October 1, 2020

“So now, beloved ones, stand firm and secure. Live your lives with an unshakable confidence. We know that we prosper and excel in every season by serving the Lord, because we are assured that our union with the Lord makes our labor productive with fruit that endures.” 1 Cor 15:58
This season of life and ministry has been utterly unprecedented – worldwide quarantines, economic collapse, sickness, death, bombings, earthquakes, political upheaval and the list goes on and on.  As I was preparing to write this, I kept thinking on this verse above and few things stood out…
Stand Firm in the Middle of the Storm
We wouldn’t need to stand firm, stable and enduring if there were not things pushing, pulling or blowing. We built a house last year and one of the things that is a bummer about a new house on a new lot is no trees.  I grew up in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains surrounded by beautiful trees and nature, and as much as I adore my new home, there are no trees.  So, we planted them.

I know nothing about planting trees or growing things and if you ask my husband, aside from my children, I am pretty good at killing things quick. We sought out some help from our local nursery on what to do, how to prepare the soil, and asked if we needed to secure or steady the tree since we live in Oklahoma where the winds LITERALLY come sweeping down the plains.  His response resonated with me in number of ways.  He said, “The winds blowing the tree and moving its growing trunk helps the roots to grow deep and ultimately ensure a long lasting fruitful and healthy tree.” FULL STOP. Man, if that doesn’t speak to our lives.  Below are a few ways that we can help our roots to grow deep in the face of the storm.
Choose Joy Under Pressure
We have a wonderful opportunity to choose joy in the middle of the “wind swirling so much your hair gets stuck in your lip gloss” season of our lives. During these times we know that our endurance is having a chance to grow.  Our roots in Jesus are growing deep.  When we do this, we won’t be unsteady and unsure of where we are going or what we are doing.

As an Enneagram 3 (if you haven’t heard of the Enneagram, I would encourage you and your staff to go through the short test and talk about your responses), one of my core motivators and values is success.  I constantly must remind myself that I don’t have to have all the answers, I know the One who does.  He is the one who leads me and how I bare fruit.  He is the one that is responsible for success. In my confidence in Him I find steadiness, because that is what the Word promised me.
Find Your Confidence in Jesus
John 1:3 “God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him” and Romans 11:36 “For everything comes from Him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory” both speak to the fact that it is THROUGH God all things are made, sustained, and fulfilled.  In our current culture climate, so much of what we do relies on WHAT we do, WHO we know, WHERE we came from, etc.  However, the glorious truth of the believer is that we are MADE, SUSTAINED and FULFILLED in HIM.  We aren’t confident in our own abilities but in the union we have with the Lord.
Wisdom is yours, if you want it
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” James 1:2-8

In James it talks about asking for wisdom and how God gives it unabraidethly (that is an old school word that simply means to not find fault with or reproach severely).  So, know that God finds NO fault in your asking for wisdom. He doesn’t think less of you for asking for wisdom.  He WANTS you to ask so He can fill you up.
The other thing that is going to blow your socks off is that amazing wisdom verse that we (if you have been around church any length of time) have heard a million times, is that it is sandwiched between finding joy and your endurance growing and not wavering and being tossed.  God gives us wisdom to help us being fruitful, grow and stabilize.

I want to encourage you as you read this, ask the Lord to help you see what you need to see.  Ask Him for God ideas. Innovations. Ways to do what you are called to do with excellence and precision.  If you don’t know what you are on the earth for, ask Him THAT! He knows! You are here for such a time as this.  The Lord God, the Creator of the Universe, saw fit that you would be alive and breathing during the madness of 2020.  You are the steadiness that the world needs.  You are a confident, wise, innovator who knows what to do next.

Those are the promises of God that we can lean into and find our unshakable confidence.

written by

Ryann Weaver

Ryann Weaver