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I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak.   – Ezekiel 34:16

Every movement of my hand caused intense pain to shoot up into my elbow.  At times I felt tearing in the elbow joint.  The problems started with pain around my wrist, but quickly got worse.  The doctor diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow (problems with tendons), and recommended braces for hand/wrist and forearm. Anxious for relief, I went straight to the store for the necessary braces and put them on as soon as I got to my car.  Relief was immediate!

I’ve been amazed at what a difference the braces made.  Although at times the braces are uncomfortable and feel awkward, the benefits far outweigh the discomforts.  For instance, I can use my right hand again!  Braces allow me to use my hand without triggering pain or causing more stress to the injured tendons.  The braces also support weakened areas and provide strength.

While using both hands to put sheets on the bed (something I couldn’t do last week), I wondered how I’d have gotten by without the braces. People often say the same thing about their faith.  They wonder how they’d have gotten through tough times without their faith.  I realized faith works a lot like the braces on my arm.

Faith can provide immediate relief when applied to difficult and painful situations.

Faith relieves pressure from the tender areas of our lives.

Faith can also take impact that would otherwise cause damage or stress.

Faith protects.

Faith promotes healing.

Faith allows us to be useful, even when we feel damaged or inadequate.

Faith gives support.

Faith strengthens us.

Faith helps us find peace and rest.

Faith can be a shield to prevent injury.

Most important, faith gives hope.

Like the braces on my arm, faith might feel awkward or uncomfortable at times, but the benefits of being braced in faith sure outweigh the alternatives.  We are much stronger and better able to function when we allow faith to give us structure and reinforcement, allowing us to accomplish so much more than when we rely on our own abilities or try to push through pain and struggles on our own.

The Bible says the following about being braced in faith:

The Lord is my strength, my shield from every danger.  I trust in Him with all my heart.  He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.  – Psalm 28:7

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  This I declare of the Lord:  He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting him.  For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from the fatal plague.  He will shield you with his wings.  He will shelter you with his feathers.  He faithful promises are your armor and protection.  – Psalm 91:1-4

Therefore:

Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.  – 1 Peter 1:13

Jesus said, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”  – Matthew 26:41

But since we belong to the day (Christ), let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.  For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  He died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.    – 1 Thessalonians 5:8-10

Being braced in faith requires a “putting on” just like the braces for my arm.   These padded, supportive braces don’t do me any good unless I’m wearing them.  We have to purpose ourselves to be strong in faith, arm ourselves with knowledge of God’s Word by reading the Bible, hold on to our beliefs, and stay connected with God through prayer.

The braces for my arm will hopefully be temporary, but being braced in faith is something I’m committed to for life.

Dear Heavenly Father, I am very thankful for the braces that are relieving pain and helping the tendons in my arm to heal.  I’m even more thankful for the faith that braces me for life.  I still make mistakes and have days when I struggle, but being braced with faith lessens pain, helps me heal, and gives me strength, encouragement and hope.   Thank You, Lord.  In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. 

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