“Let your manner of life be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have; for [God] says, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5, KJV)
When I first marry, my husband is in graduate school failing to obtain his master’s degree in hospital administration. Prospects for a good-paying job wane during the first year of our life together. We happily live in a small three-room apartment, buy a little dog and play house for awhile. It is the early 1980s, and the economic recession is hard hitting in central Ohio. He goes ahead to Atlanta, finds a job in a restaurant as a host. I remain behind for three months, working. I discover I am pregnant. We are poor in one way, rich in other ways. We are rich in education; we are poor in money.
I am a believer, but I am fearful. My heart has no trust in God’s provision. When I join my husband in Atlanta, I am actually afraid of starving.
Over the years, my husband repeatedly loses jobs. Fear becomes a taste in my mouth — bitter and always there. Yet, at the same time, I learn God provides. We do not starve. We do move a lot until I return to graduate school myself to obtain my master’s degree. Our last move is for me — I am still at that job.
God provides, not just sometimes but always. I have what I need.
Thank You Father God that You are giving. You provide for our needs. Help us to be content with what we have; and not to covet what we do not have. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
When the young rich man calls Jesus a ‘good teacher,’ Jesus immediately responds, “Only God the Father is good; why do you call Me good?”
What’s Jesus mean? He’s the Son of God! He’s perfect!
The author of Hebrews writes of Jesus learning obedience and so attaining perfection, as if Jesus is not born perfect. Jesus, after all, spends 40 days and nights in the wilderness where He is tempted by Satan himself. Jesus withstands each temptation, triumphing. In the garden of Gethsemane, again He is tempted — almost to the point of death — by Satan himself to renounce God the Father’s plan, and escape the cross of Calvary. But, Jesus withstands this ultimate temptation and prevails against evil.
If Jesus’ self-perception is that only the Father is good, how is it that any one of us feels justified to claim holiness? Rather, shouldn’t we, along with our Lord, say: “Good? Me? Why do you call me good?”
Father God, give us humility. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
Faith, it occurs to me, is over confidence. Faith is taking for granted that you will have what you ask for, what you hope for, what you anticipate. Faith is certainty. In one way, faith is almost an arrogance. “I believe; therefore I have.”
Not often in my life have I experienced that certainty, that arrogance of total belief that something I want is also something I will have; that what I desire falls in line with the plan of God for my life or for the life of someone I love. Frankly that level of certainty — that taking it for granted — is utterly terrifying.
Is this self-deception? Of course, true faith — total certainty — precludes that question, eliminating the possibility of self-deception. Nevertheless, I’m frightened. Yet, perfect love also precludes fear. Therefore — perhaps — my certainty is only arrogance.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of faith. Thank You that belief “as tiny as a mustard seed” is completely effective. Help us to ask You, Lord for that which is in line with Your will and not ours. In Jesus’ Name, amen.