The other day the Cowboy texted me a verse:
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith — more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. (1 Peter 1:7-8)
Boy have I been grieved with various trials — not for a little while. For a LONG while! Today my faith is stronger than ever. I have seen the faithfulness of God with my own eyes. I am standing on His promises and believing for More. But in the middle of the fire,
I couldn’t see. I read the words of Scripture and knew they were true in my head but I struggled to declare them with my mouth, my mind, my actions. No matter how many times I read about them, peace and joy totally escaped me. If you were to look at my circumstances, you could see I had good reasons to be shaken and fearful.
But faith is believing for what we cannot see. Faith is declaring the promises of God and not being shaken by the trials and storms, because we trust the one who judges justly. Faith is believing God for yourself, for others, and for great goodness to come out of the awful moments.
If you are struggling in your faith today, confess it quickly, as my friend Deana Morgan says in our new devotional, The Invitation. She writes:
Confession is when you take your eyes off the problem, put them on Jesus, and acknowledge you need Him. His mercy, by design, will give you wisdom, heal your unbelief, and give you rest.
I know it seems simplistic. It is. Her words are true. Move your eyes from your circumstances to Jesus. He will meet you in His mercy.
Maybe your situation won’t change until you do. Until your faith is of greater worth than gold. Maybe His will is not the thing you’ve been praying for; maybe it is for you to gain a heart of wisdom. Or to encounter His love in a new way. Or to make you more like Himself. Or to heal your unbelief.
To join me in this journey of faith, let’s read the Invitation together in the coming year, and gift it to our friends. There’s no greater gift on the planet to be found than the gift of faith — and with it comes peace. And joy!
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
At the age of 18, I was recovering from an eating disorder, cutting, and suicide when I read Jennifer Strickland’s book Girl Perfect and it changed my life. At the age of 33, as I travel the world reaching youth for the gospel, this is the only book I recommend to girls who are struggling. The Lord has truly anointed Jennifer’s words through her story, not only to address the struggles of today’s generation of girls, but also to walk them through the healing necessary for victory.
Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.
Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA
“The ‘P’ word [perfection] may be the heaviest burden women bear. All the misguided things we do to attain it can keep us away from what we need most – the unconditional love of God the Father. The Girl Perfect Study Guide gives you a map to the wholeness you were created for.”
Nancy Ortberg, author and former teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church
“The Girl Perfect Study Guide shatters the lies girls and women believe and points to the ultimate truth, which really does set us free. I am confident that this study will help thousands discover a beauty, purpose, and worth that truly lasts. Thank you Jen for exposing the ‘perfect life’ and inviting girls to experience God’s ‘perfect love.'”
Allie Marie Smith
Allie Marie Smith, Founder of Wonderfully Made
One of the best testaments to what Jennifer is doing for the young girls and women of today is a comment from my eleven-year-old granddaughter: “Grammy, I want to read this book and hear her again. She’s good and I learned a lot.” This is exactly what I experienced from a grown-up perspective when I was introduced to Jennifer Strickland’s amazing story. Read it and see if you don’t get the real story from an icon model and a powerful speaker of truth.”