Today I’m posting a devo I recently wrote for “The Intersection” blog. Offering weekly devos delivered to your inbox, The Intersection tackles the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), highlighting a different one each month in 2008. FAITHFULNESS was the topic of choice in August, and it struck a deeply personal chord with me. I hope my struggle with doubt and faithlessness several years ago encourages those of you who have stumbled into a similar scenario.
“I was lost. Stuck between the idealistic, unmarred faith of my childhood and the painful reality of life’s disappointments. I believed God failed me. Abandoned me. All the prayers of my youth seemed to be ignored or rejected before the throne of heaven. And, so, in the grip of deep heartache, I decided I couldn’t afford to be so deeply attached to a God who could so easily reject his child.
For a year I avoided church and her people. I sat steeped in depression, unable (or at least unwilling) to invest any more energy in hope. I couldn’t afford to risk losing more than I’d already lost. I remember someone quoting Romans 5:5…”And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts…” The words tasted bitter, and I rejected them completely. Either this was God’s idea of a cruel joke, or I was His exception to the rule. Either way, hope WAS disappointing.
Life with God can sometimes be dark. But let me tell you…life without hope of Him is darker still. This pit sucked me into its icy grip and refused to let go. Until one night, when I couldn’t take the isolation anymore, I cried out in despair: “I give up! I can live without understanding “why” you let all this happen. But I can’t live one more day without the hope of believing in you!”
Though answers remained elusive, God came near. Actually, He let me know in no uncertain terms He’d been there all along.
“If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” 2 Timothy 2:11-13
You see, God IS faithfulness. I guess you could say He invented it. His nature is the very essence of faithfulness, and can’t be otherwise. Think of it this way: trying to make God unfaithful is like trying to keep water from being wet. It’s impossible.
During that time of doubt and darkness, God’s faithfulness remained because it stood independent of me. Though I didn’t realize it then, He offered exactly what I needed most: the security of knowing no circumstance or injustice can change the constancy of His faithfulness to me. This was my lifeline, and it ended up being the very thing that saved me.
Regardless of where you find yourself today, cling to the rescue of God’s faithfulness. When all else fails–including yourself–HE WILL NOT.”
“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:19-23
(As posted on The Intersection, www.meetmeattheintersection.com, August 24, 2008)