Monday, September 20, 2010

To Know Him

We've been having problems with our well. The pump in our well, to be exact. In any event, the result is the same: no running water for a few days. Inconvenient but not a disaster. I knew it was only a matter of time until it was fixed. I had no doubt. My kids on the other hand had a few "what ifs". What if Daddy can't fix it? What if he can't buy a new one? What if the new one doesn't work.

All of their "what ifs" had no power to shake my confidence. You see, I know my husband. I know he has the skills and resources to do the job. I wasn't concerned with how he'd do it. I wasn't concerned that he wouldn't take care of it. Not only am I aware of his skills and abilities, I know his character. I knew that because of his love for our family he would be hard at work to meet our needs. It wasn't fun waiting, but my job was patient trust.

I want to have the same kind of confidence in my Heavenly Papa. He has all the power and resources necessary to meet our every need, but we often become distressed and cry out, "What if...?!"

The Bible is full of reasons to believe. In the Old Testament we see His mighty power to save, deliver and provide. The New Testament is full of His compassion, mercy, love, and healing. Every page reveals His character.
Our confidence grows as we become acquainted with His character. Inversely, it shrinks when we focus on the magnitude of the problem. A huge faith booster is telling and remembering your stories of what He has done and asking others to tell theirs.

When we keep our thoughts fixed on Him and His greatness our "what ifs" dissolve into peace. We begin to know Him. We can wait in confidence.

I don't know what you're going through today--it may be something I've never experienced, but I do know Him and I know He's worthy of your trust. He loves you beyond your wildest imaginings. What matters to you matters to Him.

Look up into the heavens.
Who created the stars?
He brings them out like an army, one after another,
calling each by its name.
Because of his great power and incomparable strength,
not a single one is missing.
O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?
O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?
Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:26-31)

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Source and Supply

There once was a man whose son was tormented by evil spirits. His father was heartbroken and longed for his son to be healed. The father brought his son to the religious leaders and they debated the "whys and wherefores" of the boy's condition. He brought his son to the disciples of Jesus and they did their best without success. And then he brought him to Jesus.

"Have mercy on us and help us, if you can," the father pleaded.

"What do you mean, 'If I can?'" Jesus asked. "Anything is possible if a person believes."

The father instantly cried out, "I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!"

And Jesus healed the boy.

I love this story. "I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!"

So often we're paralyzed by an awareness that we don't believe enough, love enough, give enough.... And so we stay stuck in condemnation as though by feeling guilty enough we can in any way change the lack. This man had enough faith to come to Jesus, but also knew that there was still unbelief in his heart. He brought what he had to Jesus. It was enough.

We need to throw ourselves at the feet of Jesus and confess, "I believe, help my unbelief. I love, but I need to you to increase my love. I give myself, but I know I still have reservations--help me to give myself more fully." And it's enough. It's only by bringing what we have to Him that He can increase it. Our desire for more is irresistible to Him. What a merciful God we have!!

"I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." (Phil. 1:6)

"Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end." (Hebrews 12:2a)

Our faith begins and ends in Him. Don't get stuck in feelings of self-pity, inadequacy, hopelessness, or shame. Relentlessly pursue God! He multiplies everything that is placed in His hands.

For everything comes from him and exists by his power
and is intended for his glory.
All glory to him forever!
Romans 11:36