I wrote a few thoughts here about Graham Cooke’s fill in the blank statement – “God is the most _________ person I know.”
Today I want to ask this follow-up question: Do you believe some aspects of God’s character are true, yet you have never asked for them to be made real in your life? You could also ask the same question of His blessings and His promises. Maybe you don’t even believe His character really is what HE claims that it is, or that His promises can be trusted, or His blessings hoped for. But, if you’re like me, then you’re probably able to believe what is said intellectually, but practically, when it comes to asking for them in my own life…that’s when I realize I have some hang ups.
Sometimes things look pretty dark. Sometimes I struggle with being depressed. Sometimes I think life will always be hard. (I’m pretty embarrassed to admit ANY of this – because my life has been AMAZING, and in reality I don’t know a thing about darkness or depression or difficulty…but sometimes I feel like I do.) And then, in the midst of those feelings, is the truth of God and His Word. The truth of God and His Word which should dispel all of the doom and gloom I feel, but frankly, sometimes doesn’t.
Did you know that “even the demons believe”… AND THEY SHUDDER? (James 2:19). The demons know far better than I do who God is, but they haven’t put their faith in Him. That’s the difference. Sometimes I know the truth of the Bible, but when it comes down to it, I realize I still haven’t put my faith in it, TRULY put my faith in it. I’m still believing in my circumstances more than my God. I may know, for example, that the Bible says that “I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living,” but I’m not living like it because I haven’t truly made that my hope and belief.
So, I want to ask again – for my own sake, and maybe it will help you too: What are the aspects of God’s character that I haven’t really believed in? Do I really believe His character truly is what HE claims that it is, or that His promises can be trusted, or His blessings hoped for? If there is an aspect of God’s nature that I need to experience more fully, then why haven’t I been bold enough to ask it of Him?
In Psalm 27:4, David writes,
One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire[c] in his temple.
David asked of the Lord. He sought the Lord. He wanted to know the beauty of the Lord and His character. David inquired in the temple of the Lord. Later in that same Psalm, he writes that he is confident that he will see the goodness of the Lord. His circumstances are pretty bleak, but he remains hopeful because he not only knows the character and the promises of God, but he fully expects to experience them in His own life—that is where his hope lies!
So, when things are dark, let us ask of the Lord, seek Him out, inquire of Him… Let us not only KNOW the character and the promises of God, but let us fully expect to experience them.
Here are a few verses to get you started:
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord, (Psalm 27:13-14).
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight, (Proverbs 3:5-6).
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you, (John 15:7).
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do no grow weary, (Galatians 6:9).
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose, (Romans 8:28).