Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016, & Increased Faith for 2017

"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."
Romans 15:13

On this beautiful Christmas Day, this is my prayer for each of you dear readers.
That the God of hope will just fill you up to the brim and overflowing with a deep joy and peace.
That you will abound in hope, through the amazing, life-transforming power of the Holy Ghost.

Oh, He is a good God, Who is absolutely able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think.  (Ephesians 3:20)
My dear, old, Godly Papaw used to say,
"God will be everything to us that our faith will take Him for."

I think of that often.
Just how big is my faith?
To move a mountain, all it takes is faith the size of a tiny mustard seed.

Jesus said, 
"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 17:20

If little faith will move a mountain, 
just think what great faith will bring about in our lives!

I love the quote,
"Little faith will bring your soul to Heaven;
great faith will bring Heaven to your souls."

As I reflect back on past years and the year 2016 and recall the many prayers He has answered,
the mighty way He has demonstrated His power in our lives,
and the way He has stood by us through every trial and tribulation,
and I look ahead to the new year that will soon be upon us, God willing,
I ask myself, "What will my faith take Him for in 2017?"
If He will be all my faith will take Him for, is there any limit to what He can and will do?

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

What if, in the new year, we turned our focus away from our troubles and problems,
and we began to fix our eyes upon God and what He is able to do?

What if we started believing in Him like never before?
What if we simply took Him at His word and knew, with a new level of certainty,
that He will fulfill every promise He has ever made?
What if we took a hold of a faith like Abraham possessed, of whom the Apostle Paul wrote,
"And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform."
Romans 4:21

Dear friends, there is nothing impossible for God.
Nothing is beyond His scope of power.
Nothing is bigger than He can handle.

"But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, 
With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."
Matthew 19:26

"Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and Thou art exalted as head above all"
I Chronicles 29:11

"Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite."
Psalm 147:5

"Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like Thee, neither is there any God beside Thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears."
2 Samuel 7:22

"For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him:
And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist."
Colossians 1:16,17

"For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:
He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment."
Deuteronomy 10:17,18

"God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God."
Psalm 62:11

"Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable."
Psalm 145:3

"He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against Him, and hath prospered?"
Job 9:4

"Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son."
Genesis 18:14

"Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of His understanding.
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength."
Isaiah 40:28-29

It is all a matter of our faith...and how much we are willing to "take Him for", 
as Papaw used to say.

I think, as Christians, we, too often, live beneath our privileges.
I, for one, do not want to do that anymore.
There are mountains that need to be moved
and impossibilities that need to be conquered.

God is able, my friends, to do what we cannot do.
Let's believe for great miracles to be wrought in each of our lives in the coming year.

What do you need?
What do you most long for Him to do in your life?
What are the yearnings of your heart today?

"Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."
Mark 9:23

From our house to your house, 
we wish you a Merry Christmas,
and may the prayer of each of our hearts echo the words of the apostles in Luke 17:5,
"And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith."

In closing, I'd like to share the words to one of my favorite hymns written about faith,
by Clara M. Brooks.

The Virtue of Faith
As far above the howling storm,
Secure from danger’s reach and harm,
Triumphantly the eagle flies—
My soul on wings of faith would rise;
When raging is the tempest’s blast,
Ere yet its wrath is overpast—
My soul would rise from earthly woe,
To leave the stormy winds below.

Upon the troubled, restless wave,
His fearful, trembling ones to save,
The Master walked and calmed the sea,
The wildly tossing Galilee;
By faith again I hear His voice,
In tones which make my heart rejoice,
When fears my soul with terror thrill,
He gently whispers, “Peace, be still.”

The lilies clothed in garments fair,
The ravens flying through the air,
Our blessed Father cares for all—
He seeth e’en the sparrow’s fall;
His children more He surely loves,
Their cry His heart with pity moves:
Though thorns bestrew the path we’ve trod,
He whispers still, “Have faith in God.”

