Been thinking lately about faith, and how God works.

I’ve been a Christian for nearly 30 years now, and it’s still something that baffles me.  But wait, let me just pause at that sentence– thirty years?!  Wow.  I was six when I became a believer.  I was enrolled in a private Christian kindergarten, and began riding the bus to church on Sundays.  I still remember the big brown and white bus, bumping along on old Vicksburg roads, taking me (and eventually my parents) to a Baptist church up in the hills.  During the childrens service, Brother Mitch (oh how I love this man!) was talking to us about who Jesus was, and what He did for us, and how we could be with Him always.  God moved in that little heart, stirring me up, calling me.  I prayed then, a child’s prayer, with a simple, uncomplicated belief.

The memory of that day, and how I felt, is refreshing now, thirty years later. Because, at the core of it all, faith IS uncomplicated.  It’s the way we respond to what He has done for us.  It’s just TRUST.  No matter what the circumstance is, no matter what bad thing we face– we can trust Him, because of what He has done for us.

Bad things happen in life.  Tornadoes rip through homes.  Children get cancer.  Mothers die in car accidents.  There are moments that are so horrific and unfair that we wonder how there could be a God, and if there is, then why He doesn’t stop these things or heal us or restore our loved ones to us.  How could He be so cruel, so unconcerned, so silent and unresponsive?

Well, we know He isn’t those things.  He is the opposite.  He is kind, caring, involved, and hears us.  The truth is, none of us deserve saving in the least.  Every bad thing that happens in life is rightly earned, if God were to allow it.  And sometimes, He does allow it.  It’s true, that He doesn’t always stop the tornado.  Or cure the cancer.  Or stop the drunk driver.  He could, but He doesn’t, for reasons that we may never fully understand.  But save us?  Oh, He has done that indeed!  He has snatched our souls from the enemy!  He has secured us as His own, to be with Him forever.

He has not failed us.  He has not abandoned us.  He is, at this very moment, in the act of saving you unto Himself.  Winds may howl around you, dogs may stalk your path, your body may fail and give– but you can rest knowing that whatever is happening, that you have been marked as His.  You don’t have to be afraid, because you have been claimed by the Almighty God for all eternity!

It doesn’t mean that we don’t have sadness.  We all drink from that cup at some point in our lives.  It doesn’t mean that life will be easy, or fair, or long.  But when those times come, when we are afflicted, and beset by troubles– we can know that the end of this story has already been written.  And it’s a happy one.  Whatever tribulation we endure, whatever losses and disasters and hardships– they are not the final chapter of our existence.  We have already been saved from these trials.  There’s nothing this world can throw at us that can undo what Jesus has done.

Psalms 34:19 says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.”

By telling us the ending of the story, He has liberated us from these present trials.  He delivers us from our earthly sorrows permanently and eternally when we die, but He has also given us the keys to face them NOW, as we sit in the rubble, in the waiting room, in the aftermath.  He whispers it softly, as He sits beside us– Remember.  Remember what I did.  Remember that you will have a new body.  Remember that my power is made perfect in your weakness.  Remember that death is swallowed up in victory.  Remember that you are Mine.  Remember that I am here.

He goes on and on, gently reminding you of all His promises.

Oh yes, He’s saved you, my friend.  Don’t be fooled by what you see around you, by the dark clouds or rocky paths.  God sees farther, all the way to the end.  He sees your delivery, your salvation, even though you cannot. He sees it, because He orchestrated it.  He is the author of your happy ending.  He has written the great finish.  He is excited for you to get to that part, to read it yourself, and see how good He really is.  It’s what He’s been waiting for.

But every good story takes time in the telling.  With each chapter of this life, good or bad, we must trust Him.

No matter what, we must hear Him when He whispers.