“I Have to Believe”

(Psalm 77:19, NLT)

Your road led through the sea,

    your pathway through the mighty waters—

    a pathway no one knew was there!

“You either believe it, or you don’t.”  This was often my dad’s response when I would come to him with my deep, brooding questions about the Bible.  He would offer to me his explanations and wisdom, based on God’s word, and when I’d just stare back at him, both of us unblinking for long moments while I mulled it over — passing it all through the filter of my skepticism — he would eventually break the silence by saying, “Well honey, you either believe it…or you don’t!” 

When you’re tiptoeing through the hardest parts of your life, not knowing what to do next or how you’re going to make it through, it can be nearly impossible to truly trust God.  In the moment, when everything is fresh and the stress of it all is what fills your mind every waking moment, you can’t see anything except for your struggle.  This is the point when you have to get out of your feelings and let wisdom lead you into understanding.  You have to look to the things that confirm God’s faithfulness, because that is how your faith and hope in Him are reinforced.  So look back.  Look at God’s word and the many accounts of God’s provision and goodness to His people.  Think of the Israelites, of the many times that they were destitute and helpless, due to their own blindness and immorality — yet God still had mercy on them, and through His divine lovingkindness, His power and His might, He saw them through it all…parting and drying up waters for their safe passages, sending sustenance from Heaven when they were hungry, defeating entire armies before they ever had to raise even one sword in battle!  The list truly does go on.  So look back.  Look at your own life and remember the times that He has sustained you when nothing and no one else could — even when you did not deserve it! 

For people, having faith can be difficult, because we are so limited by our humanity — by sin, selfishness, confusion, emotions.  This is why we have God’s word.  It guides and directs us when we feel lost.  It is a reminder to us of His omnipotence…His divine power.  The Israelites did not always trust God, and they always paid a tremendous price for it.  They made things so much harder on themselves than they had to be, because they simply got stuck in the moment.  Don’t make those same mistakes in your life.  Don’t allow circumstance to dictate your faith.  Instead, look back.  Remember His goodness and let it build your faith and garner hope.  Remember that your hard times are often pathways that are leading you into a new season — a pathway no one knew was there! God is brilliant in so many ways, showing off His glory and allowing us to see Him in all of His majesty, but remember that He is always working behind the scenes in our lives.  We cannot always see things the way that God does, fully and entirely, but we can and should place our faith and hope in Him.  Give Him the credit He is due…and trust Him.  Like my dad always said, “You either believe it…or you don’t!”

(Psalm 77:11-12, NLT)

11 But then I recall all you have done, O Lord;

    I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.

12 They are constantly in my thoughts.

    I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, I choose to trust You…NO MATTER WHAT.  I realize that I am limited, but in You I have the strength that I need to carry on when things are hard.  I look back on my life and remember the many times that You have carried me, and I know that I am safe with You.  I am covered.  I have hope.  So I trust you, Lord.  In all things, through all things, I trust YOU.  Amen.

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