In some places, one must be eighteen to purchase “dry ice”. That’s a fun fact that was shared with me this week by my son Peyton who has just turned eighteen. Due to his birthday, he did some research to find out what this milestone age could bring. There are other things he can do because of his age such as vote, rent an apartment, gamble, apply for a credit card, skydive, adopt a child, and much more!
While reflecting on Peyton’s birthday I thought about the most important things I’ve learned and hopefully am passing along to my family. One of those lessons or themes is “having faith, especially when it doesn’t make sense”. When it seems like there is a reason to doubt God, yet I hold firm and draw nearer to him, I then feel the most spiritually rewarded, the most joy, peace, and spiritual growth.
It didn’t make sense that I’d live or be barely harmed after being in two different vehicular rollover accidents as a teen. It didn’t make sense that I’d have a fulfilling career given my grades in high school and college. It didn’t make sense that I’d come to faith in Jesus Christ based on the recklessness and sins of my youth. The list has gone on and on throughout my entire existence on this planet.
God has been there through it all. There was some element of faith like a mustard seed since I was a kid. Even when I chose rebellion, there was still a voice calling me to righteous living; calling me to choose.
Similar to the freedoms granted to an adult, the freedom and salvation in and through Jesus Christ is absolutely a choice for us to receive or not. We do not receive it unless we actively partake. It is not a birthright, not due to our age, nor a result of the faith of our family or ethnicity.
Today’s reading: 2 Samuel 24, 1 Chronicles 21, Romans 4
In our New Testament reading, we are taught about Abraham whom God had promised to be the father of many nations. Abraham believed God despite his circumstances, especially when from a human perspective, it didn’t make sense.
And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. (Romans 4:19)
God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. The problem was Abraham wasn’t yet a father, he was old, and his wife was old. Abraham had good reason to doubt his body and the body of his wife. It didn’t make sense that at his age, he would become a father, yet clearly and simply, he still believed. From this, he was rewarded greatly and God counted him as righteous.
That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing. (Romans 4:17)
Like verse 17, through our faith in Jesus Christ, we were dead in our sins yet brought back to life, we become a “new thing” out of nothing. Death to life.
Think of a time when a result “didn’t make sense” and it was clearly God’s hand that was in the situation the entire time. What was God trying to teach you? Does your gratitude reflect the gift?
Think of a personal life situation right now that doesn’t make sense for God to answer the prayer. What is God trying to teach you? What “buts” do you need to let go of and replace with faith? Journal your thoughts to review later, then see what God does in his mercy and love.