As we start the New Year, some are excited about the new resolutions and goals they have set while others are already feeling discouraged about resolutions.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
Bryan shares how she went from being a producer in Hollywood to having a life-changing experience that led her to start a non-profit called Skip1.
“I ended up flying on a whim unannounced to Uganda, Africa, to see if the kids we had been sponsoring for twenty-five dollars per month were real. I showed up in East Africa and I basically had their photos and the numbers and I said, ‘Hi, I’m from America. Can I meet my kids, #GBB8348 and #GBA8453?’ This gracious woman said, ‘Sure, follow me.’ And that one event in 2003 changed my lens, my life and so many aspects of what happened to me. I write about it in Love, Skip, Jump, my first book, which is start living the adventure of yes. I believe the answer is always, ‘Yes,’ to God. But sometimes we say, ‘You just wait God until I become a mom,’ or ‘Wait until I get married,’ or ‘Wait until I get that job.’ God says, ‘No, I need you to say, ‘yes’ right now.’ Ultimately, if He doesn’t want us doing something, that door will close. We’ve all seen that happen. But it wasn’t because we weren’t willing to jump into whatever that was after God’s own heart. I encourage people in Love, Skip, Jump, that love is the motivation skipping deals with Skip1.org, my non-profit where you skip something for the sake of someone else that you could never repay you and will never regret it. Ultimately, God wants us to jump right in. In order to jump, that’s what allowed me to write this next book, Ridiculous Faith, because you have to have ridiculous faith to jump. When you’re standing on the edge of a cliff, you don’t want to jump.”
“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.” Hebrews 11:24-29
Bryan shares about examples of faith that don’t make sense and how we can get that type of faith.
“God is the one that is faithful. Moses didn’t walk up to the Red Sea and go, ‘Oh my gosh! What are we going to do?’ No. It parted. He showed up. When we show up and we seek Him first, God is going to take care of all of it. There is no ‘have more faith’ store or if I’m going to be a ‘super Christian’ then I’m going to be really faithful. When you read about the heroes of the faith in Hebrews, talk about mess-ups. They messed up. They weren’t ‘super Christians,’ But they were attributed as being mean and women of the faith, heroes of the faith. God defines being faithful as where He has planted us. For me a as a woman, I am a wife first and then a mom and then if those things are truly in order then I can go write a book, go speak or start a charity. I think women need to understand that a wise woman builds her house and a foolish one tears it down with her own hands like it says in Proverbs. I need to be sure that those are in order and the blessing goes through my husband to me and to my kids. Then, I can go outside of that and do the other things that He would allow me to do. When we are faithful in the little, we will be faithful with much.”
Take a leap of faith. Rather than make excuses or wait, trust God and walk in faith. Pray and ask God what you need to do. Ask a friend or your small group to hold you accountable. Ask God to remove anything holding you back or fears that you have. Think back on times when you have taken a leap of faith and trust that God will continue to act on your behalf.
Reflect on the heroes of the faith. Read through Hebrews 11 and other examples throughout the Bible and modern day faith heroes. Look at how they turned to God during their time of trial. Think about their prayers. Write down things that you learned from their examples. Meet up with a friend or discuss in your small group what you learned.
Say yes to God. Whether it is starting a relationship with Him, going on a mission trip or taking a career leap, be obedient and willing to do what God is challenging you to do. Pray and ask God to remove any fear from your decisions, that He would reveal His truth about the situation to you, and that His direction would be clear.
To read our entire interview with Shelene Bryan, click here.