A friend once joked that all my blogs have happy endings. I don’t necessarily think that is true, as my life isn’t particularly always going in the direction I desire, but I do try to find the victory that is within everything I face. Or at least something to be thankful for.
This is one of my goals for my relationship with God. To be at peace with His plan for my life, even when I don’t like (i.e. hate) or don’t understand the way it is unfolding.
In order to accomplish this goal, I have to constantly remind myself of Romans 8:28 – that even though it doesn’t look like it – all the things I’m experiencing are working together for my good.
I don’t always see how, but I must believe in what my eyes can’t always see, and my mind can’t always comprehend – that God’s got it all under control.
In last week’s blog (you can find it here), I shared about my thought process and actions for building my faith when situations require divine intervention. And yes, my story did have a happy ending for that point in time.
But what about the situation where someone had faith and was believing God for healing for themselves or a family member, and the response wasn’t what they hoped for?
What does that mean? Are they not worthy of the Hall of Faith? They may have believed, declared, stood strong in the midst of adversarial attacks, only to NOT have their prayers answered in the way they expected? What about them?
I asked God for a message to write about that scenario. I could just imagine how someone felt after reading last week’s blog, but didn’t get the answer to their prayers in the way they wanted or believed.
Does that make their faith any less than mine? Absolutely not. I went back to the latter part of Hebrews 11. It seems people rarely make it all the way down to the end of this chapter when speaking about the Hall of Faith.
Through the first 35 verses we read about amazing miracles and victories in spite of countless odds.
But down at verse 36 (in the Common English Bible version), there is a but. I don’t particularly like buts. It usually means something is about to be introduced that will cause the entire situation to take a left turn and contrast or diverge from the expected next step.
Verse 36 (CEB): But others experienced…And then we read on to learn of some shocking outcomes:
Wait a minute! This was supposed to be a chapter full of encouragement regarding our faith. I didn’t know what to make of what I read. That part didn’t seem very encouraging at all!
After sitting confused for a while, I pulled out my Life Application Bible, which I’ve found to be a great study resource to help me understand the Word of God in relatable and applicable ways.
After reading through the study notes, my conclusion was there are some things that we will never understand while here on earth.
But I believe God’s plan will be revealed when we make it to heaven.
But I’m sure you’re like me and don’t want to wait that long.
We may not have a choice but to wait. We live in a world full of sin, and unfortunately each of us has to experience the consequences of sin – sometimes our fault and sometimes not – which can bring on unfortunate experiences.
And here is where I have another but for you.
I know what it looks like.
I know your child is going down a path that is breaking your heart. (Been there)
I know your finances are keeping you up at night and you have no idea how you’re going to make it. (Done that)
I know the test report came back and you may be distraught. (Check)
I know that marriage is nothing like you dreamed it would be. (Yep, that too)
But God can do anything.
But God is a Way-Maker.
But God is a Provider.
But God is a Healer.
But God is a Restorer.
But God is anything you need Him to be in your life right now.
Whatever your unique situation is that has you feeling devastated right now…But God.
This but isn’t a guarantee that everything will work out the way you want it, but we do have an assurance in today’s Play Prediction that God will cause everything to work out for our good.
It must be noted that the end of the verse reveals this vow is conditional. This promise is only for those who love God and are called for His purpose.
If you don’t currently meet these qualifiers, you can start by getting to know God. You can do that by reading the Bible and talking to Him in prayer. And as you get to know Him better, to know Him is to love Him (I promise!)
Once you get to know Him and talk to Him, pray that He’ll reveal His purpose in your life. If you’d like to do this, there’s no better time than now.
As we approach this new decade, instead of making a new year’s resolution that may not have a lasting impact, how about making a new decade’s resolution to get to know God better, and learn the purpose for your life?
And then you can walk confidently in the promise that with all the things you experience in your life, God will work them all out for your good.
In the meantime, just keep trusting.
For Believers who are experiencing a season of devastation and pain, re-evaluate your relationship with God – what does your love for Him look like? Are you actively trying to live a life of purpose for Him? If not, I recommend The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren.
I invite anyone reading this that doesn’t have a relationship with God, to start reading a Bible. You can get one from the bookstore, or if you prefer, there are numerous Bible apps. I personally like YouVersion. It is important to find a version that is clear for you to understand and I recommend that you start reading the chapters of John, Acts and then Romans. You will learn about the life of Jesus Christ, and the early church. And keep reading the New Testament as you learn more and decide if you would like to dedicate your life to Jesus Christ.
Feel free to share your response in the comments section…