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Brave and Faithful

Genesis 13:5-15:21

Matthew 5:27-48

Psalm 6:1-10

Proverbs 1:28-33

If I'm being honest...if we're all being honest...desire is on our mind. We know as believers we are supposed to forsake our own desires...but daily we know there is at least something we want for.

Sometimes it might be something small...other times it may be something big. Sometimes it might be something that's difficult to admit...other times it might be something that's obvious to everyone around whether you say it or not. Sometimes it might be something that is bad...other times it might be something that's actually really, really good.

Whatever our desires might be, big, small, secret, obvious, good, or bad... we wait, we pray, we hold on to faith. But how many us of wait for something God has told us will happen. How many of us have heard the audible real-time affirmation that God sees us, He knows our desires, and promises them to us?

That idea is so comforting I want to cry. But part of me feels like it's too good to be true for me. Even though my head knows it's true for me...that God sees me and knows my desires: the big, the small, the secret, the obvious, the good and the bad. How awesome is that.

How awesome is that.

As I read today though I was also struck with the thought that Abram got to have that, affirmation that God knows His desires and also promises to fulfill them...but he also had to wait a long, long time before he ever saw it happen. He had to wait so long that he even kind of forgot at some point that God promised it: Genesis 15:3 "You have give me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir."

And God reminded him, "A son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir."

And Abram waited, and waited, and waited.

And I don't know what's harder...wondering if God knows and is going to fulfill my desires, or knowing God is going to answer and waiting until He does. Either way, it's a lot of waiting.

Either way, I think it has to become a discipline of choosing to be grateful for what you have today, taking the posture of one fully present rather than of one looking to the future. Either way, it has to become about believing whatever God has said to you and me today.

Because though Abram waited for years and years and years...the thing that ended up mattering the most was that he believed God.

It seems obvious that he would believe God. It's in the Bible, it's a story that we've heard hundreds of times illustrated on the Sunday school felt boards, it says "God said it" so naturally the character in the story is going to believe it. But even if believing God is as simple as that, I think it has to be harder to believe God when He's talking about the very thing you want the most.

God I want this so, so bad. And I can't see it.

I want this so, so bad...that I can't believe it...because if I do...and I'm wrong....I couldn't bear it.

That kind of hope disappointed would cripple me.

And even, that kind of hope...if I had to carry that with me everyday and not know specifics how, when, where...that's too much hope to suffer.

I'd rather say I didn't hear You. I'd rather say this was a silly thought in my own head and tell myself to stop dreaming...for how could I ever have a son?

I'd rather trade black and white pessimism and self-inflicted misery than believe in this hope.

I think faith is sometimes the courage to believe that God loves me and cares about my desires, the big, the small, the secret, the obvious, the good and the bad. I may want to chalk all my desires up to "this is a bad thing and something God needs to work out in me." And sometimes in the case of my bad desires that is true.

But I think God is the type of God who delights in delighting us. I think God is the type of God who wants us to carry hope around with us with a lightness and joy because we have the type of God who keeps His promises. Because we have the type of God who sees us and knows us and pours hope, joy, and love over us everyday.

If only we would have the faith to take it.

Whether we are waiting for God to answer a promise He has made, or waiting to know if God will fulfill our desires, or waiting for something, anything....may we be brave and faithful enough to believe that our God is good even now. May we be brave and faithful enough to believe that our God is not too good to be true, not for me, and not for you.

Tomorrow:

Genesis 16:1-18:15

Matthew 6:1-24

Psalm 7:1-17

Proverbs 2:1-5