It’s been the best of times. It’s been the worst of times. This last year (and then some) has been a DOOZY.
There have been a great many contributing factors: great love, great forward motion, great heartache, great frustration, great resistance. I have never been so close to the promises of what God has for me and still feel quite so far away.
To say that I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor His seed begging bread is beyond an understatement! God’s faithfulness in this last season has been phenomenal!
One of the greatest challenges in this season has been trying to explain the “logic,” of what I am doing and debates on whether or not my decisions are based in “reality.” When the truth of the matter is, the logic of what I’m doing is not founded in reality. My decisions, my responses, my intrinsic intuition has been trained to function by FAITH.
When I show kindness to someone who, by any account, has treated me unfairly, that is neither a natural, logical or emotional response. My emotional response would be to pout or be angry. My logical response would be to reject them and no longer associate with them. My natural response may be to retaliate. But, by FAITH I know to bless those that curse me, ACTIVELY love those that hate me and pray for those who despitefully use me.
When I have almost nothing, when I’m down to my last few bucks and all my bills have come due, I still find it necessary to put $10.00 in somebody else’s pocket. Now, where’s the logic in that? Emotionally, I may feel pity for their situation, but my fear for what lies ahead for my own dilemma may keep my hands in my own pockets. I might naturally conclude that $10.00 isn’t really going to help them very much and it surely isn’t going to help me to give it away. But, by FAITH, I realize that, by being helpful to someone else in the struggle, I am lending to a God who consistently repays. And, while that may not be a lot of money, it might just be the ray of hope they needed to hold on a little longer, until things got better.
There are a lot of things about my life that would have given someone else an excuse to give up. So many things that would imply that the whole deck was stacked against me and that I should just get out of the game. I can’t even deny that there were times when it felt like the easiest thing would have been to take my own life. Even with my extremely high threshold for pain, I have hurt so bad that all I could think about was a way to escape and never feel that pain again.
So, what am I doing HERE? A long time ago, I read the book of Hebrews for the first time. I found it FASCINATING and challenging. It talked about how we received the gift of salvation the same way we will receive every good and perfect gift from God: BY FAITH. Then, it went on to remind me that everyone I’ve ever read about in the Bible has been to the same point of exhaustion I was experiencing. Despair and exhaustion are part and parcel to the real faith walkers. But the promises of God give us hope. His track record of faithfulness gives us peace. The victories of those who have walked this walk before us, give us courage. The joy of being able to count ourselves among those faithful gives us strength. But it’s God’s love within us that compels us to get up every time we stumble and keep walking BY FAITH.
Habakkuk 2:4 and Hebrews 10:38 both say that, “The just shall live by faith.” According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the origin of the word JUST is based on a word that means right or law.
It is right that, whatever you did to get a thing is what you should continue to do to keep it. So, if it was by faith that you accepted the opportunity to be in relationship with God, doesn’t it make it RIGHT that your relationship be based on that same faith? And, doesn’t it make sense that all the the promises that God made to you and for you as a benefit of that relationship, would be based upon that faith? That also means that deviating from that faith would cause you to forfeit some,if not all, of those benefits.
For all of the negative things that have happened to me and all of the hardships I’ve faced, I thank God that I have kept the FAITH. And because of that, I’ve continued to see those promises come to pass.
It doesn’t matter what it looks like. It doesn’t matter if your faith walk doesn’t appear to make sense to people. It doesn’t matter if the crowd is moving at a breakneck pace in one direction and you are either going in the same direction at a different pace, going in the opposite direction or standing still. If you are trusting the instruction manual for your life, being lead by the Holy Spirit and walking by FAITH, you are going to see the promise of God come to pass in your life.