Aug 30, 2008

Believing God -- Weeks 4 & 5

I was going to go ahead and skip week 4 since I didn't post it during the proper week, but I just can't seem to get over the fact that my post list would have weeks 1, 2, 3, and 5. I just can't do it.

So I have just a few thoughts from weeks 4 and 5 that I'll share, and then next week (I believe, and Lord willin') we'll be on week 6. All of us. Will be on the same week. Won't that be nice? :-)

For those who haven't been here before or didn't know about the "Believing God" study we're doing: we take turns posting our comments on either 2nd cup of coffee or on Meyers on the Hood. Many of us also post on our own blog, too, just to keep our weeks straight. eh hem.

Week 4 took us through the Hall of Faith found in Hebrews 11. We read the faith-filled stories of Enoch, who walked with and pleased God; Noah, who feared and obeyed God; Abraham, who trusted and followed God; and Isaac, who blessed and believed God.

It was a remarkable journey, to say the least. Probably the most profound thing I was reminded of from this week was found in the story of Abraham. Beth said, "One of Abraham's monumental tests painstakingly challenges us: time. Between 'go' and 'receive' is more often than not the faith test of time." She affectionately renames this condition the "Later Syndrome." *grin*

I have seen, over and over again, situations where God gives a Word, a promise, or a calling, and then says no more for a time. Sometimes a loooooong time. During that time is when we have the opportunity to trust Him and obey. We must depend on His promise and Word and literally live by that trust until we see it come to fruition.

I have been there, done that, and I've watched many people struggle during this time. During most of these circumstances, things appear to get worse before they get better! Beth poignantly points out that sometimes that's just part of the test. It's not until later that things start to come together and make sense.

Well, Amen to that. And again, I say Amen!

I've seen one who was promised that a loved one would be saved. It finally came some years later. How much prayer was spent on that person's salvation? One could never measure it, but you can believe that God was glorified when that person was justified!

I've seen marriages suffer immense pain and heartache. One marriage partner was promised healing if they stuck it out. Over a decade and a half later, the healing process finally begins.

I've seen job circumstances waver, hang in the balance, only to come crashing down. And then more waiting. How long can a family wait to receive an income? In this day and time, not long before panic can set in.

I've seen a calling given on the heart of a believer, and it not come to fulfillment for years.

Why? Why must we go through this period of waiting, wanting, and wondering? What good can come from it?

Change within the heart of the believer. God is preparing us for something that we cannot understand fully in this lifetime, but one Day we will smile in the realization that He really does know what He's doing. And He knows the time frames we're in...and can bust them wide open if He chooses to.

Week 5 continued on the same journey through the Hall of Fame. Beth used the stories of Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the falling walls of Jericho, and the Prostitute Rahab to share with us that we can do all things through Christ.

It's an incredible week of study, but I'd like to close with just this one quote from week 5:

"Our tendency is to think that if He loves us all the same and has a corporate plan as important as the individual, He must be spread pretty thin. God's love is measureless. His plans are infinite. He loves each of us and plans for us with limitless extravagance."

I think that statement sums up the two weeks for me. Everything we wait for, and everything we long to do or be for Him, has been thoughtfully planned out and provided for in His infinite wisdom. So that even if we don't get the exact answer we thought we wanted, we will be astonished at how He works everything for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)


2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I love that last quote that you posted. Week five was good, but week 5 is the one that knocked my socks off, esp. video 4 and 5. I'm glad we're sharing this, and don't feel bad for going at your own pace. After all, I, one of the hosts, did the whole wrong week last time. Ta-da!

Edie said...

Ok, so I think that God sent you over to my blog to knock on my door just so I would come over here and read this. :) I'm not doing this study right now (plan to in the future), but I can tell you that this really spoke to my heart in so many ways; from the "Abraham Promise" (as I call it) that He gave me 18 years ago that is still in waiting, to more current waiting situations that I am in constant prayer about. This was really great! ... Must be the Mocha Almond Fudge ice cream. :)

Thanks for coming by and for your sweet comment. Oh and for helping me find that last person to tag.

"TAG!!" :b

MoziEsmé said...

I needed this very much today. Thank you.

Greg C said...

Good things come to those who wait. We must have patients if we what good things to happen. I think that is one thing wrong with people these days. They want things NOW. Great post today.

Michele W. said...

Waiting is difficult. But God knows best. Through all the suffering and trials, my faith has become stronger. He can use the trials of our lives to teach us a lesson, and to help encourage others.

Thank you for this post and your wonderful encouragment.

Tiffanie said...

God's timing... perfect, and yet rarely in line with our own. Trusting Him and His plan can be a struggle, but what a blessing when we do.

I needed this... as I'm getting a bit impatient about the baby.
Thanks for the reminder! Such a great book isn't it! The scripture and truths Beth shares are all such good stuff!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

I can hardly type because of all the tears.

Do you know how much God is using you to speak to others? You have a gift for putting it so clearly into words, and I am so touched. I've been struggling so much with two areas, two very big areas, and somedays I totally want to throw in the towel. But you have reminded me that His love is steadfast and even if I do not receive the answer I want, He is still good.

Ok, now I'm crying again.

KJ Schiffman said...

I wish I'd known you guys do this! I just started Believing God two weeks ago so I'm a bit behind - but I'm loving it so much. Beth can TEACH! Can't she?

I love her studies.

And your blog!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Hey, girl, just popping in to say hi...hope you're doing well!