Advent Series: Exercise Faith

Billie Jo YoumansBy Billie Jo Youmans6 Minutes

Family Advent Series – Week Two

Do you want more from Christmas than a chaotic schedule, financial stress, and more stuff? Join us for our Advent series. Each week of Advent (November 27 – December 24), we will fix our eyes on a beautiful truth about God and provide some verses you can read each night of the coming week.

Why not start a family tradition to get more from Christmas than ever before? Grow your faith, quiet your heart, and enjoy Jesus!

Living with an Open Heart

Last week, we began our Advent series by exploring the certainty of biblical hope and the power of waiting in faith. This week let’s turn our eyes toward exercising faith by embracing the truth that God is involved with every aspect of our lives.

There are no coincidences for a Christian – everything we encounter has been filtered through the love of God. He orchestrates every detail for the purpose of allowing us to know and enjoy Him more fully – and to participate in building His eternal kingdom.

Trusting that God is a sovereign, loving God who is involved in our days makes life an adventure. Such a pervasive attitude of faith allows us to embrace life with an open heart, welcoming people and events with joyful anticipation – even when the immediate reality is less than ideal. We walk forward with assurance of God’s good purposes, His presence, and His power that conquers all.

Talking about faith is great until we remember the first part of this week’s focus: exercise.

Faith does not just happen. It is a gift from God that He expects us to utilize (exercise!) (Philippians 2:12-13).  But let’s be honest – exercise isn’t always fun or pleasant. It’s labor-intensive, often exhausting, and sometimes painful. Yet exercise is a God-ordained key to health – both physically and spiritually. Let’s explore what it looks like to exercise faith!

First, It’s Messy

Living with your heart wide open gets messy sometimes. God doesn’t let us choose the people He brings our way, and unexpected interruptions throw our schedules out of whack all the time. The stuff of life isn’t haphazard or random – it’s a unique faith workout plan designed for you by God!

Consider the people God has placed in your life. We’re all thankful for the ones who make our lives easier and sweeter, but God sends the “grace-growers,” too. You know them – those people who get on your nerves, hurt your feelings, and crush your spirit. Faith embraces them as gifts from God. Faith realizes they are in your life on purpose, for a purpose…and they are loved by God. He has brought them to you to be loved – and to help you know His love more fully.

And those interruptions … seeing them as God appointments changes everything! Mary, the mother of Jesus instructs us beautifully here! This young teenager – engaged to be married – is interrupted by an angel announcing an impossible, dangerous, coming reality. Putting her dreams aside, undaunted by the shame, rejection, and danger to be faced, she simply worshipped and said, “Be it unto me according to thy word.” THAT is exercising faith.

Then, It’s Miraculous

Difficult people and interruptions come into every life. You have to deal with them whether you want to or not. The choice is how you deal with them and the results you get!

When you choose to face people problems and life disruptions with faith in God’s involvement, miracles happen. His ways truly are higher and better than ours. He doesn’t make mistakes, and He never abandons us.

Living with faith means your life is open to the One who makes all things new (Revelation 21:5)! This week, practice embracing life with an open heart and look for Jesus to show up in incredible ways. He is there!

Scriptures for the Coming Week

Monday, December 5                         Luke 1:44-55
Family Chat:                                       Speak & hear Christ’s name with joy.

Tuesday, December 6                         Hebrews 13:1-2
Family Chat:                                       Who can we open our door to today?

Wednesday, December 7                    Matthew 25:35-40
Family Chat:                                       Seek to see the face of Christ in others.

Thursday, December 8                        Proverbs 11:25
Family Chat:                                       Who can you bring refreshment too this season?

Friday, December 9                            Isaiah 32:1-2
Family Chat:                                       Who is facing a storm that you can offer shelter to?

Saturday, December 10                      Luke 1:13-20
Family Chat:                                       What promises of God did you need to receive and believe?