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Real Faith

[5 minutes]
Mindsetter Moment: Do you have your coffee or tea? How about that journal? Start out by reading Psalms 25:16-22 from today’s One Year Bible plan. This type of writing is called a psalm of lament. We all have moments of lament in our lives. In those times we can look to something in our life for hope, or we can look to the Lord. Let’s take a note from the psalmist and turn to God with faith, even in our toughest moments.

[15 minutes]
Scripture reading:

2 Chronicles 32:1 - 33:1-13
Romans 15:23-33
Romans 16:1-9
Psalms 25:16-22
Proverbs 20:16-18

Devotional thought
On day 1 of our 30 for 30 reading, Hezekiah cleans house. Honestly, in light of Hezekiah being one of the only kings to do this, it would make sense for the rest of the Hezekiah story to be short and sweet. “Hezekiah honored God and God made sure that nothing bad, scary, or difficult ever happened in his life.” The End.

Is that what we read? Not at all. In fact, it seems as though the author wants to clearly connect the integrity of Hezekiah’s faith with what comes next. Hezekiah does the right thing, and then his nation is unjustly attacked. What is going on?

There is a great author and thinker, you may have heard of, named C.S. Lewis. After the death of his wife, he wrote a book called “A Grief Observed.” In this book, Lewis wrestles with heartbreak, his faith, and his concept of God. On the subject of unfair and disappointing occurrences in the lives of those who trust God, Lewis makes the observation that “Only a real risk tests the reality of belief.”

What applies to me?
When Hezekiah was faced with attacks from the king of Assyria he did a few things. First, he set up boundaries between himself and the attacker. By blocking water supplies, building an additional wall, and increasing supplies within the city, Hezekiah does all that he can to protect the nation he is called to lead.

Secondly, Hezekiah encourages. He gathers his team and reminds them to “Be strong and courageous.” He uses his words to give those around him the strength they need.

Finally, when the king of Assyria continued taunting and threatening, Hezekiah turned to the Lord in prayer. We see in the story that God honored Hezekiah’s continued faithfulness and fought on his behalf.

Today, you might be facing a challenging situation. Maybe you have taken a step toward God and now find yourself faced with discouragement from someone close to you. Maybe you decided to break a bad habit, only to be faced with every form of temptation, making you want to run back to your old ways for the sense of security or calm it provides.

When we try to turn around, change course, and move in a wiser direction there will be opposition. That opposition is not there to break us down, it is there to build us up. Pushing against the resistance will strengthen your faith, and give you the willpower muscles to succeed. Remember, only a real risk, tests the reality of our belief.

[10 minutes]
Write it out: What are you being challenged by today? Is there a test facing you? Perhaps there is a boundary you need to set or a tough conversation that you need to have. Write some action steps you can take based on the patterns we see in the life of Hezekiah.

Pray it out: Just as Hezekiah did, we can cry out to God for help when faced with challenges. It doesn’t have to sound fancy. God doesn’t grade our prayers based on eloquence. Simply and honestly talk to God about what you are facing and ask for his help and favor.

Live it out: Set wise boundaries. Encourage your team. Turn to God through prayer.