I’m sure a lot of you will have heard of Joe Wicks the Body Coach and how at 9am every weekday he is doing a free workout on YouTube aimed at children off school, which I think is a brilliant idea. Lots of people had been talking about it so I thought I’d give it a go. How hard can it be?
It turns out that for an overweight 46-year-old with dodgy knees, a bad back and not a great level of fitness, it was actually very hard! What was harder than the workout, was what happened to my body in the 2 days following. Oh, my life! I ached all over and realised I had muscles I had forgotten about. I was in so much pain. It hurt to sit down, stand up, get out of bed and when I walked, I looked like John Wayne!
Exercising muscles is a good thing, but when they are not used to it, it can take a little bit if getting used to and perseverance and going through the pain barrier!
Someone said: Faith is like a muscle; it must be fed and exercised to be built up.
This is true but isn’t something we always do.
When life is going ok, we often seem to navigate our way through life without fully relying on God or having to exercise a great deal of faith. We’re quite self-reliant, we get caught up in what is going on in our lives and exercise control. So, we don’t feed and build up our faith muscle.
But when life is a bit harder, and we realise as a human race we are in control of very little, we try and put our trust in God, but because we are a little bit out of practice, it can seem difficult. And I want to encourage us to go through the pain barrier, persevere and build up our faith.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
How do we build our faith? We need to know and understand for ourselves what our hope is in and what we can be certain about with God. It’s hard to have faith if we don’t fully know or understand who it is that we are putting our trust in, believing in and relying on.
Here’s 3 tips on how we can do that:
1. Spend time in the bible.
Never underestimate the power of this book. It is alive and powerful and can speak truth into our lives, heal us, change us and reveal the truth about God, ourselves and the world we live in. Pray as you read it “God would you speak to me today. Holy Spirit, please open my eyes, my heart and my mind to whatever it is that God wants to say and do in my life today. Jesus, would I be assured of your love and how your death and resurrection means I am welcomed into God’s presence to know him and for him to speak with me”.
2. Listen to Donald’s sermons.
Not just his recent sermons on John’s Gospel but go back throughout the past few years and be refreshed or taught for the first time on how the bible helps us to make sense of life together. You can access them via our website or search Sutton Coldfield Baptist Church on iTunes or Spotify, and you’ll be able to hear them there as well. Donald’s series are all on different books of the bible. Maybe read the book for yourself and then as you read, listen to how we can apply it make sense of it.
3. Learn a few promises of God from the bible that encourage you.
A few years ago I was off work for quite a few months with glandular fever that turned into post viral fatigue. It left me with no energy and feeling rank. During this time, I decided that I was going to find in the bible, all of the promises that God made and write them on little cards like this. Each card has a different promise on it. And I decided to learn one of these promises every week so whenever I felt anxious, tired, unable to do what is what that I needed to do – I even struggled to go the doctors. And at those times as I sat in the car, scared that I wouldn’t have the energy to make it to the doctors, I called to mind truths from the bible and said them in my mind and out loud and it gave me confidence to know that however I felt, God was with me and this was his promise to me. It din’t make me feel woo, but it did give me the faith to believe God is faithful and he will not let me down.