Last Saturday, in "Pharaoh's Dream, Part 1", we saw that one way to
ensure our faith is strong enough to get through the times of trouble in
our lives is to "store up" faith during times of spiritual "plenty" so
that there will be enough for the times of spiritual "famine". In the
case of the seven years of plenty to be followed by seven years of
famine in Pharaoh's story, it was easy enough to build storehouses to
stash away the grain; but just how does one go about "storing up" faith?
The Bible actually gives us some excellent suggestions:
"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you
who belong to Christ Jesus." (1 Thess. 5:18 NLT). In other words,
we need to give God credit and thanks for EVERY good thing, always
recognizing that He is the One who gives us blessing. Giving thanks to
Him in everything and seeing each thing as a blessing from God will help
to safeguard us from growing apathetic.
2. "Let all that I
am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he
does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He
redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He
fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle's!
The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated
unfairly." (Ps. 103:1-6 NLT) What David is saying here, friends is
basically this: Count your blessings! It's amazing how much better we
feel when we start focusing on our blessings instead of our losses.
3. "Remember how the Lord your God led you through the
wilderness..." (Deut. 8:2 NLT). We need to not only give thanks to
God, but we also need to remember what He has done for us in
the past. It is by reflecting on God's power, blessings and miracles of
the past that our faith in the future grows.
4. "Write them
on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Deut. 6:9 NLT).
Though this text is written specific to remembering God's laws, it
provides us with an excellent way of also remembering how God has come
through for us in the past. Writing things down is a well-established
strategy for augmenting functional memory, and though we might not want
to literally write God's blessings on our gates and doorposts, writing
them down somewhere is a good substitute. This might be in the form of a
journal or a blessings jar, or even leaving little post-it notes around
the house with God's blessings written on them. Then, in the midst of
tough times, we can go to that journal, that blessings jar or those
notes around the house as a means of building our faith for the upcoming
5. "Tie them to your hands and wear them on
your forehead as reminders." (Deut. 6:8 NLT). Again, these
instructions were written specifically for encouraging the people to
remember God's laws; however, the concept also provides us with an
excellent means of triggering our memories. I have a bracelet that I
wear when I'm going through some of those "famine" times. I usually wear
it on my right wrist; but if I catch myself starting to worry or
question whether God is there, I slip it over to my left wrist where it
interferes with my wrist watch, thus catching my attention and serving
to remind me of God's goodness in the past.
6. "I have
hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you."
(Ps. 119:11 NLT). Throughout the Bible we are admonished to "store up"
scripture in our hearts. When we memorize scripture, we are, in essence,
putting it inside us, and in the moments when we need it the most, the
Holy Spirit can bring those passages to our minds where they "feed" us
in the midst of our "famine" times. I remember the time when I was
facing surgery for breast cancer. I was alone in a cold room, waiting
for some medical test that had to be done prior to the surgery, and I
was really feeling at a "low" in my life. It was definitely a "famine"
time. Someone had told me that if I was feeling this way, I should
Ps. 23. As a child, I had "stored up"
Ps. 23 in my heart, and in that moment, the Holy Spirit brought
those powerful words to my mind. As I meditated on them, peace and
comfort filled me, and I was no longer afraid.
In summary, then,
if we make the effort to "store up" God's blessings when things are
going well (by giving Him thanks, counting our blessings, remembering
what the Lord has done for us in the past, writing down God's blessings,
and memorizing scripture), then when we go into the times of "famine",
we will have the spiritual nourishment required to get us through.
But what happens if those times of "famine" drag on, seemingly
forever? Will we be able to truly "store up" enough to get us through?
Join us next Thursday for Pharaoh's Dream, Part 3: Wasting Away Because
of the Famine.
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author --
"Aboard God's Train -- A
Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet
Scriptural Nuggets, a
website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with
Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire "Pharaoh's Dream" mini-series, please