Staying Faithful During Discouraging Times

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Spiritual growth is often like the growth we see in nature: the best fruit ripens slowly. Listen carefully as Christine Hoover, wife of a church planting pastor and the author of The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope for Her Heart, encourages women to stay faithful to God especially during discouraging times.

Christine said that when she is facing discouragement, she often asks herself the following questions:
  1. Am I focused too much on seeing fruit and forgetting that my goal is faithfulness?
  2. Am I comparing my fruit with other people's fruit?
  3. Am I ministering out of my own strength?
  4. Am I looking at the fruit that is already there?

Apply the questions to your own spiritual growth. What have you discovered about where your focus is?
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Sometimes it's easier for women to focus on the bad instead of seeing the good in our lives. How has God blessed you? What can you praise Him for today?
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In her blog titled, When You Don't See Fruit, Christine wrote, "Spiritual fruit works like physical fruit: it is not perpetually bountiful." She encouraged us to continue to abide during the arduous process of growing. God is the one who changes hearts and He does it all in His time.

How is God changing your heart today? What expectations have you placed on Him instead of accepting His timing?
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Christine said that sometimes she forgets that she is just a small part of a huge story in the work that God is doing. She said, "I need to be faithful with my small part and trust that He will move, that He is moving."

                                              And I am certain that God, who began the good work          
                                             within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished  
                                             on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

                                                                                                      `~ Philippians 1:6, (NLT)