“The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them.”
Psalm 145:18-19 NLT
Recently I was speaking with a friend. We were both passing through turbulent financial waters. The present was uncomfortable, the future uncertain and possibly threatening. As we conversed, rather than bemoaning our fate and nursing or rehearsing our anxieties, we instead spoke of faith and hope. While circumstance can often trigger a “counsel of despair”, God’s wisdom is always to wait upon the Lord.
Waiting is tiring. In my days with Youth for Christ, there was little money for wages, so we spent considerable time living by faith. Some, with an attempt at humour, characterise this as “dying by faith”, yet they immediately reference a “counsel of despair”. While I found this exhausting, it was also an exhilarating way to live. With no shred of financial security, it seemed my wife and I had to get on our knees daily before God holding up a bill we hadn’t the means to pay and ask for his intervention. We neither published our need nor hinted about it in any prayer letter. This was between God and us; this, for us, was God’s school of faith-building.
God came through, yet we also discovered that once one bill was dealt with, another followed swiftly behind. We had no savings to fall back on, yet somehow we muddled through. It was tiring maintaining this level of prayer and expectation – hope in God. On reflection I wonder if it was so exhausting because we failed to live in any certain confidence that God was both near to us and committed to granting our desires, which are so different from our material and spiritual wish list. The latter is nothing more than a fantasy which, if granted, we imagine will protect us from the rigours of vulnerability. Yet, that vulnerability is the very crucible within which we can verify God’s credibility.
Are you able to find faith for your present and your future in the promised presence of God in every element of your life?
Lord God, help me to trust you and have confidence in your goodness and faithfulness.