Faith & Promises

Father,
Give us faith to believe your Word. Give us faith to believe your promises. Give us faith to move the mountains. You alone can do these things. We are weak but you are strong. May the glory of your grace be shown to the nations through us. Help our unbelief.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

“For truly I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20 ESV).

What would my life look like if I believed that God’s Word was true? The pride in me defensively responds, ‘Of course I believe God’s Word is true. I’m a Christian and it’s GOD’s Word. Do you think I don’t believe what the Bible says?’ However, this is not designed to question whether I believe in Jesus for salvation but to be a reflective assessment of my own faith in God’s character and His promises.

So, I believe in God but do I believe God at His Word?

I consistently fall short of truly clinging to and believing God’s Word. I get anxious over my future and stresses of life, school, and relationships yet God promises peace when we submit our requests to Him (Philippians 4:6-7) . I fear that life and passion will fade away into adulthood but Jesus says he came that we may have an abundant life (John 10:10) and He promises that when we delight in Him, he will give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). I talk myself out of evangelizing because of my own fears, but the Lord promises that the Holy Spirit will give me the words to say (Matthew 10:19-20). If I genuinely believe that these Words are true, then I have no reason to fear or be anxious about anything.

Easier said than done.

The Bible is filled with over 3000 promises. Let that sink in… 3000 promises. If we received one promise per day, that’s over 8 years of promises. We serve a God who loves to give promises and through that loves to demonstrate His faithfulness to us (despite our own unfaithfulness).

“He remembers his covenant forever, the word he spoke, for a thousand generations” (Psalm 105:8 ESV).

“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9 ESV).

“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (Numbers 23:19 ESV).

I am horrible at trusting God’s faithfulness. I will see Him answer prayers. I will experience His voice, His presence, His hand. He will show me very clearly that He is working. But then, two days later I will doubt that He will finish that same work in which He just showed me His hand. I have witnessed God’s faithfulness time and time again, yet I continue to find myself like the Israelites. They doubted God and built a golden calf immediately forgetting their deliverance from slavery and God’s power to split the Red Sea.

“What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though everyone were a liar, as it is written,
‘That you may be justified in your words,
and prevail when you are judged’” (Romans 3:3-4 ESV).

Praise God that my unfaithfulness does not cancel out God’s faithfulness. Even when I am unfaithful, even when I doubt, even when I don’t spend time with Him, even when I sin, even when I fall short, He is faithful.

So, why write about faith and promises for a Simple Charity blog?

First, broadly as Christians, everything we do goes back to the Cross. When we see and believe in the gospel of Jesus, we are free to cling to it, be transformed by it, depend on it, behold it. If we take hold of and claim the promises of God, we will find freedom, we will find joy, we will find rest, we will find peace. Clinging to God’s promises goes far deeper than charity and giving and I implore you to apply this to your walk.

Secondly, I find myself being transformed and motivated by promises far more than any commandment. God knows this. I think that’s part of why He gives us promises. If you give me an imperative, my tendency is to be unwound back into legalism, performance, works. I could write a blog telling you to give more money, be more generous because it’s what the Bible tells us to do or it’s what Jesus would do. We need the Lord to transform us for those imperatives to become a delight out of gratitude for the gospel rather than a duty out of fear of punishment.

What are the things that keep me from giving generously as I am called to do? For myself, it’s selfishness, fear and greed. Selfishness. I tend to be selfish with my money and will tend to only spend it on music, vinyls, concert tickets, and t-shirts. Fear. I tend to fear that the money I have to budget for this month won’t be enough if I start out the month tithing it. Greed. I tend to not spend money or save money just for money’s sake and not even for a specific purpose. These are some of things I need the Lord to transform my heart in so that by clinging to the cross and repenting I may look more like Jesus.

What does this have to do with promises? Well, I’m glad you asked. I find that my lack of generosity in my lifestyle comes directly from a lack of faith and a lack of believing in the promises of God. I would like to end this blog post by listing a few promises from God regarding our needs and giving. May these promises motivate and transform you. The Word of God has the power to transform us so let these words sink in deep into your heart. Jesus pours out grace on us in our unfaithfulness. That is such good news. That is the gospel. Let His grace wash over you and sanctify you that you may look more look Jesus and have the faith to believe in His promises.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 ESV).

“and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14 ESV).

“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need” (Malachi 3:10 ESV).

“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? … But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? … But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:26,30,33 ESV).

I suggest reading this whole passage of Matthew 6:25-34.

“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully … He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:6,10-11).

But let us remember, “If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3).

— Alex Whitehurst

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