands in the gap between us and the Father and the Holy Spirit who intercedes when we don't know what to say/ask and he takes our imperfect prayers and makes them perfect. All could reminders! I struggle to pray and find myself trying to 'do it on my own' so your words are particularly encouraging!

    1. Oh, that is wonderful! It sounds like you are walking through an amazing study. I don't know what we would do without a direct line from our hearts to Heaven...oh, I find myself pouring out my heart to Him so often, and I feel more of a need for Him than I ever have felt in my life. So thankful for your visit and kind words, dear Lauren. God bless you!

  12. Cheryl, prayer is like breathing...I discovered a great acrostic memory tool for the word, “praise,” applied as a prayer format during my quiet time each morning:

    PRAISE: I begin my prayer time with praise. I repeat to God a few of the attributes the Scripture records for him. I sometimes repeat to Him the words to a hymn or worship chorus. Philippians 4:6 says, “In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” I incorporate thanksgiving into every aspect of my prayer time. As I praise Him, I thank Him for choosing to reveal Himself to me.
    REPENTANCE: After I have spent several minutes in praise and worship, I enter a time of confession and repentance. I confess sins of the thought life such as wrong motives, negativism, a critical spirit, or even right words with a wrong heart. As I repent, I thank Him for His faithfulness to forgive my sins.
    ACKNOWLEDGMENT: Having praised Him and been purified by Him, I am ready to submit to God’s authority. I acknowledge His right to rule and reign in my life every day. Then willingly and deliberately I submit myself to His Lordship—one day at a time. I deliberately surrender to His Lordship with my heart. I acknowledge Him as Lord and thank Him for being so trustworthy with His authority.

    INTERCESSION: I ask God to burden my heart with specific people He wants me to intercede for each day. As I intercede for others, I thank Him for being my Great High Priest and adding power to my petitions.
    SUPPLICATION: I enter into a time of prayer for myself. God has called each of us to love Him, serve Him, and live holy lives. I can only know Him intimately when I bring Him my innermost thoughts, fears, hurts, gains, losses, and desires. I ask Him to give me a heart to love Him more and to fill any empty places in my heart with the safety of His love. In supplication for myself, I thank Him for knowing me intimately and desiring that I know Him.
    EQUIPPING: I conclude my prayer time by asking Him to equip me in every way for a victorious day. I ask Him to give me eyes that “see” Him and ears sensitized to “hear” Him. I ask Him to give me a heart to respond when He opens a door of opportunity, and to empower me to witness as He leads. As I ask for equipping, I thank Him for never calling on me to do anything He will not readily equip me to accomplish.

    1. This is a great memory tool you found, Beth. Thank you for sharing it with us here! God bless you, my friend. :)

  13. I love this "Don't stop striking until you see the hand of God move on your behalf." It is an awesome reminder that we should PUSH - pray until something happens.

    1. YES! I love that saying! It reminds me of the old song, "Pray On, 'Til The Answer Comes". Oh, sometimes it does appear and feel that the heavens are brass, but we know that the darkest hour is just before dawn. I wonder how many times we give up striking right before the breakthrough comes? God help us to persevere and keep praying until something happens! Thank you for your sweet visit and kind words, my friend.

  14. Oh yes! The fuel of prayer is indeed faith! Without faith, why would we pray, indeed! You really hit the nail on the head with this wonderful post dear friend! I enjoyed reading all the scriptures you mentioned. Being persistent in prayer just as the woman who came to Jesus, is what we can do, and we know that He hears us! Thank you for this very encouraging post, and we are continuing to pray for your family, and believe that the Lord is going to provide you with all the strength, wisdom, and peace that you need as you pray and seek His face, He will be there to lift you up and encourage you! Much love and hugs to you dear friend!

    1. Oh, dear friend! You will NEVER know how much we need and appreciate those prayers right now. It brings so much comfort to know you are there remembering us in your daily talks with the Father. I am so grateful for your love, support, and friendship, and I am surely praying for you, too, and I am trusting God to continue to bless you and your dear family. Much love and hugs coming back to you today!!

  15. Powerful post!
    So many awesome promises in God's Word.
    Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
    May our faith ever increase. May I ever decrease so HE may increase in me!

    1. Yes, the cry of my heart! "Oh, for grace to trust Him more"! And, sometimes I wonder why I don't trust Him more. As I look back over my life, He has never failed. So, why do I fear that He would differently now? Thank you for your sweet visit and kind words, TC. God bless you, my friend.

