Struggling to Believe

29 04 2008

This morning I sat with the Lord to read my Bible feeling uninspired. I confessed these feelings and began to do a study on the first of five words the Lord provided to guide the Complete Joy ministry, which I started just a year ago.


The idea of starting this ministry came to me at an Aglow conference; Graham Cooke spoke of looking to the unique journey God has called each of us to. For me, that quest is summed up in one word: Joy! God has called each of us to joy, and His desire is that our joy will be complete. Joy has been an elusive fruit that only God could nurture in my life. The Lord has used my husband, friends, and even my children to reveal what joy looks like, but only He can empower me to have a joy that is complete.


That is where I began a year ago. Today I am studying each of these five words: Empower, Equip, Restore, Release and Mentor. As God first talked to me about Complete Joy, I saw a series of conferences beginning in 2010 (just two years away) based on these five words. I have begun to gather things and information on the first topic, “Empower.” This came slowly as I struggled to believe that God would put such a calling upon this new ministry, a struggle that brought me to a point of either believing God or turning away from him for good. It has been that serious of a struggle for me.


I rejoice today, for it is God who will do this, not me. I am not well known and do not have a following that will fill the Florence Conference Center in two years, yet just the other day the Lord asked me again how many people I could believe for.  I told Him I would believe for as many as He is willing to bring! That is an easy thing to say, but a much harder thing to walk out.


When the Lord first asked me this question more than 6 months ago, I came upon some glass berries while out shopping. They were in boxes of 64, and I purchased one box, intending to return and purchase enough for 200 attendees. When I went back about a month later, all the berries were gone. I contacted the store directly and on their Wed site, but they didn’t know if those glass berries would ever be available again.


This event probably marks the beginning of my struggle. I wondered if I could believe that God could bring the berries back, thinking that if I couldn’t believe that, how could I believe for God to bring the conference together?


A week later, I was shopping at the store where I had bought the small glass berries. Could I believe that God would honor my struggle and allow me to once again find them?  I walked around the store looking for the isle where I had previously found the berries. That isle no longer had decorative items. I then decided not to give up so easily, so went over to another isle and then another, and guess what I found? As I walked up closer to the berries, I remembered my promise to God that I would buy all the boxes on the shelf. What had I gotten myself into?


As I moved the box to look at the price on the shelf, I saw it was $3 more.  “Boy,” I thought, “I am going to be spending a fortune on glass berries that I might never use.” I quickly recognized where that line of thinking would take me and stopped those thoughts in their tracks. I took hold of the box, and as I did, I saw why it was $3 more –it has more berries! There were 124 berries in each of these boxes, unlike the first box I purchased several months ago, that had only 64 berries. I took three boxes, which was all they had on the shelf, and praised God. I didn’t look at the price anymore, nor did I realize I was now believing for almost 400 attendees! I left the store totally unaware! I just knew that God had done this thing that had seemed to be impossible! If he could do this for silly glass berries, what would He do at the conference?


The fruit of my struggles to believe brought about an increase of faith and joy beyond my imagination!

Blessings and Complete Joy,


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This blog is part of the ministry of Complete Joy and is published each Tuesday and Saturday, usually by noon Pacific Time. If you would like to visit our website for more encouragement and teaching, please go to:




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