Proverbs 31:17 She girds herself with strength (spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task) and makes her arms strong and firm.
Last year was the worst working year of my life, by far. However, the process of overcoming this experience has made me much stronger. Challenges have definitely helped me become the strong woman that I am today, however, you never know how strong you are until the muscles are tested. In fact, it is not my strength that has caused me to win. Learning to rely on God and the finished works of Jesus Christ are what I “gird” myself with and this provides all the strength that I need to have victory over my circumstance.
It is never easy starting a new exercise regime. The worst part is figuring out what to do and getting started. Once you have started exercising, your body has to adjust, leaving you with days of soreness and recovery. At first it doesn’t seem worth it, especially when you prepping your mentally to do what you know you need to do. After a few weeks of exercising and adjusting your diet, the results begin to show up as weight loss, toned muscles, longevity, and even motivation to continue your regime.
Likewise, exercising spiritual stamina during difficult times can be a challenge as well. Some would think and tell you to pray everyday, fast, don’t sin, stay in faith and follow “these steps”, until you get your breakthrough. An understanding of grace has drastically changed my regime. My regime is very simple, believe and REST. Rest does not mean do nothing. It is simply ceasing from the old testament correspondence of “you do something and then God does something”.
As a new covenant Christian, I understand that God’s grace is unearned, unmerited, favor of God. It is a FREE given to us, when we received salvation. After salvation, we were redeemed and the blessing of God came on us (Galatians 3:13,14). Jesus provided all we need through His life, death, & resurrection. My exercise now involves believing, receiving, which is now the new act of prayer according to the new covenant.
Living in a work driven society definitely makes the exercise of grace a challenge. Adjusting my mindset was the most difficult part, just like physical exercising, it became easier over time. It has given me a new focus…. God. God grace not only gives me a focus but it provides confidence in my identity.
As I faced a horrible work environment day in and day out, it required me to dig into the Word for the strength that relying on grace provides. As a result I found myself thriving and remaining positive in a horrible work environment. This type of strength was very different for me. I have typically had a hard time focusing on God’s grace through difficult situations, opting to focus on my annoyance with my situation. By the end of the contract season in my career, I decided I would not renew my contract and trust God to provide a new job. Because of my awareness of grace-God’s unmerited, unearned, favor in my life, I was confident in my decision, even with no real job prospects. There was a lot of pressure applied to my decision, mostly from outside sources. As a result, I know have the a great job with one of the best organizations in the country and I know God is the sources of my results. I will continue to gird myself with grace and watch God’s blessings propel me into areas of success.