Living By Faith Blog


Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

Another Sunday morning battle

Another battle

I hope you don’t mind hearing about another Sunday morning battle.

But I’m committed to sharing my battles, because hearing about my battles might help you fight yours.

Wanting Sunday to be over

I am ashamed to admit this — but here goes.

Before church, my heart was not in a good place.  I was not looking forward to the worship gathering.  In fact, I wanted it to be over.

That puzzled me — because I usually don’t feel that way.

So I prayed, searched my heart, and saw the problem — I was not feeling confident about my sermon.

No — I need to be more honest.  I was feeling fear about my sermon — because one section felt weak, and the overall sermon was not clear in my mind.

I had worked hard.  Prayed hard.  Written and re-written and re-written.  But still — I felt fear.

What doesn’t help

In the past I would have told myself — “it will be fine,” “don’t worry,” or “just relax.”

But statements like that don’t help — because joy and peace come through faith (Rom 15:13), and faith comes through God’s Word, not man-made slogans (Rom 10:17).

To the Word!

So first I set my heart on Psalm 19:7 —

The Law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.

That’s what I needed — soul revival.  So I prayed and asked the Father, through Jesus, to use His Word to revive my soul.

I confessed that I wanted Sunday morning to be over, that I was not trusting Him, and that I was relying too much on myself.

Then I thanked Him for His forgiveness, and that He promised to use His Word to change my heart.

All grace abounding

Then I prayed through 2 Corinthians 9:8 —

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

I prayed through every phrase — preaching it to myself —

  • God is able to make ALL grace (that’s a lot of grace!)
  • ABOUND to you (abound means overflow — more than I need)
  • so that having ALL sufficiency (that’s a lot of sufficiency!)
  • in ALL things (including preaching)
  • at ALL times (including preaching this morning)
  • you may ABOUND (be overflowing — have more than enough)
  • in EVERY good work (did I mention that includes preaching this morning?)

Slow but sure, as I preached this to myself, the Holy Spirit strengthened my faith and changed my heart.

Instead of seeing just me and the things that felt weak about my sermon — I saw God.

I saw that God would be a constantly-flowing fountain of grace giving me everything I needed for this sermon.

The more clearly I saw God — the more my soul was revived.  I felt peace, and even hopeful anticipation of what He would do.

I no longer wanted the service to be over.  I wanted it to begin so I could watch Him work.

And — by His grace alone — He did.

How does this help?

Let me know how this helps, or other thoughts or comments you might have.  Feel free to leave a reply below — thanks.

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(Picture my mistereels at stock xchng.)

Category: Stories from My Life


8 Responses

  1. Susanne Schuberth (Germany) says:

    I have something to confess to you, Steve.

    Listening to your four weeks series of “Beholding God’s Glory”, I was surprised at reading, “I was not feeling confident about my sermon.” It’s not just that I learned al lot of new things through your sermons, I also could feel God’s unction (anointing) upon you because your words always touch me deeply.

    I don’t know if I am right but I could imagine that it is easier for a preacher to talk about God’s Holiness and Love than about God’s Righteousness and particularly God’s Wrath. Nevertheless, I think the latter is a crucial thing to do for “fear and trembling“ before God is as important as receiving His love. Knowing God always includes obeying Him. And we’d never obey Him unless we fear Him.


    Your today’s post shows again a fact nobody could deny. You are thoroughly honest describing your inner battles which many people certainly know, too. However, and this is the highlight, you don’t stand still in your doubts, and fear or whatever it may be, but you are always seeking God’s help through His Word, and you pray over it until He finally helps you. That’s faith! And it’s a great example for me to go on and never give up.

    Thank you so much, Steve.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts, Susanne. I’m strengthened to know that my stories and sermons are encouraging you.

      God’s grace is truly constant, abundant, deep, rich, and never-failing.


  2. Cathy CHaron says:

    Pastor Steve…
    You are such a blessing to all. I appreciate your transparency in sharing what we all face on the daily battle front. Thank you for such a humble heart before us…truly a blessing to me.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Cathy! What a treat to have you visit my blog. Thanks for stopping by, and for taking the time to share your encouraging thoughts. You and Craig have a special place in our hearts.


  3. Kathie says:

    I often feel very discouraged after Sunday morning service. But unlike you, I haven’t really figured out why. I could generalize and say “spiritual warfare” but I’m not sure that is it. Our numbers are down somewhat due to deaths (it was an older congregation) and also the rural drain – that could be it – although the majority of people who are there are good people who love the Lord and us. I don’t really understand why I feel that way so that it makes it difficult to know how to pray it through. Wondering if you have any suggestions. Thanks

    • Steve Fuller says:

      That’s a really good question, Kathie. So when we are discouraged, how can we discern the cause?

      Does it help to ask what would alleviate your discouragement? Would a larger Sunday attendance help? Would you feel better if the service had gone better? Was there anything that happened during the morning that troubled you?

      Usually when I am discouraged it’s because I’m relying on something besides Jesus Christ to satisfy me. I don’t always have to figure out what it is that I’m relying on, although that can help. But usually when I set my heart on Jesus Christ and fight the fight of faith to behold who He is in all His glory, goodness, majesty, power, authority, and mercy — in time He helps me, satisfies me, fills me, and comforts me.

      I hope my rambling answer helps some. I appreciate your honesty. May the Lord richly bless you and your husband as you care for your flock.

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  4. Kathie says:

    Your answer does help. I appreciate it very much and I really appreciate your blog. It really helps when you show how you move out of a difficulty step by step.

    I think there is a reason behind my discouragement and it would help if I could figure it out. I’ll spend some time in prayer and asking some honest questions – and more than likely time in confession too. I realize that focusing on the Lord is the answer no matter what the problem. The enemy will try to get us one way or the other. It’s odd because I can go to any other group at the church and I don’t feel discouraged – but Sunday morning is a battle. It more than likely has to do with a dwindling congregation. That seems the most obvious. And honestly I think if every pew was filled I’d feel better. SO I will have to work that one through with the Lord. Thanks for your kind help.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      You are so welcome, Kathie. And you put it so well — “focusing on the Lord is the answer no matter what the problem.”

      May the Lord richly bless you,

      Steve Fuller

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