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Thankful for Faith

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Our first Thanksgiving in Virginia felt odd. For the first 18 years of our marriage, we’d always celebrated the holiday with my husband’s extended family—30-40 people—in California. Now, since leaving the Golden State so I could attend Regent University, Thanksgiving only included our family of five.

Over the years, my contribution to the yearly feast was to bring the sweet potato casserole (the kind with the crunchy brown sugar/pecan topping—YUM!). Now the whole meal was up to me. Unfortunately, I’d never learned how to prepare a turkey, how to make homemade mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, etc. And attempting to reproduce one of Grandma’s pies? Out of the question!

That’s when I discovered my local grocery store sold “Thanksgiving in a Box”: a pre-cooked frozen turkey, frozen mashed potatoes, frozen rolls, canned cranberry sauce, canned green beans, canned gravy ... you get the picture. All I had to do was thaw and/or reheat. It doesn’t take much imagination to guess how the meal turned out. Let’s just say it was memorable for all the wrong reasons!

On a happier note, we started a new tradition that year. Before we prayed over the food, we went around the table and shared what we were thankful for: new friends, new jobs, family, our dog, etc. What did I share? I was thankful to be in Virginia, and here’s why:

Five years earlier, the Lord gave me a word while I was praying on the beach in Monterrey, California. He said, “Major in Communications and prepare for television.” Long story short: after much prayer and preparation, my husband and I resigned from our jobs, sold our home,  and moved our family to Virginia Beach so I could attend Regent.

At some point in our Christian walk, God will test our faith. I’d been in ministry all my life, but it wasn’t until we trusted God’s call and moved to Virginia that my faith became truly alive. A supernatural breakthrough happened in the spirit when we put our faith into action, and we were never the same again!

In the book of James, we see the brother of Jesus calling out people who claimed to have faith but had no deeds:

“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:17 NIV).

What does faith in action look like? James says we should look at father Abraham. God told Abraham to go to an unknown land, to believe for children even though he was too old, and finally to sacrifice his promised son Isaac. With each test of faith, Abraham obeyed. In the words of James,

“You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did” (James 2:22).

When you trust and obey God, I guarantee your life will never be boring. With faith, we can move mountains. With faith, we can please God. With faith, we are promised eternal rewards. And here’s the greatest benefit of faith: friendship with God!

“Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend” (James 2:23).

Today, I’m thankful for faith.


Scripture is quoted from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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About The Author

Lori Stewart
Wilkerson Stewart

Lori Wilkerson Stewart (M.A. in Journalism, Regent University) is a line producer for The 700 Club (2008-2023) and the author of Promises for Prodigals (Guy/Girl versions). Lori and her husband Matt are the senior pastors of Harvest Assembly in Chesapeake, VA. The couple is crazy about their three adult children and two Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

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