Thursday, March 1, 2012

I'm Getting Sea Sick

If you have been reading my blog lately, you will remember that I have believed in a promise that the Lord gave to me. Some days, I believe without wavering, other days I toss back and forth, wondering if what He said to me that day was really Him or was it a figment of my own imagination. I know I am not alone in this; many of us struggle every day with the promises of God. Some of these promises are written in His book, the Bible, other promises are personal promises that He has given us. Today, once again, I was on my faith boat being tossed about wondering if God really did make this promise to me. (I’m beginning to get sea sick from all these waves of doubt!) As I was praying this morning, I asked the Lord if He ever got tired of me and my constant questioning, “Did you really say this to me Lord or am I making this all up in my head?” I see my Lord smiling and saying, “No, child. I just need you to trust me and have faith in what I have promised.”
Having faith in what He has promised is exactly where the issue lies. Having faith- that seems to be something we hear a lot from our Christian brothers and sisters when we are being rocked in our faith boats. Even the disciples had trouble with “having faith”. So, how do I stop rocking the boat I am in and take the oars of faith? Good question. I wish I could say that in my blog today you will learn how to “have faith” and forever be changed and never doubt again! I can’t promise you that, but I can show you what the Lord showed me today, and hopefully, as you yourself are being tossed about in your faith boat, you too can grab the oars He is holding onto for us!
The Lord took me back to Abraham, to the time when the Lord God called him out of his home for the first time. Genesis 12:1-3 tells us that God called Abram (not yet Abraham) to leave everything he knew and to follow Him, to take that step towards a place that the Lord would show him. The Lord did not say to Abram, “Follow me for the next 100 miles, there you will find a rock with your name on it- stop there, that is the land I have given you.” If it would only be that easy! But instead, the Lord says, “Step out in faith and follow Me, I will “show” you where you are to go.” What the Lord spoke to me today was that He did not tell Abram how or where He was going to lead, instead, He asked Abram to trust Him and that each day the Lord would direct his path. The Lord God did not say to Abram, “Take the next left and there you will find the place.” No, God does not work that way.
God wants our trust, He desires our trust and the only way to please the Lord is by faith.  Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.” If God laid out before us how and when He was going to fulfill every single promise He has given us, then what is the purpose of faith? We walk by faith, not by sight. Abraham could not see in the physical realm the promises that the Lord had given him, what he saw was the spiritual fulfillment of the promise being worked out in his heart.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith is the realization that what the Lord has promised He will do. We may not see the physical manifestation of it right away, but there is evidence of it, because He has placed the desire and the fulfilled hope of it in our hearts.  As you go through Hebrews 11 and read the testimonies of the ones who have walked before us, you will see a pattern. They were all given a promise, a hope, and a desire that was placed within their hearts by our God. How did they reach the promise? How was it fulfilled in them? It was by faith and faith alone. They were in the same faith boat that we are in.
Abraham, Noah, Sarah, and all the others that are mentioned in this “Hall of Faith” are an example to us when our faith boat starts rocking and the waves of doubt begin to crash over the sides of our boats. So, what is the cure for this doubt? What are the oars that we need to grab hold of? It is very simple, when I think about it, and ponder on it. The oars that the Lord is holding out to us are His Word, the spoken word that He has given us. As I prayed and I sought His help this morning, another scripture was given to me. Hebrews 10:23 tells us, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who has promised is faithful.”  When our boat starts to be tossed to and fro- we need to grab the oars of His word.
We need to hold so tight to the promises that He has given us, that no matter what doubt, no matter what the world says, we can keep our boat steady and fixed on the fulfillment of the promises given. But the fulfillment of that promise does not depend upon us. It is all rested upon Him. Scripture tells us that “He who has promised is faithful.” Sarah had every reason to doubt the promise of a son- she was well past the age of child bearing, but she did not waver in her hope or her trust of the Lord, why? Because “she judged Him faithful who had promised.” (Hebrews 11:11) Just like Sarah, Abraham, Noah and all the others that has gone before us; we can grasp hold of what He has promised and hold tight to it because He is faithful. He has never failed us, He never will. He has never left us, He never will. He has always been, and always will be God Almighty.
No matter what the circumstances look like, no matter what the voices in your head are telling you, no matter who says, “don’t get your hopes up,” no matter what comes crashing in on your boat, remember this simple truth, “He who has promised is faithful.” In that we can rest our oars and our hope. Our faith boat will travel much smoother across the waters of this life if we can just grasp the magnitude of these simple words. It may not look like it will ever happen, some of us have been waiting years for the promises to be fulfilled, and some of us may only have to wait a few months, but the lesson is not in the promise- not entirely. The lesson of faith is in the waiting. I know, waiting is not my strongest trait, but knowing that “He who promised is faithful” strengthens my heart to hope for the promise that was given to me all those many months ago.
May I encourage you today, to take the oars of faith and rest them in Him today? “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23. Amen.