Faith and Always

I have lost count of how many times newscasters, pastors and others have used the phrase “in these unprecedented times” during this Covid 19 pandemic. It means “never done or known before”. And it is true, we as global citizens have never lived in such a season as this. So many unknowns and upheavals to our normal is very unsettling.

I came across this small little word the other day as I was doing my Bible study. The word always–at all times, forever. As I meditated on it–it was so comforting.

Psalm 16:8 I know the Lord is always with me, I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

Psalms 102:27 But you are always the same; you will live forever. The children of your people will live in security. Their children’s children will thrive in your presence.

Matthew 28:20 I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

These scriptures are so comforting. We can depend on them. We can go back to them for stability when we are shaken. But, as believers there are also some strong instructions given to us about “always”. These are admonitions that, if followed, will advance the kingdom of God, not only in our lives, but in the lives of others. I know we think–I can’t always be consistent–but we can certainly try!

Psalm 52: 8 I will always trust in God’s unfailing love. I will choose, no matter what my circumstances look like to trust in His love for me. I will silence the voices in my head that tell me the opposite, for He has proven His love through Calvary.

Psalm 106:3 There is joy for those who deal justly with others and always do what is right. Please understand this is not done in our own strength, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is a mind set where we choose to live our lives with the fruit of the Spirit flowing out of our hearts. We do what is right because of His righteousness, not our own. In fact, we don’t even always know what is right without His wisdom! Setting our minds and hearts on doing the right thing even when it seems to be to our hurt is a by-product of our trust in His love.

1 Peter 3:15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. This takes some preparation. I read in Acts 7 the other day. Stephen was arrested and taken before the council to defend himself. Two thoughts struck me as I ready his response to the leaders. This man knew his stuff! We know he was a man full of faith and the Spirit when he was chosen to be a deacon to help serve the widows. He was prepared. Fear, intimidation and insecurity grow when we feel unprepared. I also thought, Stephen knew how to rely on the Holy Spirit. He learned to trust Him to fill His mouth! We, as believers need to learn how to rely on Him to word our mouth during difficult times, but it comes with practice. If you struggle with talking to different types of people or situations, study. 2 Timothy 2:15 (amp) Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial) a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth. This means we, as believers, choose to grow up in Him. We put off childish excuses (I can’t, I don’t know how, I’m not smart enough) and we make the choice to learn. We have the best teacher–the Holy Spirit who longs to come along side us to strengthen, teach and enable us.

As you read through the Bible, take note of the word “always”. What a comfort it is to know God is always with us, helping, strengthening, convicting and changing us to be more like Him. Thank you Father for helping us to become more like you.

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