How to Build Belief on an Unshakable Foundation
Belief is a tricky thing. If our belief rests on our outcomes, we’ll be shaky and doubts will sprout. But if Jesus Himself is the foundation of our belief, we’ll be unshakable with a thriving faith. That’s the core of today’s devotion, “What Is True Belief?”
When our beliefs are anchored to our circumstances, we anxiously wrestle. When our beliefs are fettered to Jesus, we confidently rest. Here’s a free download as a gift for you that you can print to remind you of this truth:
What we believe shows in the way we act, the decisions we make, and the choices we pursue. Over a decade ago, I learned this important lesson from a winsome woman I met at a women’s retreat. Her name was Ruth.
Ruth stood out in the retreat crowd not only because of her lustrous gray hair but also because of the cluster of younger women around her. They were talking with her, doting on her, and soaking in every word she said, so I headed over to meet this woman who drew in like a magnet.After listening to this delightful woman talk for a while, I asked her, “What’s your secret? Over the years, how have you continued to grow in the Lord, stay positive and exude joy?” Her answer was simple yet profound,
“Be today who you want to be tomorrow.”
As she spoke, I remembered a conversation from a girls-night-out with some women from my church. Conversation flowed freely from one topic to the next as I got to know the women across from me. We talked about our kids, our homes and our work. Ironically, both women had done specialized nursing with geriatric patients.
I started to question them about their work and their patients. Finally I asked, “Why do you think that so many older people, particularly women, seem to struggle with negativity as they age?” Both looked at me in surprise and said that I was incorrect. They were unanimous in their theory of how aging affects personality.
“Aging only magnifies who you already are,” my friend said.
“Yes,” chimed in the other, “If you are kind when you are young, then you’ll be even kinder as you age. If you think positively when you’re young, then you will also have that habit as you age. But if you are a complainer when you are young, then you’ll get worse as you age. If you are unforgiving when you are young, then you’ll become very bitter as you age.”
They explained that occasionally diseases that affect the brain will change a person’s personality, thinking and actions. Generally, however, through stories and comments of family members about the early days of their elderly patients, they had found that their original hypothesis held true. Ruth’s answer to my question about the secret to aging well was completely consistent with my friends’ observations. “Be today who you want to be tomorrow.”
I’d like to propose a corrolary truth to Ruth’s today:
What you believe determines who you’ll be.
Aging magnifies what we believe. If we believe that Jesus commands us to use words to build up, then we’ll develop the habit of encouraging words.
If we believe that God is good despite our circumstances, then we’ll develop the pattern of praise in the midst of hardship.
If we believe that He is the provider and healer, then we’ll cultivate patient, expectant waiting (without complaint…ouch!) as we wait for His provision and healing.
If we believe that the fruits of the Spirit given to us are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, then we’ll pursue portraying those traits.
Ruth’s beliefs shone brightly because of the kind of woman she had become. Who she had become reflected what she believed.
Do you desire to be a godly, older woman like Ruth? I do! Then, we’re called to pursue knowing Truth (belief is part of truly knowing!) and living the Truth. It really does change everything– including our aging.
Oh Amy, I love this. A great reminder! Thank so much. Love, Karen (66 yrs old & hope to stand in God’s sufficient grace til the end.
Yes! Until the end!!
Thank you! – Cath
If I could pick the word, it would be ‘rejoice’. I’m praying God agrees. Actually.. I’d take any kind of answer from Him right now.
Thank you, Amy, my word is “believe,” also. Your message is timely and beautiful to me.
I’m thankful, Linda!
Thank you Amy for the reminder of how special Christmas is. I love the story of Mary and Elizabeth. Is is my favorite verse, Luke1:41( NIV) When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. … It has been a very hard and trying time for my husband and I. Ministy is getting harder as this world keeps changing faster than ever before, it seems. As a wife I feel I need to be strong and speak encouraging words and scripture to help lift his spirits at the end of the day. I was starting to feel like a failure in that area, until you reminded me of the “gray haired lady.” Thank you,. I am reminded of how good God is, to help us become who he wants us to be tomorrow by what and how we let Him live in our lives today, in the midst of all the hardships. May God continue to bless your ministy for His Kingdom.
Praying for strength for you as you minister to your husband and those around you. I know it can be tough.
I enjoyed today’s blog, especially about your two nursing friends. I also work with the elderly and what they told you is true we become more of what we already are. I’m having some trouble with my own future of aging because I have seen myself very ill in the hospital and not behaving very nicely and nowhere near the person I thought I was. So thank you for having the upcoming series I believe there is still hope for me to turn things around in myself so I don’t end up a mean old woman. <3
You mentioned a ‘keyword for a year of growth’ in your Proverbs 31 devotional. Can you elaborate on that? And can you tell me how you got it?
Susan, thanks so much for asking! Here’s a link to a vlog I did http://amycarroll.org/belief-is-better-part-1/ , and there’s another link on that page to another one I did for Kathi Lipp. Hope these help!
Loved this message! Thank you for sharing this wisdom!
Thank you Amy for sharing the wise words of Ruth and for your excellent devotion that I needed as a reminder. My 2017 word is believe as well. It has helped me get through some tough and interesting days. I have been praying all year for something…actually longer however I am still waiting. I remind myself that I have to “BELIEVE” God’s plan is better and he is right on time even when I have to wait. Now, speaking of CHRISTmas, I too have been listening to Christmas music. It uplifts my mood and is relaxing to me. I am also looking forward to the Hallmark Christmas movies. I really like Thanksgiving too…..not just the food but to reflect on everything I am thankful for. I have been keeping a gratitude journal for over two years and I like to go back and read what I wrote. I am looking forward to your aging series and I thoroughly enjoy your devotions and blog. ~Lisa~
God is right on time… yes!
Awesome read and light bulb moment for me “today be the person you want to be tomorrow “
I love this. Be today what you want to be tomorrow.