Tuesday, December 04, 2007


But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 20-25)

Sometimes, our faith is challenged in the daily struggles of life. Other times, we are blindsided. Something hits us so hard we can barely hold on, much less pray. At those times, we find out what we're made of - and if you're like me, sometimes you don't like what you see.

I'm pretty even-keeled emotionally. I can even handle lots of "stress" and crisis -- if I have some idea it's coming. But those times when I'm blindsided, when something comes from "nowhere", are the times I struggle.

It's because of my reaction in those times that I have come to do something that I call "pre-commit". Not recommit - good though that is - but PREcommit. Relying on verses like these when my faith is "strong", I tell God that I trust Him if I'm ever in a place where I struggle. I ask Him to hold me up and make me stand when I'm unable to stand on my own.

What I've learned is that really, that explains my state all the time. Those "blindsided" moments reveal it more clearly, but my daily state is one of dependence on God, on trusting that He'll uphold me and keep me in His will, developing me by His grace alone into a vessel for His use. When I'm weak, as Paul said, then I am strong ... because at those moments I realize the utter helplessness that is my natural state anyway.

Are you facing a trial that came at you from nowhere today? If you've been blindsided, consider this: God will uphold you, and reveal to you that this is the strength that upholds you on your good days as well. If you're having a good day, try pre-committing your next trial of faith to God, and see what emerges when that day comes!

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