Just today I was asked on Twitter “Why does God offer glimmers of hope only to yank them back ???” and felt that this is a question that deserves a little longer answer. I believe this is a real sentiment of many people in today’s tough economic climate. But I assure you: God is not a deceiver. What God says, goes. What God promises to us will be fulfilled. Times change but God doesn’t. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. And he is with us even though we might not feel it. When the goings get tough we are not left alone: he is carrying us.
God is not a deceiver. But that’s what the enemy wants us to think. When it seems that God’d be the one yanking some things back it might be very well that the enemy is at work. God doesn’t purposefully make our life difficult. God has promised to be with us through thick and thin. He wants what’s good for us and he will use our troubles not only to shape up but bless us. Sure, God has not promised us an easy ride. But he has promised to see as through everything. We are dared to trust God in the midst of difficulties, in the midst of hardships, in the midst of impossibilities.
We call Abraham “father” not because he got God’s attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. Isn’t that what we’ve always read in Scripture, God saying to Abraham, “I set you up as father of many peoples”? Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!” (Romans 4: 17-18, MSG)
We are called to trust when there is no reason to trust. To believe when there is no reason to believe. And to live on the basis of what God can do, not on the basis what we can or cannot do. It is tough, it is hard, it is difficult. But when we do this, when we press on even when we can’t understand what is happening, we will be surprised by God’s grace. God will be there every step of the way. Everything works for the good of those who believe. God will fulfill his promises and impossibilities will become realities.
Abraham didn’t focus on his own impotence and say, “It’s hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child.” Nor did he survey Sarah’s decades of infertility and give up. He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said. That’s why it is said, “Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right.” But it’s not just Abraham; it’s also us! The same thing gets said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless. The sacrificed Jesus made us fit for God, set us right with God. (Romans 4: 19- 25, MSG)
So let’s not tiptoe around God’s promises asking skeptical questions. Let’s do like Abraham and plunge into the promises of God! God will make our faith strong. Our life might look hopeless to us but not to God. That’s a perfect time to get on our knees and cry to God.
Hurry with your answer, God!
I’m nearly at the end of my rope.
Don’t turn away; don’t ignore me!
That would be certain death.
If you wake me each morning with the sound of your loving voice,
I’ll go to sleep each night trusting in you.
Point out the road I must travel;
I’m all ears, all eyes before you.
Save me from my enemies, God—
you’re my only hope!
Teach me how to live to please you,
because you’re my God.
Lead me by your blessed Spirit
into cleared and level pastureland.
(Psalm 143: 7-10, MSG)
When we are ready for God, the Holy Spirit will start working in us, for us, through us and with us. When we focus on God and not on our weaknesses, God becomes our strength. When we start trusting without doubts or skeptical questions, we enter into the faith zone where nothing is impossible.
We bring our doubts and skeptical thoughts to you.
We don’t want anything to do with them.
Show us your strength in our weaknesses.
Give us faith, give us hope!
Renew our spirit!
Create something beautiful out of the chaos of our lives.
Let us feel your powerful presence in our lives.
Thank you for working in us, for us, through us, with us.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: How do you know that God is not a deceiver?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you press on through the difficulties! Rejoice in God who is in control of your life!
Image courtesy of John Emery