Looking at, understanding and praying for God’s promises are all fine and dandy, but the true life of the servant of God is that of faith. What is faith? Faith is knowing that God is both strong enough and kind enough to make his promises come true. Faith is not necessarily understanding the limitations of the promises, but knowing that they are truth. Faith is seeing one’s future, as promised by God, and so letting it effect one’s present.
Faith is not just a matter of intellectual assent only. To acknowledge God and his promises is not faith. To proclaim the confession is not the life God desires us to live. All of sanctification and all of the life of discipleship can be summarized as living out the knowledge that the promises will be fulfilled.
On the streets are many who are landless, homeless, jobless. This is not how they prefer to live, but there are no opportunities for them to live any differently. Sometimes they despair, sometimes they laugh, sometimes they get drunk, sometimes they pray. After so many years on the street it is easy to look at the situation and to determine that it will never change. That we might as well allow despair and drunkenness to win, to forget about the sufferings of this life.
God made the promise that those who remain in Him, who depend on Him for His salvation, will gain the land. This means that we need not pursue land ourselves, even as Abraham did not. We need not have a regular profession, a regular livelihood—because it is to come. If we have a livelihood, that is all well and good, but our lives need not depend on it. For our true livelihood is to come. We need not give into despair or fruitless anger. God will provide
There are many who are jobless and who live hand to mouth. They don’t know where the money for groceries or bills will come. They are riddled with guilt for not providing for their families or even themselves as they ought. They don’t know what to do, where to go. They try to get a job, but there just isn’t one to be had. In the meantime, their friends, more and more, see them as a burden, a nagging reminder that there is poverty and people who just “can’t get their act together.” Perhaps they should just curl up and die, because no one will support them, help them in their need.
God made the promise that He would give food, clothing and all necessities to those who seek God’s kingdom before these mundane items. The life of faith, then, is to not worry about food, clothing, paying bills and such, but to simply seek God and to do as He wills. This is not a sacrifice, but a blessing, for it is a life free from the constraints of normal life that everyone else around us is bound by. We can live in a way of assurance that God will provide.
God made the promise that we who have His Spirit will be given the opportunity to live in a holy manner, true to God. This does not mean we do not on occasion fail, but that the path in which we are headed is God’s path. We must confess our sins, but most of all, in our work for sanctification, we know that the strength is there. We need not fret about how we will overcome sin. God will provide.
God made the promise that the oppressors will be conquered and those who take advantage of the poor will be set aside. We who are vulnerable need deliverance from these oppressors, for they demand all we have for the sake of their extravagant lifestyles. God has promised, we will be delivered, although God will also do all He can to deliver their souls, as well. God will provide.
God has made the promise that there would be justice, peace on earth in His own terms, not based on a compromise between wealthy governments. That the poor would rule. That there would be healing for all, without doctor’s mistakes and financial limitations. That there will be a community that cares for each other, not rejecting or hating a single member of the community.
God will provide.
At one point, Jesus asked, “But when the Son of Man comes, will there be faith on the earth?” He was just talking about those who sought after justice from God and was trusting that such justice can only be found through Him. Such believe takes place in action.
Trusting God is praying to God, even when the promise isn’t received.
Trusting God is living for God, even when we don’t have the strength to do it.
Trusting God is apologizing to God, and making it right when we screw up.
Trusting God is rejoicing in God, in the midst of horrors, because God’s promise is that the horrors won’t last forever.
Trusting God is contentment in God, because He will sustain us until the promise is completed.