Today is tough. Wishes and hopes crushed are becoming reality. I know (in my mind but not in my heart) that this is what God has called me to. He is asking me to trust, to believe He works all things for the glory of His kingdom, and ultimately for my good.
But trusting takes work. It takes practice. It takes faith.
And, my faith cup is feeling depleted.
It is a gray day. It seems hopeless. Funny, because the past two days seemed hopeful. Is this how the enemy works? Or is this a lesson in faith-building.
Maybe both. Maybe God can use the schemes of the enemy to teach us lessons; maybe when we are following Him He really does protect us by using things meant to cause us harm to make us stronger, to build our faith, and to bring us closer to Him.
Today, I am trusting that this is true.
When I am having a hard time trusting God’s good will for my life, I often find it helpful to read His word and the stories told about those who trusted. Like Abraham giving up his son Isaac. When I think about what is going on in my life right now, and then I read what Abraham is going through – who am I to complain?
After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here am I, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
It also helps to think about all else going on in the world. There’s a new KLove app for your phone where you can read others’ prayer requests. It sounds a little morbid, but when I go read and pray for those requests I am reminded that I don’t have it so bad. It also takes the focus off of my current problem and onto God and praying for others.
I also like to remind myself of promises found in scripture.
Psalms 37:3-6 says,
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
Psalms 118:6-9 reminds us we have no need to fear if we trust in the Lord:
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The Lord is on my side as my helper;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes.
Friends, He is good. He desires good things for us. Trust in His plan for you, trust that he is trying to teach you things to strengthen you and your faith.
If you don’t read God Calling, you should. Here is an excerpt from today’s devotional that I just know God needed me to hear:
“Be not afraid. I am your God, your Deliverer. From all evil, I will deliver you. Trust Me. Fear not.
Never forget your “Thank you.” Do you not see it is a lesson? You MUST say “Thank You” on the grayest days. You MUST do it. All cannot be light unless you do. There is gray-day practice. It is absolutely necessary.”