“The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.” ~ John N. Mitchell
Strong people of faith are admired most, not for how they’ve been blessed, but for how they’ve endured and even thrived in the midst of adversity. Others are drawn to those who live with an unshakeable faith. This is one of the most powerful platforms of influence as a leader. Anyone can proclaim their trust in God when things are going well. The true nature of our faith revealed when we are tested by the fires of life. People with unshakeable faith come out stronger on the other side. It’s a lot like tempering steel. One woman who is mentioned in the Christmas story is often overlooked, but she possessed unshakeable faith. Her name was Anna.
Anna, a prophet,…was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem. (Luke 2:36-38 NLT)
What an amazing woman! Strong women leaders with unshakeable faith uniquely impact generations. Their combination of tenacity, intuition, nurture and wisdom are the perfect blend for gaining a platform of influence. When women with unshakeable faith speak, people listen. Mother Teresa is a modern day example of a strong leader with unshakeable faith. World leaders asked for her advice.
Anna must have been a wonderful encouragement to Mary and Joseph. Their world had been turned upside down with the birth of Jesus. Then they met Simeon and Anna when Jesus was only eight days old. This 84 year old widow had spent her entire life praying for the Messiah to come without ever losing faith that He would someday arrive in Jerusalem. Her faith had been unshakeable. This was the day she had longed for. Jesus, the Messiah had come.
Can you imagine the excitement and emotion in her voice? Can you see the delight in her eyes as she looks at the baby Jesus? This was her moment of reward for a hard life lived well. She had come through the fire in years of fasting and prayer, trusting God for this day. She never gave up. When Anna spoke, her words carried a lot of weight because of her unshakeable faith in God.
As a Christian leader, your faith is public. Is it unshakeable? Take time today to examine the true nature of your faith and trust in God. Be honest, be humble. Ask God to give you what it takes to stand firm in unshakeable faith so that He will be glorified and others blessed through your trust in Him.