Sandwiched Between Two Promises!
Everyone knows the story of the children of Israel and the Promised Land. How God and Moses worked miracles together to free the people from Pharaoh's tenacious grip. How a promise was given that the Lord would lead them into a land of milk and honey, a land that they hadn't worked to cultivate, a land brim full of the things that make for a good life.
Yet, the people pulled back in fear of the battles. They bucked and kicked all the way to the Promise Land, before finally entering to claim their inheritance--after 40 long years of unnecessary delay in the wilderness. It is a well-known, wonderful tale of promise and a cautionary warning against unbelief. Less well-known is that we are on the exact same journey!
We have been promised a land--the kingdom of God on earth--which we are meant to enter and occupy.[i] By no effort of our own at making this possible, we are intended to enjoy the marvelous fruit offered to us through the way of grace and faith. Right living, peace, joy and the presence and power of the Holy Spirit are our promised inheritance.[ii] Yet, we kick and buck. We, too, pull back in unbelief. But just look at what faith in the promise can do.
Suppose that it really is true. That no matter how you feel about it, you are always being loved full throttle by your heavenly Father and that no matter what happens, He will always work with everything you will ever experience of your own sins, the sins of others and the enemy's attacks to make sure that an overwhelming blessing overturns the effects of the curse, every single time.
Wouldn't that be sufficient reason for finding joy in the Lord each and every moment of the day? Now, take everything going on in your life and everyone you love and put them between these two magnificent promises. Then, taste and see how good your God is as you live with a heart of active faith sandwiched between His promises.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 ESV
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39 ESV
Father, I confess that in many ways I have not believed the Magnificent Promise of redemption. Forgive my unbelief and break its power over me. I utterly renounce that view of my world and Your universe and I choose by an act of my will to believe that the truth really is that a greater good will always come out of everything that goes wrong--because You love us enough to promise it. I rest my heart upon Your Word and turn to live with hope-filled expectations of good things to come. Make me alert to run to You and reach for this sword of truth whenever the devil tries to tempt me to doubt the work of Your Hands!
[i] God by His own work and gift is making this new life possible for us. However, we have to fight at times to receive the promised new life of the kingdom: Matthew_11:12: From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.
[ii] Romans 14:17: For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
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