Living above a bar was fine for the two of us, but with plans to start having kids Debi and I wanted something resembling more of a home. And so we did our best to prepare.
We continued saving money for a down payment. I took a class on home buying. As we prayed for guidance and provision we began to search for just the right house. It wasn’t long before we were excited to find it—or so we thought. The process ran into a snag, however, and we needed God to answer a particular prayer for the deal to work out. We laid hold of God’s promise for provision and genuinely believed that everything would proceed as expected. It didn’t. We even lost some money in the process. I wanted to scream to high heaven!
There are times when words can’t express the depth of disappointment that comes from an unanswered prayer. Sometimes it’s not so much the specific issue as it is the feeling that God has somehow let us down. Like mold on old cheese the roots of doubt begin to quickly spread to other areas of life.
Looking back I now realize that the purchase of that particular home would have actually hindered the ministry to which we were eventually called. But I didn’t see it at the time. I couldn’t see it—being a finite human has a way of limiting one’s perspective.
Somewhere along the line I learned a really valuable lesson about faith. God’s promises are an outflow of His character and ability. We can always trust our Creator because He is all knowing, all powerful, totally sovereign, ever faithful and so in love with His covenant children. Faith is rooted in the substance of who God is.
I so believe that we need to lay hold of specific promises of God, but at the same time I recognize that we don’t always see the whole picture. There will be times in life when God doesn’t answer certain prayers or fulfill specific promises the way that we expect. It’s during those seasons that we need to remind ourselves that the foundation of our trust rests in the person of God. Even though we didn’t get our desired answer with regard to that particular house, He was still looking after our best interests and guiding us toward a very meaningful destiny.
Personally I believe that one of the most powerful statements of faith found in Scripture comes from Job 13:15a – “Even if he slays me, I will hope in him.” (NET)
We all have varying interpretations of the book of Job, but the bottom line is that God was seeking his welfare even in the midst of some really painful and difficult circumstances. And Job believed it! While He may not have had perfect faith, Job rested the weight of his trust on the impeccable character of his Creator.
Abraham did the same. So did David. And the list goes on of heroes of the Christian faith who threw the full weight of their lives upon the character of God even though their circumstances appeared to betray His promises.
The truth is that God will never truly let you down. Blend genuine faith with the passage of time and you will eventually see His hand powerfully moving in previously unseen ways.