I’ve learned something about myself lately.
My faith is weak.
I love Jesus with my whole heart. I trust God with all that I am. I read Scripture, I pray, I go to church, I give…
But my faith is weak.
I fret about the amount of money going out, and about the amount that’s not coming in. I worry. I wonder. I question.
And I hear Him lovingly say, “Oh, you of little faith!”
My Pastor recently gave a wonderful sermon on the 22nd chapter of Genesis where God tests Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his only son. We read the familiar story about how God not only intervened by stopping Abraham at the last minute, but He also provided the needed sacrifice. The focus was, of course, on our Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider God, the One from Whom all blessings flow.
There were two questions our Pastor asked that I haven’t been able to stop pondering. The first was why God tested Abraham in the first place if He already knew how His subject would respond. The answer, of course, is that Abraham would learn about the character of God through his willingness to obey at great personal cost. (I believe that Isaac learned a great deal about his God during this test, as well).
If the things I worry about are a test to help me know God better, am I paying attention? Am I learning?
The second question our Pastor asked is one I have been dwelling on for some time. He said that this story has a happy ending and we all love happy endings. But, what if it didn’t? What then?
I am waiting with faith and hope that God is going to restore us, to bring us back to where we were. I believe that He is going to grow our businesses and bless us in the area of our finances. But what if He doesn’t?
Will I do as Job’s wife advised him, to curse God and die? Or will I, like Job, be able to say, “though He slay me, yet I will praise Him.”
You see, I want to write the ending to the story. I have my goals, my dreams, my plans, my desires and I expect my God to fulfill them. But, alas, He is God and I am not. “I believe; help my unbelief.” ~Mark 9:24 (ESV)
But the truth is that we don’t get to write the ending to the story. We must walk in faith. We must hope in what we cannot see. We don’t get to write the ending to the story, but we don’t need to. He already has and it is perfect!
The question then becomes, how great is our faith in Him who has promised?
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33 (NKJV)
Father God, thank You for the gift of faith in You and the peace that comes with it. Help us to remember not to dwell on our emotions, but to stand on what we know to be true of You. You have already provided all that we need in Christ. You have already written the ending to our story, and it is better than we can imagine. Help us to be of good cheer for You have overcome the world; certainly You can take care of our needs. We thank You and praise You in the precious name of your Son. Amen.
John 16:33 is my all-time favorite Bible verse. Check out this beautiful reminder for your home or office here.
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What do you think? Have you learned to trust God with the ending to your story?