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THE DOLDRUMS OF FAITHFULNESS

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

A year ago I shared in this space my love for tall ships. I love those wooden, engineering marvels that are very beautiful in their purpose. But no matter how many sail they carry, or how great they look in the water, if they are becalmed they aren’t going anywhere.

Mariners refer to this becalmed period as the Doldrums. In the Doldrums the wind disappears altogether without a hint of movement or current in the water. A ship can be trapped for days or weeks. It can be frustrating for a Captain and his sailors, because there is nothing they can do really, aside from towing the ship out with ship’s boats, but that can prove to be exhausting, with very little to show for their effort. The best that they can do is wait, and Hope in the promise for wind.

The Doldrums test a sailor’s strength and resolve like no other. In the Doldrums Mariners find out what they are truly made of as they hope and trust for the wind to come and speed them along to the promise of their destination.

When Abraham was 75 years old God promised him that he would be the father of a great nation, and even though he and his 65 year old wife Sarah at the time were childless, Abraham claimed the promise and believed God. But it would be another 25 years before God would fulfill that promise. In the meantime all Abraham could do in his faithfulness and trust in God was to wait… and wait… and wait.

I imagine as Abraham waited on the promises of God, it may have felt for him like being in the Doldrums of Faithfulness. It is in that between time when promises are made and promises are fulfilled, when the movement of God’s Spirit is not easily discernible. These Doldrums of Faithfulness can test are complete trust in God like no other time.

The Doldrums are a dangerous time in the sense that we can begin to question how God’s promises are going to be fulfilled. In other words we feel like we need to take it upon ourselves to fulfill God’s promises for Him. A prime example is when Sarah, who saw herself getting older and way beyond child bearing years, offered her servant Hagar to Abraham thinking that she, Sarah, would have offspring through her. She told Abraham this is how God will fulfill His promise to make him a great nation. But that’s not what God promised. God promised that Sarah herself, even at the ripe old age of 90, would give birth to the child of promise, who was Isaac. She gave in to the Doldrums and did not trust in God. In the Doldrums of Faithfulness we feel the need to do it ourselves instead of taking the time to wait for God to act upon what He has promised.

We all will face the Doldrums of Faithfulness. It is a method God uses to test us in our Faith, so that He may build in us a Steadfast Spirit. In these times we learn to wait on God and trust Him even in His silence. When His promises do come, God gets all the Glory and we get to enjoy the blessings of His grace.

God is going to bless us in an amazing way. Trust me; it will be worth waiting for even in the Doldrums

Blessings, Pastor Joel

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