The Stretching of our Faith
Periodically I have decompression done on both my neck and back to stretch out my vertebrae and to keep it mobile and functioning as it was designed. Years of sitting twisted, working in people's mouths has caused some issues in my spine, so occasional stretching and massage is very helpful. It's the same with our lives. As the influences of the world and the pressures of life begin to shape, mold and twist our thinking, God is faithful to stretch us and keep us pliable. It may be things He's calling you to do that are way beyond your abilities or trials that cause you to stretch your faith, but either way, as we yield to His stretching process we will experience growth and increased trust in God.
I was also thinking about the massages I get at the same appointment. I always tell the therapist not to worry about causing pain by working too deep into the muscles. I've learned that the deeper the pressure the more tension is released. It may be more uncomfortable during the treatment, but the results will be greater and longer lasting.
If life is only filled with gentle pats and unstretched spiritual muscles you'll become so stiff that you'll no longer be pliable for the Lord's work. Don't get angry with God when things aren't going as well as you wish or when He's taking you deeper than your faith has ever gone. He has a plan and if you will trust Him, stand strong in your faith, pray His Word and continue to praise and worship Him through the process, you'll come out molded, strengthened, secure, unshakable and usable. Best of all you'll pass through the test with a testimony of His goodness, faithfulness and love! You really can't lose trusting Him!
James 1:12 (NLT) God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.
James 1:2-4 (NKJV) My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Isaiah 54:2&10 (NKJV) “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings;Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes. For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed, ”Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
Romans 8:28 (NLT) And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.