Have you ever gotten stuck in this rut where you start believing the lie that God hasn’t really done much for you?
I know I have. I tell myself that I never had to overcome much and therefore I haven’t grown very much. Everything is the same and nothing special has every really happened. There haven’t really been these big blessings and gifts from God.
Even now, sometimes I will hear these stories about how God has done amazing things in other peoples’ lives, and I just can’t be happy for them because he has never done that for me. (This also ties into my struggle with jealousy, but that’s another talk for another day.) I get stuck thinking that God has to do something miraculous in my life and do something huge to “prove” himself.
Since starting college, God has really shown me how he answers prayers BIG TIME and very specifically. Although not everything has been super flashy, everything he has revealed to me has left me speechless and in awe of how good he is.
Something that brings me to tears is God’s faithfulness from my middle-school-years until now.
When I was home for Spring Break, I went through all of my memory boxes and personal belongings (because my family is moving this summer). I sorted everything and read over a lot of my treasured keepsakes. My search lead to the discovery of 18 journals — beginning with the one from my first week at Fuse dated August 2012…
When I was in the 7th grade, I moved to Anderson, SC and started attending Newspring Church. I thought I had a relationship with the Lord, but it was a works-based-have-to-follow-rules-not-much-love kind of following* . I loved going to the church’s youth group, Fuse, and began taking notes in a spiral bound notebook (we call it journaling now, but it was not a journal 🙂 ). At Fuse, they encouraged us to start a “Quiet Time” where you would pray and read your Bible, and, because I was all about doing the right thing, I started journaling at night before going to bed.
My prayers were expressed by a bullet-point list of all the things I wanted from God or all the things I had going on in my life (like a diary — which I had plenty of too). I didn’t think much of it; I mostly did it because I thought it was what I needed to be doing. Little did I know that this would spark my growth towards meeting Jesus personally* and my love of journaling and Quiet Time.
Reading my first journals, looking at my handwriting, cringing at my desires, I was reminded of how far the Lord has brought me.
Before, my faith was about me — I was selfish and short with God. He was a part of my life, not the point of my life.
He has grown me into such a stronger believer over the past 5-7 years, and I have no idea where I would be without him. I have experienced so much — 10 moves, different friends, deployments, deaths, heartache, uncertainty, college — and he has NEVER let me down. He has always been here and he has never left me or forsaken me (Deuteronomy 31:6).
The song “Remembrance” has been on my heart for the past few weeks, and when I was looking through my journals, the volume was turned way up
You’ve been so, so good to me
You’ve been so, so good to me
Oh to think where I would be
If not for You
If not for You
When I sing these words, I want to fall on my knees. God has done everything for me. He has held me and pursued me and loved me more than I could ever desire from another person. He is a “good good father” : despite all I have done, he has remained good.
One of my newest-favorite Bible verses is 2 Timothy 2:13,
“If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is”
When we run from God, displease him, or ignore his instruction, He is faithful. His love remains when we do not love him. When we are living for ourselves and don’t even consider him, he is considering us. When we are rebellious, still he pursues us and calls us to himself. He cannot be anyone other than himself — loving, faithful, good, kind, and mighty.
Alright, definition time!!
- loyal, constant, and steadfast.
- true to the facts or the original (faultless, true)
God is loyal, God is constant, God is steadfast, God is true, God is faultless.
Soak this in people!!
When we are bad, he is good. How amazing is this?? Who else do you know that could love you with such an unconditional (agape) love? No one. No one else would continue to love you so perfectly if you continually disobeyed and ignored them. We like to put God in the corner of our lives, but if we put anyone else in a corner, they wouldn’t be our friend anymore — BUT we put Jesus on the cross YET still he calls us his friend (John 15:15)!!!
The biggest and greatest thing God has ever done for me is died for me through Jesus. No miracle or desire that God could give would matter in comparison to what I have already received — a relationship with him forever. He is faithful, always thinking of me, and working for my good (Psalm 139:16-17).
Although God might not have put some huge, flashy miracle in your life, it does not mean that he is not good or that he is not doing something behind the scenes. Sometimes we just need to stop and remember where we started and how far we’ve come. Even when we put God on our back burner, we are at the forefront of his mind.
He knows our thoughts and desires — and the hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30). He cares for us and is working all things for our good (Romans 8:28).
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” – Proverbs 3:5-6
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” – John 14:26
“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” – James 1:12-18