Friday, January 22, 2010

Becoming a Woman of Faith

I just finished this Bible Study this morning. It is the second one that I've done by Cynthia Heald in recent months. I was so excited to begin it. And I know why. Cynthia Heald is a wise woman. This Bible Study is similar to the Becoming a Woman of Grace study. It is more focused on God's Word than on Mrs. Heald giving her thoughts about the Word. And I appreciate that. But, I love what she has to share. Her thoughts are candid and honest and encouraging. The quotes she includes are worth remembering and contemplating. This study addresses doubt, testing, walking by faith, and staying strong in our faith.

The chapter on doubt was especially good. I'd like to include a sample of how she writes...
"After many years of walking with the Lord, I have experienced countless testings. I can say that with every test came the way of escape--a whispered Scripture in my heart to guide or encourage me or a check in my spirit to turn away from what I was about to do. I was given a way out, but it was always my choice whether or not to take it. If you find yourself telling God that the testing is too great or it's overwhelming you, perhaps it's a signal that you are trying to face it in your own strength instead of His. In God's mysterious way, He sets a limit on the test--God will allow only what will strengthen your faith, not tear it down, if you turn to Him for help." p.65 I like how she puts things. It's straight to the point, but not watered down.
"I become so focused on myself and the strength I need to live daily that I forget that "He will cover you with his feathers...His faithful promises are your armor and protection." Psalm 91:4 NLT"" p.56 She is honest about her own heart and her own struggles.

And I loved these quotes from the chapter about doubt...
"In dealing with the arrogant asserter of doubt, it is not the right method to tell him to stop doubting. It is rather the right method to tell him to go on doubting, to doubt a little more, to doubt every day newer and wilder things in the universe, until at last, by some strange enlightenment, he may begin to doubt himself. G.K. Chesterton " p.25

"A doubting temper, fond of dwelling on difficulties and objections, is fatal to unity of mind, heart, and will. doubts, if they assail you, are neither to be timidly shrunk from nor idly played with, but honestly faced and fought. But the grand secret of conviction is to dwell first and constantly on the positive evidence of truth. E.R. Conder and W. Clarkson" p.21

This Bible study has encouraged me so much this past month and challenged me to remember the truths I know about what it means to walk by faith--to live out my faith--and to seek to glorify God daily by having faith in Him.

The only thing that puzzled me is why she chose to quote from the NLT when she quoted from scripture. It seems that a lot of studies are quoting it these days and it isn't the translation I usually read because the NLT did go the way of gender neutral language (from what I understand--I don't have a copy of it) and it is much more of a paraphrase than other versions of the Bible. It doesn't take away from this study for me though because she only quotes scripture once in a while. Almost all of the time, it is for the reader to look up the scripture for herself.

I do highly recommend this study. It is the best Bible study series for women that I've done in a long time. I did receive this book as a complimentary copy from Navpress, but I would have purchased it myself.

No comments: