So, I went to my prayer closet today…and heaven didn’t open with angels ascending and descending on a ladder illuminated by light and heavenly choruses of “hallelujah”. So what now?
What is it that we have faith in?
What exactly are we believing for?
Are we believing for things to turn out our way, or the way that is seemingly most favorable to us? Are we believing for events and even other people’s choices, words and behaviors to be positively in our favor?
Or is our faith deeper? Is our faith for something more?
Can I tell you that truly the joy of the Lord is my strength!
This is a Bible verse and a true one. It is also my testimony. And it is also my proclamation of faith.
Let me explain.
In the Bible we read that Nehemiah encouraged the people not to mourn over the words of the law (the warnings, the judgments) but rather to rejoice in the joy of the Lord (His promises, His grace which is greater than all our sin and all our problems). See Nehemiah 8:10
This is my testimony. There are times in my life that I don’t have a constant emotive state of exhilaration, happiness, or excitement. But what I do have is a deep assurance in my heart from the Holy Spirit of God and based on His promises and His character that all will be well in this life and the next. This is the joy of the Lord in me.
This is my proclamation of faith: In the face of trial, adversity, weakness, suffering, heartache, pressure and all the rest of the troubles of this world, I have deep within me a peace and an assurance that God is good and God is able. I have a faith that God will do what is right. I have a deep-seated belief and expectation that God is working all things together for the good of those who seek Him. I have a joy that though at times might be tested by the troubles of this world, is ultimately secured by God’s character, ability and promises.
I rest on the promises of God, with a belief that He is loving, He is true, He is able.
This is the joy of the Lord in my heart. And it truly does bring an abiding sense of peace and puts a smile on my face.
There are times when the emotions seem to come and go, but yet I cling to faith in my God who is able.
And when my faith seems shaken, I ask God for more faith, and He is faithful and always supplies my need.
If you feel unhappy or feel overwhelmed over the situations and circumstances of life, fear not! Call on the one who is able and rest in His arms. His promises will come to pass! Not one word He has spoken will fail! Let this faith, this certainty, this JOY be the strength of your life, this day and evermore!!
Have you ever been to an unclaimed baggage store? It is an interesting experience. And it is remarkable the things that people have left behind. Some things are mere trinkets, others are more costly items that most probably were precious to the person who lost them.
Have you ever thought about the lost promises of God? Have you ever considered if there might be unclaimed promises of God with your name on them?
I truly believe that most Christians live meager spiritual lives and limp by with such a weak faith because they have not received, claimed or held onto the promises of God.
Let me share just a few promises of God that have YOUR name on them, that perhaps you have lost and left behind on your journey:
- Lo, I am with you always, to the very end of the earth (see Matt 28:20)
- I will never leave you, nor forsake you (see Deut 31:6)
- The same power that rose Jesus from the grave is in you (see Eph 1:18-20)
- No temptation has seized you except…God will give you a way out (see 1 Cor 10:13)
- God will give you the peace of God which will guard your heart and mind (see Php 4:7)
- God is faithful and will forgive and cleanse you (see 1 Jn 1:9)
- God’s grace is sufficient for you and your need (see 2 Cor 12:9)
- I am the Lord your healer (see Ex 15:26)
These are only a few of the great and precious promises of our Lord! He gives us promise upon promise, grace upon grace and mercy upon mercy.
Much of the time these promises, like so many others are left on the shelf. They are collecting dust as they stay as words on the pages of an unread Bible instead of words of life burned into the heart of the believer. They remain unheard words of truth which might be whispered directly into the heart of a believer who would spend time with the Lord in prayer. The promises of God often are discarded at the feet of disappointing circumstances, bitter and unforgiving hearts and unfulfilled dreams.
I can assure you that the promises are real. The power of God is still present for us to receive His promises and for them to bring hope and transformation in our hearts and in the world.
There is one condition however. The condition for us to receive the promises of God is that we listen. If we don’t listen we don’t hear His promises. If we don’t listen we don’t have the opportunity to believe what God speaks. If we don’t listen we won’t know which personal choices are working against the promises of God in our lives.
So listen up!
God is speaking to you.
He is speaking His promises of love and sanctifying power.
And if you will listen. And believe. And receive.
Your life will be changed by the power of God at work within!
2 Peter 1:3-4 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
So often in life we find ourselves wandering. Wondering. Seeking. Questioning. “What is next?” “What went wrong?” “What should I do now?”
These are legitimate questions. And they come from a place of brokenness and desperation. This might feel like a dark and depressed place to be, but it actually might be the most perfect place to be. In this place of confusion and not knowing we can and should be driven to our knees and driven to find the One who has the answers to all of life’s problems.
I don’t know why it is so hard to go to the One who will always, every-time have all that we need and will freely give it to those who ask Him, but for some reason it is. And so God uses overwhelming circumstances to show us our inadequacies and to reveal His own Sovereignty over all that is. And so when you find yourself wandering: seek the Lord. When you find yourself confused and defeated, look to the Victor. When you realize that you are at the end of your rope, stop grasping for things that will never really save you, and finally let the Lord catch you, save you, preserve you and restore you. Let God be God and stop trying to appear to have it all together. God knows you don’t have it all together and others know it too. It is a much more beautiful thing to see a person seeking refuge in the arms of God than to see someone flailing and self-destructing because they simply can’t let go.
Trust me, I know how hard this is. But when you finally let go, then God can and will catch you!