I would like to share a verse of Scripture with you that has literally brought truckloads of encouragement to me throughout the years.
It is a verse I continually resort to in times of conflict—a verse that has brought me much comfort, strengthened my faith, and brought great rest to my soul.
In fact, I feel as though this verse has been inscribed across my heart by the hand of God; I even have it hanging on the wall in my office!
The verse I’m talking about is Psalm 127:1, which says:
Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
Notice in this verse we find two sides of the same coin: rest and work, or reliance and action.
You need to have a confident reliance on God and to rest in faith… but true faith always results in corresponding action.
Where it says, “Unless the LORD builds the house…” that could apply to anything you endeavor to build under God’s direction. It could represent your business, your family, or something else in your life where you are investing time and effort.
But unless God is involved in the building, all labor is in vain.
So look to Him for strength, guidance, and resources; yet know that looking to God in faith is never a matter of sitting idly by and just waiting for Him to move.
Yes, God initiates, but then you also have your part to play. And as you seek Him and move forward, taking steps that correspond with your faith, He sees to it that the right doors are opened.
Now, the word for house in this verse literally means “family.” Many… perhaps you… have dealt with intense sorrow and lost sleep over difficult family matters. Worry over family can rob you of the quality of life God wants you to have.
At a pretty young age, I got into drinking heavily and taking drugs. I went on to develop major problems with substance abuse and alcoholism.
I left home as a teenager and did not see my parents for about four years. My lifestyle grew worse and worse in that time, and my mom cried herself to sleep every night not knowing where I was or what I was doing.
My mom was not a Christian then, but she believed in the God of the Bible. Finally, one night she knelt next to her bed and prayed, “God, I can’t take this anymore. This is killing me! I’m putting Bayless in Your hands. I’m giving him to You.”
She says when she uttered that prayer, it was like a huge stone was rolled off of her chest, and she never worried about me again. The burden was gone.
Interestingly enough, a short time after she prayed that prayer, I ended up sitting in the front row of a little street mission filled with derelicts, homeless people, and drug addicts. I walked forward that night and gave my heart to Jesus Christ.
Psalm 127:1 is a great reminder that wherever your children or family are right now, and whatever they are involved in, your prayers of reliance on God can reach them. Do not underestimate the power of your prayers as you “build” your family.
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