If I’m being honest, the reason that I haven’t posted anything in regards to my faith yet is because it’s a little intimidating. I stand firm in my faith, but how exactly does one go about sharing thoughts, curiosities, inspirations, epiphanies, and things that have been beneficial in growing hope and faith without getting onto a soapbox? My best guess is that you just have to dive right in, so that’s what I’m doing. Here we go:
During my quiet time this evening, I was flipping though notes from previous sermons, small group talks, and studies, and I stumbled upon something that really spoke to me. I had written the following words:
“God is doing exactly what you expect Him to do. If you don’t expect much, He probably isn’t doing much. However, if you expect great things, He is probably doing great things.”
This struck me this evening because just last night, I was talking with my husband about how amazing God has been in taking care of our finances during these first three months of marriage, regardless of the numerous unexpected expenses that have come up, and the financial strain of the holidays. God has carried us through flawlessly.
Then at work today, I found out that my hours for the remainder of the week will be severely limited, meaning that my next paycheck will be about half of what I’m used to bringing in. My first reaction was disappointment, but then I decided to take advantage of this time that I will have to get ahead on my school work and catch up on housework. Regardless of my best attempt at a positive outlook though, there was a piece in the back of my mind that was still worrying about the financial consequences of this unforeseen circumstance, and my mind started searching for ways that I could fix this…
Aren’t we funny? We tend to give God all the praise when things are going well, and we praise His name and stay committed so long as things make sense to us, but as soon as waters get rough, it’s so easy to take things back into our own hands and try to handle the situation ourselves. If we think about this logically, God has created heaven and earth. He has hand-crafted you and is eager to use you to carry out his divine will, and yet we think that we know better for ourselves.
Here’s the biggest shame about this whole situation: when we turn away from God in hard times, we are robbing Him of the chance to show us just how great he truly is. When we are praising God during times of blessing, I feel like it is so much easier to give God only partial credit. After all, WE are the ones who put in the effort or who came up with the plan right? But when times get tough and we don’t see a way out or don’t know where to start, this is the perfect time to start expecting great things from God! Putting your full trust in Him and clinging to his promises during difficult times is such a beautiful (though not easy) way to grow your faith and to see what he is capable of in your own life.
Consider 2 Corinthians 12:9: But he said to me “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. When was the last time that this was your attitude? I can tell you that for me, it has been a long time. I don’t want to miss out on God’s perfect power, especially not in my own life, so maybe it’s time for me to start making a habit of going to God when I’m brought to a situation when my weakness, insufficiency, and troubles are overwhelming.
If we face hard times with little faith and expect that we will get through it by our own means, then it can’t be all that surprising that God hasn’t showed up in a big way. As I face the rest of this week and begin to anticipate my paycheck, I will be expecting great and mighty things from God, even though I don’t know the specifics of what they look like, and even though I’m not sure how things will turn out. I am going to cling to him during this uncertain time, and I would challenge you to do the same the next time that you are heading for stormy seas.
After having great expectations for God, and asking him to show up in a major way, circumstances at work changed and I will be able to work my normal hours. God is good and deserves all the praise!