Faith to keep going even when it’s hard.

brown wooden dock

Faith as we learn about from Haggai wants us to be strong, fear not, and get to work! Faith as we read in 2 Kings teaches us that we need to prepare for the blessings God is going to pour into and over us just as the widow collected the jars. As James tells us, faith without works is dead, so we need to be active in our faith and as I learned in yesterday’s service for Inspire, faith looks like something, it looks like preparation.

Embracing Faith in Fatherhood: A Call to Perseverance

In the journey of fatherhood, faith plays a pivotal role, urging dads to persevere even when faced with daunting challenges. Just as Haggai encourages us to be strong, fearless, and diligent in our endeavors, fathers are called to exhibit unwavering faith in their roles as nurturers, providers, and leaders within their families. This faith isn’t merely passive; it compels action, as depicted in 2 Kings where the widow’s preparation for God’s blessings serves as a poignant reminder for fathers to actively prepare their hearts and homes to receive the abundant grace and favor of the Lord.

Faith in Action: The Active Role of Fathers in Nurturing Faith

Scripture underscores the vital connection between faith and action, emphasizing that genuine faith is manifested through deeds. James admonishes us that faith without corresponding actions is futile, akin to a lifeless body devoid of spirit. For dads navigating the complexities of parenthood, this truth resonates deeply. Our faith is not merely a belief system confined to our minds but a transformative force that propels us to roll up our sleeves and engage in the work God has set before us. Just as the widow diligently collected jars in anticipation of God’s provision, fathers are called to actively cultivate an environment of faith within their families, fostering love, unity, and spiritual growth.

Trusting God’s Promises: The Anchor of Faith for Fathers

As fathers strive to embody the essence of faith in their daily lives, they must remember that faith isn’t passive resignation in the face of adversity but an active trust in God’s promises. Like the heroes of faith chronicled in Hebrews 11, fathers are called to persevere with unwavering trust, knowing that God is faithful to fulfill His promises. Through prayer, obedience, and a steadfast commitment to God’s Word, dads can navigate the challenges of fatherhood with confidence, knowing that their faith will sustain them through every trial and triumph. Just as faith moved mountains and parted seas in the Scriptures, it empowers fathers to overcome obstacles, instill values, and leave a lasting legacy of faith for generations to come.

Cultivating Faith-Filled Fatherhood: Leaving a Legacy of Love and Perseverance

In conclusion, as fathers embark on the journey of nurturing their families in faith, let them remember the timeless wisdom of Scripture: faith is not merely a passive belief, but an active force that compels us to trust in God’s promises and engage in meaningful action. Drawing inspiration from the examples of faith found in the Bible, fathers are called to persevere with unwavering courage, diligently preparing their hearts and homes to receive the abundant blessings God has in store. Through prayer, obedience, and a steadfast commitment to God’s Word, fathers can navigate the challenges of parenthood with confidence, knowing that their faith will sustain them through every trial and triumph. As they lead by example, instilling values of faith, love, and perseverance in their families, fathers leave a lasting legacy that echoes throughout eternity.

Today’s Devotional:

This year, I am utilizing the 365 Daily Devotions book I received for Christmas, applying its teachings specifically in the context of fatherhood. It’s called WALKING WITH GOD by DAVID JEREMIAH. It’s exciting to get to learn from a new resource this year as we have tried different options the past two years and will keep working through this one for 2024. For more information about the author and his ministry, visit:


Verse: Psalms 17:3 (NIV)

Though you probe my heart, though you examine me at night and test me, you will find that I have planned no evil; my mouth has not transgressed.

As we get started, let’s ask God to search our hearts to help remove anything that would keep us from moving forward in faith. Let’s be the dads who allow God to examine and test our hearts and minds to cleanse them and align them to His will. Let’s be the dads who aren’t found with a good attitude and heart for from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.

Today’s Devotional kicks off speaking of “La noche oscura del alma”. I was curious about it and did a search and found the following:

“La noche oscura del alma” is a profound and mystical concept that has captivated poets, mystics, and spiritual seekers for centuries. Let’s delve into its meaning and significance:

  1. Origin and Context:
    • San Juan de la Cruz, a 16th-century Spanish mystic and poet, introduced this term.
    • The phrase “Noche oscura del alma” translates to “Dark Night of the Soul” in English.
  2. Interpretation:
    • Metaphorically, it describes a spiritual phase in a person’s life marked by a profound sense of loneliness, desolation, and inner struggle.
    • This concept appears in various spiritual traditions worldwide, but it is particularly associated with Christian mysticism.
  3. San Juan de la Cruz’s Poem:
    • San Juan de la Cruz wrote a poem titled “Noche oscura del alma” (Dark Night of the Soul).
    • In this poem, a woman secretly escapes her house at night, seeking her beloved.
    • The poem serves as an allegory for the soul’s yearning to break free from the confines of the physical body and unite with the divine.
  4. The Three Stages:
    • The poem is divided into three parts, reflecting the three stages of the mystical journey:
      • Purgative Stage: The soul purifies itself through penance, distancing from worldly concerns. The woman leaves her peaceful home in darkness.
      • Illuminative Stage: Alone in the darkness, the soul begins to sense the presence of God. The inner light guides her.
      • Unitive Stage: The union with the divine is complete. The soul loses its sense of self, transcending individual identity.
  5. Structure and Symbolism:
    • The poem consists of eight liras (stanzas) with alternating heptasyllabic and endecasyllabic verses.
    • The rhyme scheme is aBabB cDcdD, repeating throughout.
    • The imagery of darkness, secrecy, and longing symbolizes the soul’s journey toward transcendence.
  6. Legacy:
    • “Noche oscura del alma” remains central to San Juan de la Cruz’s poetic work.
    • It represents the inner transformation and purification necessary for the soul to attain divine union.

In summary, “La noche oscura del alma” is a powerful metaphor for the spiritual quest, emphasizing the soul’s longing to merge with the divine, even amidst darkness and solitude1234.

Bing Chat provided this answer to the question, “What is “la noche oscura del alma”?”

Today’s Devotional next goes into the topic of “Dark night” speaking to “the isolation we feel during times of spiritual tests.” It points to the various psalmist and call out David who are “candidly honest about their literal and spiritual dark nights.” We learn how in those dark moments we need and should be calling out to God. It points us to a few scriptures as examples:

My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest. -- Psalms 22:2 (NIV)
By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. -- Psalms 42:8 (NIV)

So don’t worry, don’t fear, be strong and cling to the reminder from Psalms 30:5 that says:

weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Today’s Devotional closes with this thought “If you are in the midst of your own dark night, use the time wisely. If there are tears, let them water the words you pour out to God, remembering that joy comes in the morning.”

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