Coming to the end of December has a way of making me reflect on the year that has passed and on goals for the upcoming year. This year, sharing my testimony at a church function caused me to celebrate not only the good things God has done for me this year, but also how grateful I am for where He has brought me from. The Lord truly has done great things and He is faithful.
I have been coming to church and have been a Christian for 7 years. I don’t have a fancy conversion story; I was just a single mom , with two children with special needs, trying to put the pieces of my life and my heart back together after my marriage fell apart. I came to church thinking it might make me happy, but what I found instead was Jesus. I was empty, and what I have found in Christ has filled me and changed my life in a way I never imagined. Coming to church has not made me “happy”, as I thought it might. Life continues to be hard sometimes, but what I have found is that God has been faithful and I can have peace and joy regardless of what life brings.
This year has been a difficult one for me. Some of it has been circumstances beyond my control, some of it I have clearly brought upon myself, and some of it is a result of a very deep felt desire to follow God and be faithful to Him in this season of life. I love when God brings us the exact message we need when times are tough, and the Bible Study I have been doing was exactly that for me. I have been doing Priscilla Shrier’s One in a Million, and it met me exactly where I was.
It is a study of the Israelites wandering in the desert, and the story of the two men, out of the 2 million Israelites, who chose to believe God. Priscilla said that if only one in every million people are willing to believe God and walk in all God has for them, that she wants to be one of them. I want to be one of them too. I want my life story to be that I believed God.
The thing is, God was faithful to all the Israelites. He provided for them, He won their battles, He led them day and night, and as I stand now, in the middle of my desert season, I can tell you God has been faithful to me, too. I think sometimes I can throw those words around with little acknowledgement of what the words “God is faithful”, really mean. I have often said the words, offered them as encouragement, but it is not until you are in a place where you are completely empty and at the end of yourself do you truly understand what they mean. What life has been throwing at me in the midst of these trying days has brought me to that place of emptiness over and over again, sometimes daily, but ladies, God is faithful.
I have been in this place before. I know all too well the feeling of emptiness. I was in this place when Jesus took me as his own seven years ago. The difference is, sisters, that when I come to the end of myself now, instead of falling into the pit of depression as I had so often known before coming to Christ, I fall into the arms of God. Again and again, He has helped me to continue on, He has helped me to stand up under the pressures I have been facing. Again and again He has been faithful, and these difficult days have also been sweet days, as I have learned to rely on my Father.
Ladies, I don’t know what you are dealing with right now; we all have troubles in this life. Can I just speak some powerful words into your heart? Your God is faithful! He is unchanging. He fulfills His promises to us, and He is utterly and completely trustworthy. When we let go, whether by choice, or by complete exhaustion from trying to do things under our own strength, He catches us. He provides for us, and as I have come to find out over the past few months, holding on to Him and turning to Him to meet my needs has brought me to such a tender and loving place with my God. I wouldn’t have chosen this path I am on, but God is using it to do an amazing work in me and so I wouldn’t change it either. I am coming to a place of trust, because God is indeed faithful.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible comes from Isaiah 43. They are words to Israel, but they are words that I hold on to often:
But now, this is what the LORD says—
He who created you, Jacob,
He who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
Why do I love these words so much? Because I need to know that God is faithful. I need to know that not only does He hold the world in His hands, He is holding me in His hands, too. He sees all that I am dealing with, and is walking through it with me, leading and guiding just as He did with the Israelites so many years ago. I need to know this right now, today, and I’m sure many of you do, too. As we begin a new year will you join me choosing to believe God? He is faithful. He has been faithful to me. He is and always will be faithful to you, too.
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. Deuteronomy 7:9