Hello all, it has been a while since I have written a post about my walk with Christ because I have had to work on a few things about myself. I want to touch upon the topic of faith and expand upon it about my journey.
My last post on faith, I went into the struggles of having faith amid your troubles causing you to not take steps. Now in this new season, I want to talk about being consistent with having faith after taking a bold step out in faith. It is easy to debate when you haven’t stepped out in the water yet but once you do and you are away from dry land I won’t lie to you it can be so scary. You never think you have a faith problem until you get tested and put through the storm or in my case out in the water away from dry land.
In all honesty, I will admit that me starting my PhD this year was a huge leap of faith that deep down I know will pay off long term. However, right now your girl is going through it! Long story short, I made the decision because I felt that me securing a Hall Mentor position (meaning free accommodation) was a confirmation specifically due to the fact I prayed about financial provision throughout the previous year. I was ecstatic when I got the email that I was successful for the job I felt like a huge financial weight was lifted from my shoulders. Thanks to the new Doctoral Loan and top up from Future Finance, my tuition fees and research bench fees were covered. This was the first time in a long time I threw myself into a decision with faith without questioning the hows and whys.
Fast forward months later, I won’t lie to you I have struggled in terms of maintenance because I didn’t want to be in too much debt with the loans I took out and also a plethora of previously poor financial decisions caught up with me the day before I moved to Reading meaning that my current income is pretty much being used to rectify this and survive week to week. This has been enough to try and discourage one from pursuing something they prayed so hard for.
Taking this leap of faith away from dry land reminds me of Matthew 14:22-32 when Jesus walked in the water. This passage came up in one of the sermons from the Crazy Faith series by Pastor Michael Todd which has very much been a timely series for me.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake; When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus; But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.
Matthew 14:25-32 (NIV)
I wanted to focus on these verses because I can honestly relate to Peter in this passage. Initially having the bravery to step out but then things start to look and feel uncomfortable which makes me feel like I am drowning in my problems and I need saving. I mean I know that life is full of ups and downs its never going to be 100% rosy however I have stepped out on the water and it is too late to turn back and go back to living within my comfort zone. The winds and waves and storms can come even when you are stepping out on faith and this can be frustrating and sometimes confusing. However, through all of this, I am reminded of the fact God deeply cares for me and that he will never leave or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). I know from experience this year that once you have hit rock bottom that is when the most beautiful healing can take place; the only way is up! The recurring theme I have been hearing for the past month or so at the campus fellowship I have been attending has been centred on having faith. In particular, one of the messages resonated with me when Hebrews 4:14-16 was shared (I particularly hold in verse 16).
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess; For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin; Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)
I shouldn’t lose hope but instead, continue to hold on to the fact that God is a provider in my time of need ultimately. It is by God’s grace alone that I have been able to have enough to get me through each week whilst my financial situation is being sorted out slowly but surely. In the same breath, my money management has been getting better which I know will be very much needed in my future. My walk with God has involved paths that I haven’t seen before and I am not used to BUT I can honestly say that walking down those paths has helped me to mature and get stronger in God. I truly desire to freely walk with faith knowing that God will establish my plans according to His will even in all of my problems (Proverbs 16:3).
I can’t afford to take my eyes away from God and allow my problems to put a strain on my relationship with God anymore. I feel like there is more to me being in Reading than just my degree but sometimes I may find it hard to see past my problems. Then I think about all the times that God has come through for me before and even that stirs up encouragement that my current circumstances are not temporary. Therefore, this financial rut I am in is just a temporary state and I tell myself this every day without fail when doubt and fear begin to creep in wanting to me to give up. I can’t quite therefore in the meantime, faith without works is dead (James 1:17) so I have been taking practical steps such as working part-time in such a way that it works for my schedule and not too strenuous on my physical health to have some extra income.
In all honesty, some have gone through what I am going through now and they have overcome so that is enough to give me hope. Therefore, any little I can do to help others with my transparency and my testimony than I will do it! I hope this post can encourage anyone who may struggle with maintaining faith after taking a bold step out of their comfort zone.
Until next time,