I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Monday, April 16, 2012

Faith and the Writing Life

by Paula Boire writing as Sara L. Jameson


Faith

Such a short word.

Such a powerful word.

Such a life-changing word.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes my faith wobbles; even when I think I’m praying from a position of trust—of faith—that God is working out a problem or in someone else’s dire situation; sometimes when I’m praying Scriptures over those things.



As a writer there are Scriptures I pray daily. One of those is Isaiah 41:10: “Fear not, for I AM with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties; YES, I will help you; YES, I will hold you up and retain you with My victorious right hand of rightness and justice.” (caps mine) (Amplified Version) Isn’t that a powerful verse?



Nevertheless, one day last week as I prayed that Scripture over every aspect of my writing life— craft, editing, and the business of being a writer—the Lord showed me dismay had crept into my attitude. Wow, was I relieved to receive His alert.



Dismay is a powerful tool of destruction. It destroys confidence in the plans God has shown us He has for our lives. Dismay makes us begin to believe God never planted those dreams and goals in our hearts in the first place. Dismay makes it easier to give up working toward them. Or shelve them altogether.



Writing, like any career in the arts, is a tough road for most of us who pursue it. Mastering the craft of fiction writing is no easier than becoming a prima ballerina, or an internationally recognized opera star. All of them require years of dedicated study, sweat, and tears. Hearing, “Sorry. You’re not what we’re looking for.” Or, “You’re too tall.” Too, whatever. Fortunately, God has an antidote for dismay.



For me, transforming Scriptures into prayers of THANKSGIVING are keys to battling dismay. Using part of Isaiah 41:10 as a model: Father, I thank You that You ARE strengthening and hardening me to difficulties. Thank You that You ARE helping me. Thank You that You ARE holding me up and retaining me with Your victorious right hand of rightness and justice.



Changing the verb tense to an ongoing, happening-right-this-minute action builds faith. Dispels dismay. Sometimes I pray verses out loud, perhaps several times, before faith wells up and dispels the black pit of discouragement. And thankfully, God’s Word never returns to Him void but always achieves that purpose for which He sent it. I hope these words of encouragement will bless you in your own faith walk today.  

Faith
Such a short word.
Such a powerful word.
Such a life-changing word.

How is God helping you grow in this area of your life?

24 comments:

  1. This was such a powerful post for me. I am convicted of the lack of prayer surrounding my writing. I started out the writing journey just wanting to see if I could do it...write a novel. It had been a dream for over 20 years. I don't know that I ever felt "called" to write, so praying over it continually just hasn't been in my radar.

    Thank you for the reminder to bathe my work...my hobby...my life in prayer.

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  2. I often feel dismayed over my writing. But I would have never thought to pray Isaiah 41:10 over it. Thanks for opening my eyes to a new way of looking at scripture.

    Paula, This is a wonderful post. Thanks so much!

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  3. Excellent, Paula, and I know you live it. I also hear God will guide your writing to a good safe haven.

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  4. How did you know I NEEDED to hear this this morning? Is 41:10 is one of my favorite verses, and like Roxanne, I never thought to prayi it over my writing life. Thanks for that beautiful revelation! Beginning that practice today.

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  5. I love praying God's promises back to Him. I know He loves to hear His words coming from out lips.

    So glad you chose that scripture verse today. Mondays are hard sometimes as the week stretches before me...so many things to do...so little time. It is very easy to get discouraged and do nothing.

    Great post, Paula.

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  6. "Dismay is a powerful tool of destruction. It destroys confidence in the plans God has shown us He has for our lives."

    This is such a powerful truth. I love how you held on to God's promises...made them active and alive by holding onto them, praying them, turning your thoughts to thanksgiving. So cool, Paula. Thanks for such awesome encouragement this morning!

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  7. Dismay: Been struggling with this one lately. Thanks for the insight on how to battle it!

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  8. Your words are a balm to my soul! Dismay is a destructive tool used by the enemy so effectively.

    Putting your heart and soul on paper and letting others inside to see - can be exhausting as you ride up and down on the rollercoaster of emotions. Elation when someone sees the hand of God in your work (because you were faithful to write His words) or dismay and doubt when no one notices or someone criticizes.

    Thank you for sharing your prayer using Isaiah 41:10 - your words encourage me to do the same.

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  9. Hi Sherrinda,
    I hope this time the system will accept my reply to your comments. I can so relate to your 20-year dream of writing a novel! May God bless you in this endeavor, grow it, and prosper it. :-)

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  10. Hi Roxanne,
    God has been faithful to give me specific scriptures to pray over various aspects of writing craft. I pray them daily over my writing and anyone's work I might be editing. Thanks for posting!

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  11. Hi Roxanne,
    God has been faithful to give me specific scriptures to pray over various aspects of writing craft. I pray them daily over my writing and anyone's work I might be editing. Thanks for posting!

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  12. Morning Dee,
    Thank you so much for the word of encouragement from the Lord. I rejoice in it. :-)

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  13. Morning Jeanne,
    I'm so glad the Lord blessed you with the post. May He lead you to other scriptures as well that will be powerful blessings in your writing.

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  14. Hi Pat, For some unearthly reason, the system has finally allowed my responses to post to the site. Blessings on you this day and week!

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  15. Morning M-Tagg,
    Yes, that thanksgiving part is sooo critical. And how easily I slip back into petitions only. :-) Hope all is well with you.

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  16. Paula, such a beautiful post, and having been prayed over by you, I'm encouraged by your words.

    Faith is my One Word for 2012. So many times I've let dismay cloud my faith, but God remains constant. When the clouds part and the Son shines, I'm filled with an amazing sense of peace. Believing in Him reminds me I'm not alone. Thank you for the verse. I'm going to add it to my daily quiet time.

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  17. Morning Lindsay,
    I ache for you. I know what a battle this can be. I will be praying for you throughout the day. Thank you Lord, that You will go before Lindsay and make her rough places smooth, You will shatter the doors of bronze, and cut through her iron bars. (Is. 45:2) His blessings on you, Lindsay.

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  18. Morning Gabrielle,
    I so understand the discouragement of being whipped by the winds of approbation and critique. May the Lord enable you to rise above it all and use it to become the writer He has in mind for you. :-)It's such a tough path, isn't it? :-)

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  19. Hi Lisa,
    Thank you so much for posting. So wonderful to hear from you, dear friend. You picked an awesome Word for 2012. :-)

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  20. Getting to this post at the end of the day -- but at just the right time. Thank you for your words of hope and faith. You've encouraged me both as a writer and as a woman. I needed this post more than you could ever know, Paula.

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  21. Powerful, fantastic! A favorite scripure, and one I pray/claim daily although I am not a writer. You have given me a "freshness" about it....thanks so much.

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  22. Hi Beth, So sorry to get back to checking the post log after days. Am praying for you. :-)

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  23. Hi Jackie, thank you for posting. Blessings on you this day. :-)

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