Jesus help me walk by faith
It`s unbelievable that every Sunday, even when I am struggling between desiring genuine community and aching to the point of running away from it, that God enters my heart through the piercing truth of his words and the encouraging guidance of his followers. As I struggled this week on and off again with believing in God`s promises and in his power to fulfill them, I meditated on Romans 4: 20-22:
"Yet she did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in her faith and gave glory to God, being FULLY PERSUADED that God had power to DO WHAT HE HAD PROMISED.”
As I drove past the fall trees on my daily path to school and work, I watched them changing, day by day, morning by night, and asked the Lord to bring that change also into my heart. And I keep trying to remind myself that it is a process of faith, a day by day, morning by night change. And God is here through this process, holding my life in his hands and standing by my side.
This morning bible study brought us to Romans chapter 4, emphasizing Abram’s faith, or lack there of, and what that teaches us about God and our relationship to him. Everything in me wanted to scream in pain and yet sing in praise as we talked about that fact that Abram, as the Jews, were led to disown their entire identity by God and through Jesus` words. They were told to let go of this “crucial” idea of circumcision and realize that the promises of God rest on faith. They had no group of people, no place of worship, no relationship anymore that could define who they were. Even their identity as a Jew, a circumcised follower...even as Christians. As you look through scripture at the picture of Abraham’s life and later David who Paul quotes, you see these two men who struggled daily to believe in this God, to believe this faith was enough to get them through, that their identity could truly be in him alone. And sometimes they doubted. Often they doubted. Often they feared. Often those doubts and fears led them to poor decision-making and life altering changes. Yet God didn’t change, and so they, through faith in his promises resting on grace, were able to hold firm their confess of faith regarding the promises of God and give him glory as they came to be persuaded fully that God truly had the power to do what he has promised he would. And though he doubted before, and doubted later, God credited righteousness to Abram, when he BELIEVED.
“God is not looking for perfect faith, but he desires prevailing faith.”
God doesn’t want perfection. If, if we were perfect, we wouldn’t need him at all. Look at Abraham and David. Look at all of the stories of the men and women of the Bible…they all were broken, messed up, needy people. They all were overwhelmed in a world of problems that seemed hopeless. They all realized their desperate need of a Savior. They all realized their desperate need for grace.
“The only thing too hard for Jehovah is deliberate, continued disbelief in His love and power, and our final rejection of His plans for us. Nothing is too hard for Jehovah to do for them that trust him.
God takes the most eminent and choicest of His servants for the choicest and most eminent afflictions. They who have received most grace from God are able to bear most afflictions from God. Affliction does not hit the saint by chance, but by direction. God does not draw His bow at a venture. Every one of His arrows goes upon a special errand and touches no breast but his against whom it is sent. It is not only the grace, but the glory of a believer when he can stand and take affliction quietly.”
-Streams in the desert
All God needs is our trust. That is all it takes, for him to bestow on us His perfect grace that carries us through the roughest seas, like Peter as he asked to walk to Jesus on the water. Our trust is all it takes for him to bestow on us the grace that gives us faith to take affliction quietly, and grow from it.When we realize the darkness of our sin and the darkness of our situations, we begin to truly discover the light of his presence, the light of his hope.
Like Abraham and Sarah in God’s promises, Phillip in the feeding of the 5 thousand, Thomas in his nail pierced hands, Peter in his death and walking on the water-calming the storm, we are all insignificant and insufficient. We all are tossed into this life of chaos due to the sin within us and the sin surrounding us, yet these are the things, this is the course, by which we come to KNOW God and to be KNOWN by him. And that is what this life is all about.
Jesus change this broken girl’s heart. Jesus give her strength enough to simply trust. To bring her insignificant dreams and desires and talents and trust you to make them beautiful, to use them for significance. Give her faith enough to carry her through these trials and these internal afflictions of a broken soul. And as you change her, as you promise, teach her to use these lessons for others. Teach her to take the 5 loaves to you and let you use her hands and feet to serve others.