Thursday, August 9, 2012

When Faith and Life Collide

Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you.  Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future.

This is a promise many of us have heard.  We want to believe it’s true, so how do we handle it when our circumstances seem to prove otherwise? Is this evidence that the Bible isn’t true? I contend that’s not the case.  Perhaps we’ve overlooked a piece of the puzzle. Maybe there’s something we haven’t considered.

Nowhere does it tell us how God plans to do to prosper us, or what that looks like. Nor does it tell us when.  It does say He’ll give us hope for the future.   That’s where faith comes in. Faith that God will fulfill his promise to us. And perseverance until we see how God works it through.

When it comes to many things in my life, I recognize that it takes time to see the fruit(s) of my labor. Building up a retirement account, deepening relationships with friends and family, or growing a garden, doesn't happen overnight.  It takes time, perseverance and commitment on my part to see it through to the end. 

So, why do we expect God to answer our prayers right away?  Because He can?  Fair enough, but what if He takes His time so that we grow in the process?  That’s been a tough lesson for me to learn, and I find I have to re-learn it many times over.  But God has proven that He’s faithful and has my best interest in mind, even when I can’t see it. 

How about you? What have you seen God do in times of hardship that you could only recognize after time had passed? How do you handle it in the meantime?


Jennifer said...

When my dad passed away suddenly over 20 years ago, I had trouble seeing God anywhere. After time, however, I ran to God and developed a closer relationship with Him than I'd had up to that time. God truly can make all things work for good...

Vonda Skelton said...

As I'm studying through the Bible in a year (for the first time STUDYING it as I read through the year) I'm seeing more and more how things that happened "here" caused "this" to happen "there." It wasn't usually quick, but it happened just as God deemed, and according to His timetable.


Ellen Andersen said...

I've never studied through the Bible in a year. Good for you! Isn't it great when God gives us a glimpse of how he's worked in our lives using one thing to cause another? I love when He gives insight like that.

Cathy Baker said...

What a terrific post, Ellen. You're right -- Proverbs 29:11 is often interpreted the way we want to receive it rather than trusting him with the "how's" or "when's" of life. Was happy to see your post in my inbox! :)