Sunday, July 24, 2016

GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS -- why we can rejoice in the bad days

psalm 100:5 "for the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations"

do you ever have those days where you just can't seem to get enough of Jesus? i sure do, even though they should come much more frequently than they do. after church i decided to open up my bible again and spend some more (much needed) time with my Savior.

lately i've been overwhelmed at the Lord's great faithfulness. today's "jesus calling" devotional led me to psalms 100:5 which is noted to be "a psalm for giving grateful praise." this short phrase at the beginning of the psalm struck a chord with me. i'm convicted by the realization that more times than not, i cry out to Jesus in prayer in my trials and afflictions, and tend to stray away from Him when things are going my way. why do i do this? why am i so quick to ignore my creator when things are fine, and forget that every good and beautiful thing is from HIM?

2 Peter 1:4 says, "and because of His glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises."

2 peter is a passage that can teach a lot about God's faithfulness, although short in length. let's chop it up into 3 sections.

"and because of His glory and excellence..."

the first part of this verse teaches me that God's faithfulness is in no way dependent on what i have done. God's faithfulness is a product of His glory and excellence. the bible does not say - because of what you have done, or because you gave a homeless personal a $5 bill the other day, or because you deserve it, or because you're a reallyyyy good person. nope, it says because of His glory and excellence. because of the creator of the entire universe and how holy He is. 2 peter is a verse that believers love to read. it's a feel good verse. oh, God is going to bless me?? yay! He is so good! hallelujah! #blessed! i think when we read this verse, we read it in a way that it unfortunately isn't supposed to be read. we read it and think that only because we have been so faithful and so diligent in our faith and have our quiet time each morning (do you have any idea how hard it is to wake up 30 minutes earlier than normal each day? i mean come on..) that God is rewarding us, like a dog in training. this mindset is toxic in thinking about our faith. have we forgotten so soon that it is nothing we have done? that our entire religion is built upon the fact that God willingly gave his Son and sent Him to our fallen earth and that he uttered "it is finished" while upon that rugged cross? it is finished. it was finished when Jesus took his final breath. there is nothing we can do to deserve God's faithfulness. it is only because of Him. soli deo gloria, glory to God alone.

"He has given us.."

as if we needed any more clarification, we are told that God's faithfulness is given to us - not granted like a genie in a bottle. God has chosen to give us the gift of His amazing faithfulness. however, let's dive a little deeper into the words here. since God has given, we could be given something that we have been craving and praying for. or, God can give us something that we would never ask for in a 100 years. the beautiful thing about the faithfulness that God gives us, is that sometimes he gives us what we don't even know that we need yet. the beauty in trusting the Lord is that He does work in funny ways and that sometimes He throws us a curve ball. sometimes God gives us a difficult day. sometimes God gives us a break up, or bad news, or an illness, even more than we think we can handle. but God is faithful. it reminds me of a little story i read on the internet. maybe this will help put your "bad days" that the Lord gives you into perspective.

Me: God, can I ask you a question? Why did you let so much stuff happen to me today?
God: What do you mean?
Me: Well, I woke up late. My car took forever to start. At lunch they made my sandwich wrong and I had to wait. On the way home, my phone went dead, just as I picked up a call. And on top of it all off, when I got home - I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager and relax. But it wouldn't work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did you do that?
God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning and I had to send one
of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that. I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road. The first person who made your sandwich today was sick and I didn't want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work. Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let you talk to them so you would be covered. And that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in the dark.
Me: I'm Sorry God
God: Learn to Trust Me.... in All things , the Good and the bad.
Me: I will trust You.
God: And don't doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.

and last but not least..

"..great and precious promises."

this verse ends with ensuring us that the faithfulness He is talking about is great and precious. even when we can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. when God gives us something that we didn't want, we can rest in the safety that his promises are good. isn't it funny how whenever something out of plan happens we are devastated and mad? we shake our first at God and shout at him why? yet, all the while, even in our doubting, He is fulfilling His plan for us. it reminds me of a quote i love, "life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forewords." and isn't that the dang truth. most (if not all) of the hardships i have been through have, ultimately, worked out for the better. even the hardships i, for the life of me, could not understand why. but looking back, the trials that i have gone through have brought me to bigger and better things than i could have ever expected. after all, God does give us "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Our God is all-knowing, and knows exactly what he is doing with every single step that we take. if only we could remember this when it feels as if our world is crashing down. because, yes, sometimes our life does crash down right before our eyes, but God is the ultimate creator and can create something out of dust in a second that we would otherwise spend our whole lives making. 

be patient.

trust the process.

trust His process.

trust His promise.

Trust that His plan is better than your own.

His faithfulness continues throughout all generations, it will not stop with you.

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