The waves around may fiercely roll,
They cannot harm my trusting soul,
Regarding not what I may see,
My faith, O Lord, ascends to Thee;
The darkest night and brazen sky
Are pierced by faith’s unfailing eye—
My cry shall be till time shall cease,
“O blessed Lord, my faith increase.”


  1. May you have the best of Christmases and a Happy, Splendid, Peaceful and Blessed New Year.

    God bless you and your family, Cheryl.

    1. Thank you so much, my friend. I send every one of these kind wished back to you and your family! God bless you abundantly! You are such a blessing to us.

  2. Well done! This will persuade even the biggest skeptic! All things are possible with and through God and yet we live like scared rabbits. We do need to stand up and gird our loins and depend on the One who promised us a life of plenty and that starts on the inside of us!

    Excellent post, sister. Thanks for the encouragement.

    1. Thank you so much, Floyd. I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas!

  3. Love love love all the scripture! That is my heart's desire to search Him with ALL my heart and take what He says completely. I always ask myself what is stopping me? What do I keep holding on to? Thank you always for your challenging and straightforward words!

    1. I love your heart for Jesus, Kristina! It is so refreshing and inspiring to see someone hunger after Him the way you do. I so appreciate your sweet visits and encouragement, and I hope you are feeling well. God bless you with a wonderful new year!

  4. May God bless and keep you thru this upcoming and wonderful new year. I am so looking forward to it....xo

    1. Thank you so much, BJ! The same to you, and I am so looking forward to the new year, too! I know God has amazing and wonderful things in store for all of us, as we continue to look to Him with a new sense of anticipation and faith. God bless you, my friend. :)

  5. I was blessed in reading your post this morning. The word that the Lord keeps bringing to me for 2017 is "Audacious". Your post confirmed for me, again, that He is wanting me to pray more boldly in faith and to trust Him. Thank you for also sharing so many wonderful Scriptures! May God bless you and continue to use you in 2017!

    1. I LOVE your word, Joanne! YES, that is what we need! Bold, audacious faith...that we would finally be able to reach out and take hold of His Word and promises and believe that He will do what He has said He will do. I am so thankful for your dear words of encouragement, and I trust God will bless you abundantly in the new year, my friend. :)

  6. Aww Merry Christmas Cheryl!! Your PawPaw's words reminded me of something I read this year: We may have as much of God as we wish. I'm with you-- I want a lot of God in 2017!! Thanks for your encouraging words and verses! ♥

    1. Oh, I love that saying, too, Heather! Oh, for more of Jesus in 2017! I so appreciate your sweet spirit and kind words of encouragement, and I trust God will bless you in a big way in the new year, my friend. :)

  7. Cheryl, This was such an encouraging post!! I hung onto every word of the quotes you shared.

    I especially liked when you said, "What if we started believing in Him like never before?
    What if we simply took Him at His word and knew, with a new level of certainty,
    that He will fulfill every promise He has ever made?
    What if we took a hold of a faith like Abraham possessed, of whom the Apostle Paul wrote,
    "And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform.""

    "with a new level of certainty". Oh I get so mad at myself with how easily I forget what God has already done for me. Your words above gave me renewed certainty that all God's promises are yes in Jesus.

    Sending you much gratitude and love for the coming New Year. Blessings dear friend.

    1. Oh, I do so appreciate you, dear Karen. Your encouragement to me is such a precious gift. I trust God will just pour out His most abundant blessings upon us all in 2017. Sending you much love and gratitude for your unfailing support.

  8. Cheryl, What a great reminder of how powerful God is and that He can do anything. Thanks so much for that. May He increase my faith also!

    1. Thank you ever so much, Abbi! I so appreciate your support and encouragement on this journey, and I trust God will just do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think in 2017. I believe He will! Happy New Year to you and your dear family, my friend. :)

  9. Thank you Cheryl for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story. May our FAITH be enlarged in 2017 so that we can take that mountain that is before us.

    1. Amen, and amen, sister! I so look forward to the GOOD things God has in store for us in the new year. God bless you, my friend. :)