Sunday, August 24, 2008

Back to the basics.

I feel like the older we become, the more questions we have about life and what's even more frustrating than the questions, is the fact that so many of them seem to go unanswered or at least unanswered to our satisfaction. My husband and I were talking about feeling like we're not hearing God very well because for the past couple of years our lives have been a mess. As believers in Christ, we know that life is messy, and none of us is immune from trials or tribulation. But it crossed my mind that our combined years (and we're talking close to 80 years or so) of being in relationship with the Lord, should have produced some sensitivity to His voice.

However, it feels like we're missing something because we’ve just been limping along for some time now, certainly not living very victorious lives (as far as we can tell) and this is really hard to understand. Currently we are feeling totally helpless and I'm beginning to think that maybe realizing we are helpless IS the point; that helplessness isn’t a negative thing, but a freeing thing. And if that’s the lesson in this struggle, that’s OK, we’re totally there. We can freely admit we are helpless without the Lord. And it is freeing to realize that it's not up to us. But the part we don't get is the feeling of hopelessness that has attached itself to our helplessness. Sure, we fight being helpless, but this feeling of hopelessness is far worse.

The best explanation I can come up with as I ponder the issue of not being able to hear the Lord’s voice of hope, is that we've somehow gotten into the habit of boxing the Lord in with our expectations regarding prayer. I know that faith is required to believe in the Lord, trusting that He always has our best interest in mind, when and how He chooses to answer our prayers or speak to us. But faith involves our hearts and we are helpless to change anything regarding our hearts. That's His job. So what are we to do? We don't want to feel hopeless. We want to trust the Lord, but we're having a hard time believing we're where He wants us to be when we don't feel like we are hearing Him, have no clue what our next step should be, and are hopeless to see the future in a positive light.

So, when doubts are as plentiful as our are right now, it's best to go back to the basics, back to the truth of scripture, and remember that even though we don't feel like there is hope for the future or feel like we are headed in the right direction, (whatever that direction is), based on the Lords response or non response to our prayers or circumstances, that doesn't mean He’s abandoned us. This is where our faith is truly tested and our combined years of knowing His faithfulness to us is what will carry us through this time of uncertainty. We must trust our hearts to Him who created them and believe that He will hold us close in our times of doubt. We must choose to believe that His love for us is not based on what WE DO, but is based on what He has already done for me when He hung on the cross. And we must choose to believe that He always comes through on His promises. It’s ALL up to Him and that is where we must go to find rest.

Hebrew 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

John 15:16 "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you."

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world,] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

Psalm 42:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Psalm 130:5 wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;

Lamentations 3:24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”


At 1:22 AM, August 29, 2008 , Blogger Elle said...

the basics are always good - sometimes I need to remind myself that success and failure are really the inventions of Man and not God. Sometimes I struggle when I don't know the direction, reason or purpose for things, but I try to remember God's purpose may not be revealed to me...? I have to keep up the mantra and strive to live my life to "the audiance of one"! The only one that really matters in the end.


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