A spoken promise. Four interviews were followed by a call informing me that another candidate was chosen. Seven days of standing on the promise and reminding God of His Word. Then a second call from the same individual; someone on the team had just resigned and I was the preferred candidate. Three more interviews later, the job offer was extended and accepted. God had fulfilled the promise. Why did He do it that way? If I had to guess, I would say it was a test of my faith. Contrary to what some would have us believe, God doesn’t always work in a straight line. It is impossible for our finite minds to understand the mind of the Infinite. Through the prophet Isaiah, He reminds us that His ways are not our ways, neither are His thoughts our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9, ESV). As if that was not enough, we are also told: “Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all deep” (Psalm 135:6, AMP). Whatever He pleases, wherever He pleases, and with whomever He pleases. Are you going to keep trying to figure Him out?
These thoughts came to mind as I reflected on one of many conversations with my mom from my youth. On this particular day when other kids were out and about being kids, we were sitting on the bed as she shared with me what she knew about God and trusting Him. I do not remember everything she said, but I can still hear the words that are forever etched in my mind: “If you’re going to believe God, believe Him all the way.” Those words changed my life so much so that when I wrote my doctoral dissertation in 2011, I referenced them in dedicating that work to my mother. Over the years I have found that trusting God is not as easy as it sounds and even when I do, there are times when like Abram and others, I have wavered. However, one thing I know to be true: “But without faith it is impossible to please [God]: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6, ESV).
To trust/believe God doesn’t come naturally. It is a choice that we make in and with every situation we encounter. To not choose is to choose not to trust, not to believe. In the Bible are the promises of God to His children. Pastor Jim Cymbala was right when he said, “Faith is content just knowing that God’s promise cannot fail.” We are assured that God cannot lie and that He is a keeper of His promises (e.g. Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 10:23). What do we do with those promises from a God who cannot lie? It is easy to be overwhelmed by the distracting realities of our respective situations. It is in those moments, at those crossroads in our lives, that we get to decide whether we are going to trust God or not. Whether we are going to hold on to the promise(s) or not.
Mom was right. If you and I are going to believe God, we need to believe and trust Him all the way regardless of whatever else is going on. There is no room for double-mindedness (James 1:6-7). His promises still stand and great is His faithfulness. We can stand on those two important truths and we lay claim to the promises. Like those patriarchs and matriarchs of old, let us die believing God if necessary (Hebrews 11:13). Hymnist Russell K. Carter in the hymn Standing on the Promises left us with these words: “Standing on the promises that cannot fail / When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail / By the living Word of God I shall prevail / Standing on the promises of God.” Amidst your doubts and fears, what are you standing on?