Our church is studying the books of 1st and 2nd Timothy this month, so I began reading them again today.
I have had this blog mulling around in my head for about a month (its been a long time since I posted last) and I just couldn’t get it out on paper–or on the screen. As I read 2nd Timothy 1:12 today, it finally all came together in my mind. It says,
“For I know the One in whom I trust and I AM SURE that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until the day of His return.”
Wow. That is powerful. I have been studying about truly believing God at His Word and trusting that He will answer prayers and do what He says He will. Again, my struggle with that isn’t in believing that He can do the impossible. I know He can do the impossible. I am not scared of impossibilities. I am scared of His timing.
But that verse challenges me. First, Paul says ‘I know the One in whom I trust.’ He didn’t say he knew of the One, or about the One, He KNOWS the One. That is so powerful to truly know the character of God and know His love, His Care and His Voice enough to do the rest of that verse – TO BE SURE that He is able to guard what we entrust to Him. And we entrust the most valuable things in our lives to Him–our children, our marriages, our families, our health, our livelihood, our calling, all of it! There are not many things I am completely sure of in this life, but to counting on God is one of those things I need to be sure of.
As I read through the gospels for this Easter season, Jesus talked about belief and unbelief a lot. So many of the scriptures about deep-down-believing surround His ministry on earth doing miracles in people’s lives.
As He healed the paralyzed and the blind, He spoke to that belief.
Matthew 8:13 “Because you believed, it has happened.”
Matthew 9:28-29 “They went right into the house where he was staying, and Jesus asked them, “Do you believe I can make you see?”“Yes, Lord,” they told him, “we do.” Then he touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith, it will happen.”
But still I waver. In the situation, in the prayer, there lingers a twinge of doubt. I was reading Mark 8:14-21 and I realized the disciples felt that way, too, at times.
The disciples had JUST seen Jesus feed over 4000 people with seven loaves of bread and some fish they found. They had seven large basketfuls left over. After this, they immediately headed out in a boat with Jesus. They made a stop, and then crossed the lake.
They JUST witnessed a miracle with Jesus and bread. Then there’s this-
Mark 8:16-21 “At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread. Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? ‘You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear?’ Don’t you remember anything at all? When I fed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterward?”
“Twelve,” they said.
“And when I fed the 4,000 with seven loaves, how many large baskets of leftovers did you pick up?”
“Seven,” they said.
“Don’t you understand yet?” he asked them.
I mean, when I read this, I felt like He was saying directly to me, “Do we have to go over this again???” You can almost hear what I think was an annoyed parental voice of Jesus (not sure if He had that voice, just how I hear it directed towards me) at the disciples. You know when you ask your kids, “What did I tell you?” and then they mumble the response while shuffling their feet. “Why didn’t you do it?” and then they mumble “I don’t know.” That voice. Right at me. When I am acting like the disciples did, fretting over what perceived lack I have, even though I have the God of miracles right here with me, I am reminded that I am seeing things from a human point-of-view, and not keeping the One in whom I trust in my view, and definitely not being sure that He is able.
Just a short chapter after that incident, Jesus was healing a man’s son. The father asks Jesus to help him if he can. Jesus says, “What do you mean, IF I can? Anything is possible for a person who believes. The father says, “I do believe, but help me with my unbelief.” (Mark 9:23-24 paraphrased)
And there it is. I think its where most of us stay. In that mix of belief and unbelief. I love that the dad expresses that. It gives words to our wavering. It reminds us the grace that Jesus can extend when our weaknesses sneak up on us.
I want to be sure. I am sure, but Lord help me when I am not.
And as I read through the gospels, God solidified this journey of being sure, and believing whole heartedly by reminding me of this amazing truth.
Matthew 21:21-22 “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”
That is powerful belief. That scripture is not to be misconstrued that God is our genie that grants us all our wishes. But it’s truth that He listens, He cares, and He is on our side waiting to move mountains for us. And it goes along with a quote my husband preaches which says, “if I want what God wants, for the reason God wants it, then I am unbeatable and unstoppable,” and maybe, just maybe we can see mountains moved.