Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:5 When we were trying to sell our townhouse in a market that not only was set against sellers of any kind of home, but particularly antagonistic toward condos, I wasn’t afraid because I knew God was able. He, of course, is not bound by statistics and market downturns. Nothing is impossible for Him no matter how much doom and gloom was coloring the real estate market. I expected Him to sell our place, and quickly, because He is able and because all those of little faith could see His sovereignty overpowering our limitations. But it didn’t sell. Not only did it not sell, we had enough traffic to be totally disruptive to our daily lives for a year and a half and went through the emotional roller coaster of three separate offers which each fell through. There were definitely moments in there where I felt “betrayed” by God. I wanted to say, “Hey, God, I stuck my neck out there and believed in the face of unbelief and you just left me hanging!” Though I spent too much time rolling my eyes at the damaging consequences of dispensational theology, I have to have compassion on the rapture preachers and believers after this weekend who have lost a great deal on top of their own dignity, many who might be vulnerable to losing their faith. The rapture expectant are reported to be “baffled” and dismayed because God did not show up as they had counted on Him doing. In both cases, He did not conform to our image of Him. The mistake we both made was in placing our hope and trust in what we wanted God to do for us or, perhaps, how we both imagined Him being glorified in the eyes of others. A “betrayal” indicates disloyalty or dishonesty and I can only think God has been disloyal if I have reversed the order in our relationship while at the same time deep down coming to believe He owes me something. We forget whose image is to be glorified and even who is the image and who is God. Listen, my people, and I will speak; I will testify against you, Israel: I am God, your God. I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me. I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it. Psalm 50:7-12 Because God is good, when someone has a serious illness, we pray in confidence that He will heal them because He is good. Because God is able, I assume He will do the impossible as evidence of His ability and love for me. Because God loves me, I expect Him to never leave me hanging as if to make a fool of me but to always act in a way that elevates me because of my faith. What escapes my paradigm in all of these assumptions is the fact that God has nothing to prove and nobody to win over. He is God. He does not exist to glorify me or validate my faith in Him.
LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth! Psalm 8
God has given us His image to wear and in which to take part in the gardening of His creation. He is mindful of us, full of mercy and compassion and abounding in love. He cares for us like a newborn and faithfully sustains us like a mother bird or even a mother bear. But my faith is to be placed in Him alone and not in the many ideas I have for how He can best do His job and prove my belief to be as sight.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal. Is. 26:3-4
By His grace and merciful restraint, may my heart trust in the person and work of Jesus as my Rock and not gravitate toward trusting my PR plans for Him or my notions of how He should work out His character before me. Then, when the condo doesn’t sell or the rapture doesn’t occur on May 21 at 6pm in each time zone, my faith remains intact because it trusts exclusively in Him and His ways rather in my faith as an entity unto itself and my own holy plans.
If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. Dan. 3:17-18