“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5, NLT
Everyone enjoys a good shortcut, especially when running late. While shortcuts take us where we need to be faster, they can sometimes do more harm than good. Is a route worth taking if the road is rugged or has too many twists and turns? You risk having a car accident that can delay your arrival or prevent it altogether. Sometimes you are better off taking the established route.
Similarly, there are shortcuts that you can take in life to help you achieve your goals more quickly. Some are efficient, but others compromise your integrity. Christian women must accept God’s established route for our lives even if it takes longer than we desire. Our work should be pleasing to God because He will judge it. Read 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 with me:
But the Lord said to me, “Tell them, ‘Do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you. You will be defeated by your enemies.’” – Deuteronomy 1:42, NIV
Has God given you a God-sized assignment? Maybe He has called you to start a new business, minister to a unique group of people, or make an unconventional career change. When you consider the skills you lack that are normally required to be successful, the assignment can seem overwhelming. In these moments, have the faith to succeed instead of fearing failure.
“God will never put more on you than you can handle.”
We have all heard this saying, often to encourage Christians to grin and bear life’s hardships. Many falsely believe that it is a Bible scripture. This saying is a misquote of 1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV):
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
This scripture is about overcoming the temptation to sin – not mustering the strength to carry our own burdens. God’s will for us is quite opposite as detailed in Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV):
“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”- Psalm 77:11-12, NIV
In Joshua 4, God gave the Israelites a special set of instructions. He told them to take 12 stones, one for each tribe, and set them in a specific place. Read Joshua 4:21-24 with me:
Then Joshua explained again the purpose of the stones: “In the future,” he said, “when your children ask you why these stones are here and what they mean, you are to tell them that these stones are a reminder of this amazing miracle—that the nation of Israel crossed the Jordan River on dry ground! Tell them how the Lord our God dried up the river right before our eyes and then kept it dry until we were all across! It is the same thing the Lord did forty years ago at the Red Sea! He did this so that all the nations of the earth will realize that Jehovah is the mighty God, and so that all of you will worship Him forever.” (The Living Bible)
As followers of Jesus Christ, we should keep “stones” for the same reason the Israelites did: to remember what God has done. It would be difficult for us to collect a stone each time we encountered God. My solution: Prayer Journals.
“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” – Mark 1:35 (KJV)
Would you consider someone your friend if they refused to spend quality time with you? What if they only spoke to you when they needed a favor? Hardly anyone would call this relationship a friendship. By today’s standards it would be labeled toxic!
As Christians, we often treat Jesus this way. Jesus calls us His friends (John 15:13-15) and desires to speak with us daily. Instead of communing with Him, we rush into the busyness of our day. Then, when facing hardship, we run to Jesus, begging Him to save us. If we only knew that spending quality time with Jesus would prepare us for life’s trials or prevent them altogether.
“For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
Weak women find their strength in God! We learned in the previous blog post that it is okay to be weak. God’s strength is perfected through human weakness. We must surrender ourselves to God and allow Him to work through us.
While you may acknowledge that God is all-powerful, it can still be hard to resist the temptation to work in your own strength. How can you build your reliance on the Lord? The answer is found in His word. It is alive and able to transform your mindset. The Word of God will deliver you from the desire to do life without Him.
Today I am sharing 13 scriptures for weak women. Read these scriptures and write them down. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand and believe the Word of God. Journal any revelations you receive while meditating on these scriptures. Most importantly, recite these scriptures out loud daily as if you are taking a vitamin supplement. Each time you declare the Word of God, your spirit will become more receptive to relying on His strength.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
How would you describe yourself? Grab a pen and take a moment to write down a few adjectives. Your list may include words such as:
Loving Adventurous Giving Resilient
While these are beautiful qualities, have you ever described yourself as weak? WEAK?!
I can see you cringing. Most women do not want to be called weak. It is an insult. We want to be seen as strong individuals, who are confident and capable of handling whatever comes our way. Our culture affirms the strong woman stereotype and we are led to believe that we should always exude strength.
Thankfully, the standards of this world are not God’s. As His daughters, it is okay for us to be weak. No one is purely strong. There are areas of our lives where God has blessed us with the ability to thrive. Similarly, there are also areas where God has purposely allowed us to struggle. God does this to build our dependence on Him and prevent us from making idols of ourselves.
“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” – James 1:12 (NASB)
“I just want this to be over!”
I am sure we have all expressed this sentiment during tough times. Unemployment, grief, illness, heartbreak, and other seasons of hardship are uncomfortable and painful. We would love for them to be over with the snap of a finger. The reality is that the only way out of hardship is to go through it.
God’s timing is not our own, so we cannot place a time limit on a season of hardship. The end of one week, month, or even year does not guarantee the start of a new and better season of life. We may very well remain in the same season or enter a more difficult one.
Being a Christian does not exempt us from life’s hardships. In fact, God intentionally uses hardship to discipline us. This form of discipline is not meant for harm. Rather, God uses it to reveal His character and build ours.
You will no longer anticipate the end of a season of hardship when you embrace God’s purpose for it in your life. How can you accomplish this? Ask yourself these four questions:
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” – Luke 6:45, NIV
Pressures of the past year have triggered society’s best and worst behaviors. During the evening news, reporters share ways communities have united to make a positive impact. Yet, in a moment’s notice they switch stories to describe heinous crimes committed by mankind. How can one person exude beautiful qualities and another wickedness? The answer comes when we realize that people do not develop their behaviors overnight. Our behaviors are birthed from desires that are stored within the heart.
A number of desires lie within our hearts – righteous and unrighteous, some active, others dormant. To better understand our desires, let’s read Galatians 5:19-23 (NLT) together: