Editor’s Note: This is a story by veteran Diva Maria Drayton. Thank you so much Maria for continuing to share your writing with us!
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
3 John 2:1 NKJV
Working out is not one of my favorite past times. I don’t enjoy running, lifting weights, machine workouts and the worst of all is sweating. But I’ve learned that I must do it in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As a youth, I ran track and “no”, I didn’t enjoy it then either. The worst part was always the beginning of the season when our coach mandated long runs as a way of conditioning and creating endurance within us. As an adult, I understand that although the process is not easy, it is worth it in the end. Just like when I was young, the longer runs were never going to be my race but they helped create endurance with strengthened me in my short distance races and inevitably made me faster.
1 Corinthians 9: 24-25 NIV,
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
Faith is a lot like working out. We start small, it takes a while, but inevitably it grows and in the end we can run the race set out before us. Faith must be trained. But just as with working it out, it takes time. I remember recently when I began walking again, my body fought me. I would start walking and about five minutes in, I would have the thought,
“It’s not too late to turn back.”
Even my feet would begin to throb as if saying,
“No! I don’t want to do this!”
It’s like your body talks to you and you have to push past it in order to get through it. That’s how faith is. Your mind tells you just the opposite of what God says and attacks you in your mind.
“It’s not going to work out” or “Do you really believe that?” or the most common thought, “You have to deal with reality.”
Faith is just the opposite of all these thoughts. It challenges what we see, what we know, what we’ve experienced and calls us to focus on the truth of the Word of God alone.
Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV tells us,
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith…”
Our faith must grow if we are to experience all that God has for us. In order for faith to grow it must be worked out. I remember in the beginning of my journey with the Lord, it started with small things. I had to have faith that I could get the job. And then it was faith to finish college. After that my faith seemed to increase and believe it was possible for me to get the really good job. Every chance to use my faith was met by a different obstacle and I had to believe God’s word instead of my own doubts and thoughts.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 KJV.
The evidence and use of faith is evidenced by not seeing it. The things hoped for requires us to have faith. If I were able to see it in the natural, what use would there be for faith? We believe God’s word by faith. We believe that Jesus is the son of God by faith. So we also must live by faith.
So, although it doesn’t feel good working out, by the end I am glad I did it. May your faith be strengthened today and may you enjoy the faith journey.
Heavenly Father, thank you for being faithful to me as I continue to trust You in with my journey. Allow me to continue to grow in faith and to keep my focus on Your everlasting word that does not change nor returns void. You are my way-maker and I thank you for all you’ve done and are continuing to do in me. Bring me to my expected end in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Maria Drayton, originally from Seattle, Washington is a graduate of Washington State University and has a degree in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism through the Edward R. Murrow School of Communications. Maria currently resides in Deptford, New Jersey with her husband and son and attends Bethel Deliverance International Church lead by Bishop Eric A. Lambert. She is the author of: The King and I: Steps for living in today’s world through Intimacy with the Lord and her newest publication, To Know Him: A 31-day Devotional Journey, published May 2020. With a passion for the Lord, she desires to bring a young, fresh, new look into intimacy with the Lord. Visit her at: www.mariadrayton.com to learn more!