Week 7 Hope and Anticipate
Alright Now and One Day All Right
The ground of faith is not the sufficiency of the visible means for the performance of the promise, but the all-sufficiency of the invisible God, who will most surely do as he hath said.
uring this freedom journey we have learned it is our tendency to resist the path that will bring the greatest blessings; it is hard for us to release our wills into God’s hands.
We begin to understand the cost of saying, "Have thine own way, Lord." Of course the blessings of submission far outweigh the cost; we serve a God who has offered us eternal life! But that does not mean the sacrifice of laying down our lives for His sake is easy in any given earth-bound moment. Placing our hopes and dreams on the altar is heart-rending. Exchanging our view of what is good for the Lord's perspective entails saying, "Not my will but thine be done." We may be comforted by the knowledge that the God who became flesh understands Gethsemane tears.
But although He understands, He must also be frustrated with us. How incredibly upsetting it must be for our Lord when we turn away from that which would bring us peace and healing. It reminds me of Jesus' words about Jerusalem: "How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!" (Matthew 23:37, Luke 13:34).
And in Isaiah: "This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel says: For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.’ But you were unwilling” (Isaiah 30:15).
As we struggle with sorrow over the release of our physical bodies and earthly treasures into God’s hands, our minds formulate the proper prayers, but sometimes our hearts rebel. This world holds us so powerfully that the despair of hopelessness sometimes threatens; will we ever truly succeed in submitting to God’s will?
We can be comforted because although the struggle is inevitable, once we have given our lives to Him the outcome depends upon the Lord and not us. Because we belong to Him, our final destinies are now completely in God’s hands and not our own. This is not a tie that can be undone so long as we want Him even a little (remember the mustard seed);[ii] we may struggle under His hand but we will not escape. He is the Lord, and we are His; He knows who belongs to Him and who does not, and He will not lose even one of those entrusted to Him.[iii] If you have ever thrilled to His voice, believed on His Name, and known His presence in your life, you can be assured that nothing has changed on His end. You belong to Him.
We may not be sure of ourselves, but we can be certain of our God. We can trust Him to do right by us even if it causes us (and therefore Him) pain. We can rest assured that He will ignore our protests as necessary in order to see our salvation through to completion. When we rebel, He doesn’t leave us, but instead stands ready to receive us back into His arms the instant we call on His name. And so because He does not forsake us we are alright in the here and now, and we can trust Him to continue to bring us along His perfection path until one day, when we are glorified with Him, we will truly be all right!
Pray: Lord, I am so relieved that, because I’ve accepted You as my Lord and Savior, my eternal destiny now depends on You and not me. I praise the Holy Name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I praise Father God with deep gratitude for the Holy Spirit's presence within me. Because of Him, I'm safe in You now and someday will be perfected in You, all because of Your righteousness and not my own. Blessed be Your Holy Name!
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.
2 Timothy 2:11-13