North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

I was once president of my high school art club. We spent hours working on our projects. My favorite part was drawing sketches of various things like animals, mountains, or any outdoor scene. But pottery was my biggest challenge. When working with clay, the slightest curvature of your finger can create a major difference in the object’s shape. It’s a meticulous job that demands patience and attention to detail. My wife happens to teach art in high school and I can testify she has a gift for it. Her eye and hands have the ability to create paintings with brilliance. And her clay pieces have character and style. As an artist, before she starts a project, in her mind she visualizes the outcome. She has told me she sees things as she would like them to be and works to create what she envisions. In other words, she sees the big picture, much like God who sees our life from beginning to end. God designs our life before we start living it. There’s a certain security that can be taken knowing that God always has our best interest in mind; even in the difficulties. Throughout the days of our lives, God shapes us into His masterpiece—He’s the Master and we’re His created pieces. Genesis 1:27 says, “And God made us in His own likeness. He made both male and female.”
God hears our prayers and gives us the desires of our heart as it fits what’s best for us and He molds us into being. If our personal victories are to be found with faith we must praise Him and thank Him in the difficult times like we do in the good times. When a loved one is healed, a job provided, or money supplied it’s easy to have faith in God. In reality, the “happily-ever-after” myth doesn’t apply in an imperfect world. A maturing faith will trust the Lord of outcomes. Our prayers, as powerful as they are, do not box God into a corner. His plans and ways are immeasurably higher than ours. He will use every circumstance of life—good and bad to accomplish His Kingdom purposes in the world. Be thankful that His purposes are good and be mindful of the words from Romans 8:28: “We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are chosen to be a part of His plan.” Don’t resist God’s artistic hand of molding you!
The circumstances of your life don’t always favor you. But regardless of the outcomes, your job is to keep faith in God. In the spiritual realm there are rewards that are reserved for the people of faith. The longer you live the more your faith will be tested. You can expect this to happen, so keep following God when the hardships arrive. Even if the illness returns, the job disappears, or your child goes astray, it’s your determined faith that serves as your strength and a witness to others.
The outcomes of our involvements are important to all of us; because, this determines if we achieve our goals and dreams. Outcomes of our actions are secondary, but faith is primary. Your job is to keep the faith regardless and let God take care of the rest. This is the path to victory and He will mold us into a wonderful created work.
The Bible says, “Every child of God overcomes the world, and we achieve the victory through our faith” (1 John 5:4). Faith is the victory; without it people are doomed to defeat. Don’t let a lack of faith lead you to despair. There are five ways faith can change failure to victory:
• Through doubts: Satan tries to defeat us by injecting doubt in our minds about God’s will and His Word. Never allow doubts to linger in your minds. Replace them with faith-filled thoughts and actions. “All things are possible to them that believe” (Mark 9:23).
• Through delays: People insist on things happening at their appointed times and delays are difficult for them to handle. Faith is needed when results are slow in coming.
• Through distress: People are prone to losing hope when they suffer health difficulties, financial troubles, and social pressures. In our humanness we try to solve our problems without God. It’s not a sign of weakness to accept help from others. God provides for us through people’s kindness, care, and concern. This is why we can trust God in all things.
• Through danger: Mark 4:40 says, “Then he asked them, why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” We face a dangerous world every day with storms, break-ins, terrorism, and an unstable economy. But Jesus can still rebuke the winds and tell them “to be still” (Mark 4:39).
• Through death: We are confronted with physical death every day. Hebrews 9:27 says, “It’s appointed unto us that we all will die once (physically). After that, we will still stand before God and be judged.” The Christian doesn’t have to fear death because they are forgiven, cleansed, and on their way to heaven. The promises of eternal life are granted to everyone who trusts Christ with their life.
Faith has been a characteristic of all God’s servants since the beginning of the world. Let the principles of faith navigate you through what troubles you. Tell Him what concerns you have and be willing to trust Him in the storm. This is what determines your destiny. A winner in life is one who is victorious through faith. Therefore, trust God to mold you into the person He wants you to be.
• This weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s the author of the following books: “Soldiers of God: A Bible Study guide for Spiritual Warfare” and “The Authentic Teenager: A Bible Study Guide to Truth and Positive Living” and “Spiritual Fitness For Runners” and “Understanding the Higher Power”. Matthew can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living.

Posted by on Sep 13 2015. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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