2018 was such a difficult year. But I can’t help but point to God as the good and faithful author of a story that I would never have wanted to play a part in unless he had written me into it. As we were walking (or maybe I should say limping) through 2018, I found myself frustrated as I doubted God's character time and time again. Was he really good? Was he faithful if he walked us through difficult seasons?
Sometimes it is so hard to follow and love You in the midst of a broken world and a broken me. Sometimes I think life would be easier if I didn’t have to feel the pain of a world and people without You. Sometimes I think life would be easier if I didn't realize the extent of my own sin.
We serve a God who is in the business of redeeming every single painful and heartbreaking moment for a grand and glorious and eternal purpose. And what a beautiful thing it is to be able to trust in the fruit that He is growing in us because of this light and momentary suffering.
It seems that it is more difficult for me to praise God when I don’t have an abundance of good things happening in my life. My mind does not often go to thanksgiving when I don’t see all those little (and big) things to be thankful for.
Do you ever have those days when everything seems to be crumbling? When things are just falling apart left and right and you don’t have the strength to hold it together anymore? When it seems like everything is just too much and you want to give up?
My tendency when I approach Scripture is so often what can I get out of this? How can I apply this? How does this relate to me? While those are questions that sometimes (and often should) come out of our study of the Word, those should never be our initial questions. The Bible was not first and foremost written as a guidebook for our lives or an encouraging balm for our souls. No, the Bible is God’s divine and gracious revelation of His character and works to His people.
Why do the righteous suffer? Is all suffering for the sake of God? How do we reconcile the fact that God is good and God is sovereign with the fact that there is evil in the world? Does God somehow ordain evil and suffering? Why do the plans of the wicked prosper?
This glaring juxtaposition between majesty and lowliness paints a picture of a King that is unlike any other. The first distinction of the Messianic King is that He is not only a King, but He is also God. Lord over all the heavens and the earth. Eternally existing, full in authority, glorious in majesty, wonderful in power. The second distinction is that it is this same King, this God, who also chose to be made lowest. And not just low to live outside of heaven, but low to be mocked, ridiculed, despised, scorned, rejected, and hung on a cross.
Even amidst the doubts and questions, Abraham believed God and walked in obedience. Even though He couldn’t fully understand how the promise would be carried out, he fundamentally trusted the character of God.
It seems like the enemy has tirelessly worked to bring me low and make me believe lies. And I confess, I’ve allowed him to bring me low and I’ve believed the lies. But like firm ground underfoot that can’t be seen through the thickness of low-settled fog, with every step I have been able to rest firmly in the knowledge that He is sure and steadfast.
...And in His grace He leads me into this deeper knowledge of His character. He is good. He is faithful. He is sovereign. He is sufficient. He is enough. How amazing that our time of walking through the unknown and the confusing and the scary can serve to draw us into deeper intimacy with Him and a more full knowledge of who He is?
Find pleasure in Me. Delight in Me as I delight in you. Be satisfied in Me and let your delight in Me overflow in praise. Rest in My love. It is perfect. It is unfailing. It is unconditional. It is a love that will not let you go. And it is enough.
He is faithful. He is utterly dependable. He is the antithesis of everything fickle and fluctuating. He is constant. He never changes. He is faithful always, no matter what my circumstances are. IN ALL THINGS He is holy and sovereign and good. He is faithful even when I am unfaithful. He is faithful to fulfill His purpose for me. He is faithful to fulfill all of His promises. I have no more reason to doubt His faithfulness than to doubt His very nature and being.
But when you feel like you're searching blindly for the next step on the path, when you're not sure if or how the Lord will provide, when you don't see how your daily monotonous living is bringing Him glory, when you wake up every day with more questions and you are no closer to the answers than you were the day before, well... then it's harder to say every day, "Yes Lord, I trust You. Yes Lord, You are faithful."
Just take a moment to meditate on the vastness of our God. He is Creator and Sustainer and Shepherd and Father and Redeemer and Savior and He is REAL. His very name proclaims His existence! We are able to trust in and put our hope in Him because He is real and true... He is reality.