  16. Thank you for coming by to see my quirky little houses...and your words of kindness.
    Thank you, too, for thoughts and prayers for us during our hard times..our kids and I are doing ok...we miss Mr. Sweet and always will..but dying is a part of life and we feel like he has only just begun to really live. My days aren't full of crying all the time now...time is a great healer and I know it will get better ea day. I have such a strong family and our friends have been beyond supportive...I am blessed

    1. Oh, I have had you on my mind, dear friend, and I am surely praying for you. I am trusting Jesus to hold you extra close and be near you during every moment of overwhelming grief. I know dear Mr. Sweet is there waiting for you and cheering you on to keep encouraged and pressing forward until you can be together again one, sweet day. Sending much love and peace to you, dear BJ. Keep looking up!

  17. Thank you Cheryl. This is very timely for me at the moment, a very powerful message. And thank you for your prayers for my mother. Know that I do appreciate you.


    1. Thank you ever so much, dear Diana! Your kind words touched me so deeply. I am SO thankful for the way God is healing your dear, little mother, and I will surely keep praying. I so enjoy and appreciate your visits. God bless you.

  18. Dear Cheryl! This post has brought my heart sooo much encouragement and at just the right time. I recently received medical test results that are upsetting to say the least. Because of my history, the doctor said that a false positive is in the differential, but that the medical protocol is to wait a year and retest. It took me a few days to process everything and then I called the doctor back with a bunch of questions. He then said to me, "I am going to take you to your worst fear." In my head I'm thinking, "Do we have to?" But I'm so glad he did, because even my worst fear, if in a year we find these tests were not false positive, it may not even go on to something more serious and if it does, we will be right on top of it. I was so encouraged when you asked the questions about that which we are praying for and what is the outcome you desire and then how you responded with the Truth of God's word, "According to your faith be it done to you".

    I had never paid such close attention to the story of Joash, but I love your insight into this!! A few months ago I heard a sermon from Charles Stanley who basically said, when we stop praying for something without getting an answer, it's like we are telling God, "nevermind, it's not important". I was so convicted.

    And the name of your PaPaw, "The Walking King James". lol. LOVE IT! :-)

    Oh Cheryl, I can't even adequately put into words how much your blog post has encouraged me when I can still allow fears and wondering thoughts to get the best of me over this situation. I am going to keep this post close by and re-read it when I start fretting.

    You are such a treasure to me. May the Lord bless you abundantly!

    1. Oh, sweet friend! I am SO sorry you got this troubling news! OH, I do trust Jesus to HEAL YOU and make you whole and not allow this to progress one bit. May He just rebuke the devourer on your behalf and send the help you need. Your precious words meant the world to me and were SUCH a dear encouragement. I can't thank you enough. You are surely a precious treasure to me, as well, and I am so thankful we can walk this blogging journey together. Sending much love to you, and I want you to know that I am praying for you.

    2. Cheryl, Thank you so much! I appreciate your precious prayer and your continued prayers. You are such a dear blessing.

  19. Thank you Cheryl for a wonderful post. Faith.. oh how important. Our wonderful Savior , He loves us and wants our faith in Him..He is awesome. My prayer is that the Lord bless you and your family. hugs.

    1. Thank you, dear Judy. Oh, you do not know how much we appreciate your prayers for us! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Sending love and hugs back to you, sweet friend.

  20. I love anything the Talley's sing, anything. According to your faith is a challenging phrase. I have walked with little faith and with a lot of faith and this I know, He delights in any faith and loves for us to bring our prayers to Him no matter the amount of faith. Great post as usual Cheryl.

    1. Thank you, Betty. So happy to see you stopped by! God bless you, my friend. :)

  21. Hi Cheryl! Dogged determination. I love that. That is the kind of faith that I need to carry me through when I can't see. God knows everything about my life, and I know nothing. Yet, I often rely on my own understanding instead of that fact.
    I know that my soul 'yearns and pines' for the Lord, and that is what drives my faith. If it were up to me? I'd probably walk way. God is so good to me to give me an insistent soul, and a heart that wants to follow.
    God bless!

    1. So happy to see you are back to blogging again, sweet friend. Thank you for your visit and kind words. God bless you!

  22. Hello, I found you from another blog.
    Love your blog. So hard to find Biblical blogs now a days. Thank you for all that you are sharing...
    Blessings Renee @

    1. Oh, it is SO nice to meet you and to see your sweet comments! Thank you ever so much! Many blessings to you, and come back anytime!

  23. "We must believe that he is and that he is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him" is so re-assuring! Thanks for sharing, Cheryl!

    1. Yes, it surely is so reassuring. SO thankful for God and His holy, unchanging Word!! Thank you for your kind words and visit, Bethany!