Are You a Hopeful Christian? Or Are You a Believing One?

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Yesterday I prayed a prayer that I have been praying for months now. I pray it multiple times a week. It’s on my prayer wall. I have even asked others to pray it with me. But do you know what was different about yesterday’s prayer?

I realized that this entire time I had just been “hoping” it would be answered. I was hopeful that something would happen. Up until yesterday, I don’t think I truly BELIEVED that anything would come of it. As awful as it sounds to say it out loud, I didn’t believe that God was going to answer my prayer.

How guilty are we of doing that, though? How many times do we pray a prayer and “hope” that God will take care of it, but then we never actually give it over completely to Him? Why do we feel that we need to care those burdens around with us when God wants to take them off our shoulders?

Now, God may not answer my prayer in the way that I see, but He WILL answer it. And He will answer it in His timing and in His perfect way. Last week, I attended a leadership conference where I had the privilege to hear Lysa Terkeurst speak. She shared an amazing story about God’s perfect timing, but the one thing that she said that has stuck with me is this: “There’s what I see…and then there’s what God is doing.” We do not get to see the big picture, but God is always in control of it all. We only get a small piece of the puzzle BUT when we trust and BELIEVE that He is going to see it through, God will show up and show out.

So from now on, I am fully believing that God is going to answer my prayer. It may not be today, tomorrow, or next week. It may not happen for another few years. But when it does (and it WILL), I cannot wait to tell you all about it.

Who are you when you think Jesus isn’t looking?

Today on my lunch break, I decided to make a quick stop into the local CVS for a few necessities (shaving cream and something to battle these terrible summer allergies!). I usually make at least one stop into the store each week because I get great customer service and the employees are always so friendly.

As I was standing in the checkout line, the man behind the counter begins to tell me how he sees me in the store quite often and asks if I work in the area. I tell him yes and we begin to chat about the city, community, church, local activities, etc. We discovered that we had an “acquaintance” in common, and the man goes on to praise this acquaintance as such a wonderful person that he held in high regard. I stood there shocked and almost speechless because my thoughts about the common acquaintance were…let’s just say, definitely less admirable. So what caused the stark difference in opinion? This man went to church with the common acquaintance, and I knew who the person was out in the world – beyond the church doors. I smiled and nodded, thanked the man for his help, and went on my way.

 

I left the store with a mix of emotions. How could our opinions be such complete polar opposites? Do people view ME that differently outside of God’s house? Am I truly the same person – with the same integrity, same values, same morals, same smile, same heartfelt concern for others, same positive attitude – that I am on Sunday? Would people who know me outside of God’s house say the same things about me as the ones that see me in church each week? I sure hope so. And if not, today is a great day to get my attitude in check and be intentional in living out the person that I strive to be EACH and EVERY day. I don’t want to be the person that puts on her “church face” on Sunday.

My prayer today is that each of us live out our Christian lives on a day-to-day basis so that others may see Jesus in us and through us. We are to be a witness to everyone – the sinners and the saints. Sometimes we forget that people are watching us. Who are you when no one is looking? I want to live out my days like God would have me to live them – for Him and for His glory. I want my friends to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I know Jesus. I want them to come to me when they need to be lifted up in prayer. I want strangers to know that I am authentically, genuinely concerned for them and their salvation just by my actions. I want my life to be a walking Bible for the world to see. I want to treat people as Jesus would treat them.

 

So who are you? Are you the person people know on Sunday? Who are you when you think Jesus isn’t looking?