This post is rooted in years of questions and doubts about whether or not I was truly following the “calling” of the Lord on my life. I pray that the words I share are encouraging to you. “We are all tempted to want to do something important, but who are we to say what is important and what is not? Every person we engage is an eternal soul and every moment is one that can be leveraged for the sake of your spiritual growth and for the sake of the Gospel.”
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.
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?
Hope in God. David proclaims what I would do well to remember – that even if everything around me gives way, even if evil and darkness rule my life, there is still hope because God is unchangeable and steady and unshakeable, “His grace is the ground for unshaken hope” (Spurgeon). Even if you are in a place where you don’t feel God’s love, it does not mean that He is not present. Even if the darkness does not lift, “the darkness is not dark to him” and there is still hope.
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.
...regardless of what is happening in my life [or my feeling that nothing is happening in my life], God is still on His throne. So even when I don’t know what is ahead I can rest in his sovereignty, cling to His character, and walk daily in obedience. I can stop seeking for direction or clarity and start seeking to live a life of abandon right where I am to the glory of God. I can find rest in who God is...
...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?
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."
So often I spend so much of my time looking ahead, asking the Lord where He is leading me, demanding that He guide me along the path that He has for me. All the while I find myself losing sight of…Him.
...And even if he had not done all these things, even if I could not look back and see His faithfulness, I could rest unwaveringly in the fact that He is still faithful, because He cannot deny his character. He has been, he is, and He will always be Yahweh…I Am… Jehovah… Lord… faithful One… even in my foolish doubting.