Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Daniel Fast - Day 11 Devotional

Today's Day 11 devotional is coming from YouVersion's 21 Day Fast reading plan.  Each day you will find devotional content as well as scripture readings for the day.  The scripture for Day 11 is James 1.

"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."  {James 1:2-3}

Right in the very beginning of this chapter, we are being told when troubles come our way.  Not if...when.  We are going to face difficult times in this life.  That is a guarantee.  But the scripture passage is telling us that we ought not be discouraged by them.  I know that in my past experience, when I have faced great challenges or difficulties in my life, it has been accompanied by feelings of weakness in my faith.  Beliefs are tested.

How many times in life have you found yourself asking God, "Why??"?  I think this scripture is telling us that, yes, we are going to have troubles and, yes, our faith is going to be tested.  These are "normal".  But the passage is not telling us to give in to those feelings of unbelief that might arise out of these difficult times.  It is actually telling us that our challenges can actually be used for a greater good.  We build endurance through our trials.  I know from personal experience that this is true.  Persevering through so many challenges has caused my endurance to build - and my faith to increase.  If I had no faith, I can't imagine where I would be today after all the challenges we've faced with Peyton.  But I do have faith and I know that God is with me through all of the trials.  Yes, there are times when I feel alone in this and I wonder "why", but ultimately I know that my faith will allow me to push on.  My strengthened faith in God through all the difficult times has equipped me to better handle the challenges that lie ahead.

I believe that out of this time of prayer and fasting, you will build endurance and you will learn how to lean in to your faith in God, trusting that He knows what is best for you.  I believe that you will come out the other side of this fast with a renewed sense of purpose knowing this.  I believe that no matter what challenges you are facing right know, God wants to be there for you, strengthening you to persevere.  I believe that as you do so, it will build your faith and better equip you to handle whatever lies ahead for you.

If you are doing a fast right now, how is it going for you?  What are your major challenges right now?  What are you learning so far?  Do you have any advice to share on how to get through the difficult moments of the fast?  I'd love to hear!

I will be sharing devotionals such as this and other ideas to help you through this journey.  If you are reading a bible plan or devotional during this fast, what are you learning?  I would love it if we could share our insights so that we can be a support to each other during this time.  Link up below and grab a button while you're at it!



Daniel Fast 2013

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