“Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was
strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had
power to do what he promised.” Romans 4:20
Believe! Everywhere you go this time of year you see or hear this word. The rest of the year it’s okay to doubt, but from Thanksgiving to Christmas it’s the season to believe. And it’s a command! You don’t see signs all over the mall asking, “Won’t you just believe?” or “What do you believe?” No, right now the message is clear: Believe.
This one-word mandate offers universal approval. Whatever you believe, as long as you believe in something, is okay: Jack Frost, Frosty the Snowman, or Jimmy Stewart and his wonderful life. And in the midst of all this commercialism and fantasy, you could even believe that the Son of God was born to a virgin in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago . . . if you’re so inclined.
Abraham was so inclined to believe God. In the midst of a very comfortable pagan life in Haran, “Abraham went, as the Lord told him,” to the land of Canaan. He arrived to find Canaan filled with enemies and empty of food! Surely this begged the questions, “Seriously? Did I miss something?” But through this event and many other challenging situations with Sarah and Lot, Abraham’s faith grew. These tests and their outcomes strengthened Abraham’s belief in his covenant-keeping God.
When my family and I faced a very challenging situation shortly after relocating to Florida, we asked those same questions, “Seriously?! Did we miss something?” And we, too, had a choice to make: to continue to believe in the promise of God or take matters into our own hands. By God’s grace, we did not waver (much) through unbelief and we trusted God to meet every need. We give glory to God for the things He has done - greater things than we could have asked for or imagined. We are “fully persuaded.”
The advertisers have it right: Believe! From Genesis to Revelation this is the command God gives His people; when you do, it is a wonderful life, forever and ever. Amen.
Almighty God, You are faithful to keep all Your promises. Strengthen our faith through every joy and every trial that we may draw nearer to You and bring you glory. Amen.
Copyright 2016 Jenny Mallat
Editor's note: The "shorthand messages" found in Jenny's devotional are artfully inserted, such as being "fully persuaded," which harkens back to Paul's faith statement in Romans 8:38-39, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." And the "wonderful life" reference from the famous Christmas movie. Well done, Jenny!
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