Faith, Hope, promises, Spiritual Growth

Author and Perfecter of My Faith

I am taking a much needed break with my kids these week. I decided to run over to the archives and revisit an old post. I hope it speaks to you today as I seek some much needed rest. God bless!

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Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Hebrews 12:1-2

Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Those words have been ringing through my mind repeatedly. I have been on such a long journey to build my faith. I’m exhausted in so many ways, tired of facing yet another obstacle. I’m ready to see the final outcome, to move beyond these days of struggle.

But Jesus…

Jesus is the author—the writer, the creator, the initiator—of my faith. Jesus is the perfecter—the one who knows what it takes to make my faith strong enough, complete enough, to get me through the rest of my days on this earth—of my faith.

I don’t know how to make my faith grow. I don’t know what it takes to get me to a place where my faith is unshakeable, where my faith can move mountains. I didn’t initiate my faith, and I don’t know how to complete it. I don’t know what is necessary to make me useful to my Savior. I don’t know what it takes to make my faith mature and complete.

But Jesus does.

Today, I was texting a friend, a friend who has been with me since the beginning of this journey. She was the voice of encouragement and hope and wisdom in the earliest days of heartache and pain. Over the last few years, we’ve lost touch. But this week, I felt compelled to seek her out as a faithful prayer warrior for some things that are weighing heavily on my heart.

As we texted back and forth, I said, “I can truly say that the greatest desire of my heart is to be used by God.

Even as I typed those words, I was struck by the reality of that statement. God has brought me so far in my faith. He has changed my heart in so many ways. My life has been pummeled and pounded repeatedly. The result has been a stronger, more mature faith—one that has been tested by the trials of this life.

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Psalm 37:4-7

You see, four years ago I was newly divorced. The hurt and pain were excruciating. The loneliness left me in tears regularly. I was struggling to find my way through the chaos that had become my life.

I remember one day being so overwhelmed that I simply told my kids I needed to go running. They begged me to stay, but I simply couldn’t. Running had become my escape, my coping mechanism, my place of solitude where I could meet with God. Despite the bewildered looks on their faces, I laced up my shoes and walked out the door.

As my feet began to pound the pavement, it didn’t take long for the tears to begin streaming down my face. With every step, I cried out to God. I told Him of my hurt and pain, of my loneliness and despair. I told Him that I wanted to desire Him more than anything else—but I didn’t. My heart’s desire was for a man to love me, to hold me, to care for me.

By this time I was sobbing. The pain was overwhelming. I poured out my heart to God. Then, I heard the sweet sound of His voice whisper to me, “It’s Ok.”

It’s ok to long for a husband. It’s ok that your greatest desire is not for me. It’s ok that you are lost and confused—and even angry with me. It’s ok that your faith is not perfected. It’s ok.

As quickly as the tears had come upon me, they began to dissipate. I felt an overwhelming comfort and reassurance that God saw me, that He held my tears in His hand, that He was going to see me through this journey. In that moment, I knew that God has a very special man in my future, that my heart’s desires will be reality…in God’s time.

So often we focus on verse 4: Delight yourselves in the Lord and He will give you the desire of your heart. But, do you see verse 7? Be still and wait patiently for God to act. Yes, God does give us the desires of our heart, but He does so at the perfect time. He answers our prayers in His time, when He knows that we are fully ready to receive those gifts. He provides the desires of our heart when our faith is at the proper strength.

How does our faith reach the proper level?

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4

The last five years have been full of different types of troubles: financial woes, relationship woes, job woes. I have sold my house, moved my children to a new community, finished school, changed jobs a couple of times, changed churches, endured adultery and divorce, been financially devastated, financially secure, endured accidents and pain. My life has been a whirlwind of changes—some good and some bad. But, the one constant has been the love of my Savior who has carried me through every step of the journey. He—the author and perfecter of my faith—has known what was needed to grow my faith.

Today, as I came to a realization that my greatest desire is now to be used by God, I realized that my prayer four years ago has become a reality. I still desire a husband, but that desire pales in comparison to my desire to be used by God. The tears began to flow again today as I realized just how far I have come.

As I crawl into bed tonight, I will still long for someone to reach out and wrap his arms around me. In the morning, I will wake up and long to curl up next to someone who knows me completely—morning breath and all—and yet loves me anyway. As I go to church tomorrow, I will still long to have that special someone reach over and gently take my hand as we bow in prayer together.

But, even more than that, I long to stand before my Savior one day and hear His voice say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Well done.”

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12 thoughts on “Author and Perfecter of My Faith”

  1. Wow. Dena, this is exactly my heart. Exactly where I am. Two months out from the most devastating days of my life. I want so much for God to use me. For this pain to have a purpose. To help someone know just how BIG a God we serve really is. I have so much heart ache but am so amazed at how God has held me through it all. I fully trust that He knows us by name and understands our pain and loves us no matter what.

    1. Oh, how he knows us and loved us! I am living proof that he will take our pain, use it for our good and his glory. Your pain will not be in vain! Cling to him. Let him have every part of your life. He can be fully trusted!

  2. You have no idea how much your words mean to me. I am going through something very similar to your story and your words have been such a blessing to me. You are being used by God. He used you to minister to me at just this right moment. I’m getting a divorce after two years of separation waiting to see if my husband’s heat would change. God is moving me forward in a different direction now, and I’m ready bc now he has strengthened my faith for this time. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and words. All my love to you and your kids. I have four, so I hope y’all can get some rest.

    A sister in Christ,
    Mindy

    1. I’m so sorry for your pain, but love your spirit! God has great plans! He will do a new work, make something beautiful from your mess. He will do a great work in you so he can do a great work through you! Hugs and prayers!

  3. Once again Dena, you have torn a page out of my journal and posted it to your blog. Thank you for sharing. Your posts encourage me so much and let me know I am not an alien with the feelings I sometimes have. The longing is so great some days, it blots out all else. And that makes me feel as if I’ve failed my Father who loves me in a way my human mind doesn’t fathom. He should be first. He must sit on the throne of my heart. I know this, but most times it is not a reality. I pray it will be some say.

    1. Yes, the longing is great. It’s been seven years for me, now. I feel like the longings are intensifying. I can only hope that means that it’s just around the corner. We are in this together. I know he can be trusted! He has all the details worked out.

  4. It’s been 6 yrs since I have heard from God that I think He has either forgotten about me or He has left me. Even before I was saved God told me to trust Him but not hearing from Him in yrs I don’t know if I do! Please pray for me. I want Gods blessings. I desperately want a relationship with Him. Thanks

    1. Oh, Mary! I think we go through seasons of silence, seasons where he seems so far away, seasons where he tests to see if we will continue to be faithful. I’ve been there. Trust him. Surrender to him. Spend just five minutes each day in his word and in prayer. Turn your radio on Christian music 24/7. Find ways to focus on him. You will be amazed at how he speaks to you.

      Lord Jesus, I pray for my sweet friend Mary. I ask that you would speak to her. Reveal yourself. Help her to know that you see her, that you are with her. Wrap your arms around her and help her to feel your love. Bring along a friend to help mentor her and guide her. Let her know that she is loved more than she can ever imagine. In Jesus name I pray.

      1. Thank you for your prayers! Yes I do need a friend to talk to. I feel like I have surrendered to Him but I see no difference in my life. Also my husband is not a believer and it is at times so hard to live a life pleasing to the Lord.
        Thank you for your prayers!

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