Christ has the authority of his kingdom, and those he has saved can rest in the security of his promises. Endure earthly trials with the promise of coming redemption.
Consider Gideon’s Faith Story. He was the weakest of the weak. He was afraid. He doubted. Yet God demonstrated His power and promise despite his weakness. In fact, at his greatest moment of weakness, the LORD called him a “mighty man of valor.” How does your Faith Story demonstrate the truth that “when I am weak, then I am strong?” (2 Corinthians 12:10)
Christ supplies to his church the power of the Holy Spirit to resurrect them in their spiritual death and enable them to live faithfully. Do not lose sight of the sustaining source and purpose of your call.
Pain is preparation, but it never feels that way in the moment - it just hurts. As you look back on your Faith Story, consider ways that the Lord was working through you to prepare you for something that you could not have envisioned in the moment. By sharing your Faith Story, how might you be able to encourage others during a painful moment in their life? Like the story of Ruth, we can all see through our Faith Story that God has a plan, and He will accomplish it.
Christ has the knowledge and power to judge the church, calling it to endurance and purity. Root out the “pet sins” in your life and in the life of your community.
In many ways, your story is like a resume. Highlights from your life that have brought you to where you are today. If you were to write your resume today, I bet you would include a list of all your accomplishments. But did you learn more from success or failure? For most of us, failure shapes us and teaches us more and sharing what you’ve learned through failure can be a powerful aspect of your faith story. Therefore, please consider adding your “Failure Resume” to your Faith Story. Like the Apostle Paul, the story of our failures can shine the light on the marvelous grace of God.
Christ is with the church, both to comfort during trials and to correct her unfaithfulness. Our new identity in Christ and the future promise of restoration should motivate present faithfulness.
What is your story? How do you tell your story? Where do you begin? What do you include? What do you leave out? Knowing and telling your story can be hard. Ephesians 2:1-10 is a summary of all our stories. It’s also a structure we can follow to tell our Faith Story. First, we begin with who we were prior to Jesus (2:1-3). Next, we share what God, through Jesus Christ, has done (2:4-9). Finally, we share how we live out our life in Christ in practical ways (2:10). So, what’s your “by grace through faith” story?
Christ is with us in our suffering because he overcame death for our sake. Be faithful in trials by relying upon the compassion and strength of the one who knows our suffering.
The Christ who is present in our midst calls us to follow the truth and show love for all in his world. The Ephesians needed to pair their focus on internal purity and correct teaching with an outward focus of love for their neighbor and desire for their flourishing in the world. Which do you overemphasize, and which do you need to focus on more?