I would like to consider myself a person of Faith. However, lately that has been put to the test. We all go through tough times in our lives, times of heartache, confusion, grief, challenges, sadness, depression and we may even wonder if God is really there. It’s easy to have faith when everything is going the way that we think that it should, but the moment that changes is a test of how much we truly trust God’s plan over our own. Sometimes His plan doesn’t look or seem good to us, but it is. He loves His children and promises us all a bright future filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11) He is our strength, our peace, our provider, our comforter, our refuge, and so much more. He is EVERYTHING that we need. The only way to truly get to know Him is by reading His word and asking Him to reveal Himself to us. He will in such amazing ways! This doesn’t mean that the challenges in our lives will stop. A lot of times, as we are growing in our faith, we may actually have even more challenges. In James, chapter 1 we learn how the challenges strengthen our faith, and once we work through the emotions that naturally come up during these times, patience will be developed inside of us. This is a process and does not happen immediately, but over time. The same way that we grow physically, we grow spiritually. At first, we are like babies and our needs are so many, but as time goes on and we begin to grow, then God helps us learn that we have all that we need inside of us. How? Because His Son, Jesus died to give us life. This life is the spiritual growth inside of our heart that allows us to experience joy in the midst of pain, peace in a world of chaos, love when we feel alone and abandoned, wisdom when there doesn’t seem to be a way out, patience to joyfully walk through the “desert” to get to our “promise land”. Knowing this is great but it doesn’t change a thing until we believe it and live it each day in each moment. It’s a choice, seems to be an easy one, but that’s not necessarily so. I’ve found it to be extremely difficult at times, but always worth it. God has a plan for us, we just need the heart to see it. We have to rid ourselves of anything that is not of Him and ask Him inside of our hearts to fill us up with all that He is. This is not a one time choice. But one that we must make regularly. Making the choice to have faith in God rather than worrying and doubting helps us mature spiritually and as we do, we learn what “life” really is and eventually are able to even say “thank you” to God for the times in our lives that we used to complain about. And then our heart changes to become more and more like His. This is the greatest gift of all.