Sunday, November 8, 2009

Blessed Assurance

While life is sometimes a little scary, it is never bad.  My life is filled with blessings unspeakable and, while the occasional bump may make things somewhat gloomy or uncomfortable now and again, I cannot recant my faith, curse God, or even question His existence.  Admittedly, I have reacted in very childish, selfish ways, questioning why He hates me or why He choses to put me through so much; I'm not proud of that, but I don't think I am alone either.  I say this, because we are all imperfectly, sinfully human.  We all question God.  We all think our own plans are better.  We all fail to trust God. 

Truthfully and regretfully, I did not pay very close attention to my high school apologetics teacher.  The irony is, I wanted to learn the differences between religion and faith; I wanted to be able to argue for my faith rationally and sensibly.  I wanted to substantiate my beliefs in a methodical, practical, academic way -- and the material, while dry and sometimes difficult, was of interest to me.  But this was high school -- there were committees and teams and notes to be passed.

In times of weakness, in times of trouble and doubt, I have found plunging into the Word of God to be necessary for some cerebral awakening or intellectual relevance.  But the thing that grabs my heart, the thing that makes me know this is true, is history.  My very own, very personal history of God's faithfulness.

When I open the history book of God's faithfulness in my life I see consistency, miraculous possibilities that only through God could become realities, and indescribable love.  Sure, I could read accounts of Abraham and Isaac, Job, Paul -- and I do.  They are all wonderful evidence and assurance of God's loving faithfulness and redemption.  But right there, in my own life, I can see it...

...the time I prayed for meat for my children -- within hours my neighbor came to me with pounds of "extra" chicken

...the time I begged God to restore my marriage, and He didn't -- something far more wonderful was waiting down the road for me

...the times that in shame, pain, anger, and confusion I ran so far and hid so deeply -- God knew me and would not let me go

...ALL the times I have sought the approval of my peers, been crushed when it did not come -- as promised, God rewarded me with peace, joy and prosperity when I craved His approval

With no disrespect to apologetics, and no disrespect to atheists who wish to argue in some philosophical or academic arena, with no intent to nullify the importance of studying Scripture and explaining my faith with God's very Words -- when things get really sticky, sometimes "I just know." 
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