Want to know why I love writing with Tracy and Jen here at Facets of Faith? These questions we take time to answer each month are typically birthed from a discussion we had as friends, sitting around a table at Panera as we ate dinner and encouraged each other. It’s with these two ladies I’m able to explore the struggles and triumphs of faith in real life. Be sure to click on their names to read their posts you might have missed. Or better yet . . . sign up to receive each week’s post straight in your inbox!
I’m sitting here mulling over this month’s question —do I believe in God’s promises, really? I really want to offer a pithy response, a thought that drips with wit and insight. You know, a quotable quote.
Instead, all I have to humbly offer is this life I’ve lived so far. These 46 years filled with such heartache and loss that it could be described as a tragedy. You know, that kind of life that some peer into and compare to their own, only to realize maybe their struggles aren’t quite so bad after all.
Yeah, I’m that one. At least my life isn’t like . . . mine. (Truly, this has been said to me.)
The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.” Lamentations 3:19-20, NLT
And yet . . . as I look back over four decades of living, I see a different story. I see one unfolding and steeped in hope. I see a thread that links everything together —the sorrow, the grief, the despair, and hope. Perhaps in my younger years it was thin and hard to see, but that thread has grown thicker and more resilient with each passing year.
Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never end! His mercies never cease.” Lamentations 3:21-22, NLT
I’m learning to see my life as a miracle. While I may not have experienced the kind of miracle as Jairus did when Jesus raised his daughter from the dead (Matthew 5:21-24, 35-43), or the healing of the woman who had been bleeding for over a decade (Matthew 5:25-34), or gained back my sight or my ability to walk . . . I’m a miracle all the same.
That thread? The miracle?
Faith: the gift of believing in something, in Someone, bigger. Bigger that my fears, bigger than my worries, bigger than life.
Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Matthew 5:36, NIV
I’ve peered into the blackest of nights and touched the searing hot pain of loss, and survived. I’ve learned to breath in the ashes of despair and traverse my way through the valley of death. I was dead, and now I’m alive. I was lost, and now I’m found.
So as I think about God’s promises and whether or not I believe them, my answer is of course I do! Not perfectly and without worry at times, but I know Jesus loves me and has a big, big house with lots and lots of room. I know He’s called me to go and make disciples and sent His Spirit to lead and guide me. After all, the Bible tells me so and, Scripture, the inspired Word of God, does not lie.
. . . in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time.” Titus 1:2, NIV
I believe in God’s promises because I believe in God. I believe He is real and not a distant grandfatherly-type hovering somewhere above us watching as we race about. I believe God is intimately involved with every detail of my life —the good, the bad, and the ugly, and He is squeezing good out of every.single.drop.
But what does happen when my circumstances appear contrary to His promises? How do I know what is true when pain or fear stares me straight in the eye? How do I believe in His promises when my heart aches? I always return to His character. What do I know to be true about Him?
He doesn’t lie.
He has a plan (Jeremiah 29:11).
He is sovereign and knows exactly what He is doing (Isaiah 55:9).
And He loves. He loves me. He loves you. Scripture says, in fact, that He is love; everything He does is motivated by His love. If I believe that truth about God’s character, then I can believe in every promise —the ones I know and those I don’t. The ones I see, and those I don’t. The ones I experience, and those yet to happen.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8, NIV
Do I believe in God’s promises? I declare a resounding yes! because I see the work He has done in me and all around me. I’ve experienced the healing touch of His Son, Jesus. I’ve tasted the goodness of His Word as it’s come alive through my life. I’ve felt the overwhelming depth of God’s love for me through the power of the Spirit and the presence of those who love Him, too. I hear whispers of hope through the stories of those who have gone before but walked in faith with their eyes firmly fixed on Him. People like Abraham and Joseph, Mary and Esther, Job and Paul . . . and me.
I will tell everyone about your righteousness. All day long I will proclaim your saving power, though I am not skilled with words.” Psalm 71:15, NLT
What about you? Do you believe in God’s promises? Really? Jump over to our Facebook page and share your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you!