Does Discouragement Direct Your Faith? Do your circumstances change the way you see God? Let's chat, we want to hear from you! I have had cause to reflect on these questions over the last month. I'd like to share a story...
Income tax time rolled around this year, but not as usual for us. Normally, it would mean a nice refund. As many of you know, I have experienced certain health issues which have affected many areas of our lives, including our income tax return. Needless to say, the assessment came in the mail, demanding that for the first time ever, we pay what I call a 'hefty' sum back to the government. Now this amount was a reassessment of the 2009 return we submitted, which included a higher amount. "Ok," I said to myself, "God is good, He is our provider, so I will not fret." We prayed and trusted. Within a few weeks another of those brown envelopes came to our home from Revenue Canada. As we read it, it seemed to indicate that a reduced $$$ amount was due to be paid! It was substantially less than our first 2009 reassessment and I began to shout, "See, God is good! He is our Provider! Look at how faithful He is!" I told this to anyone who would listen.
The next day, I went to pay the 'reduced' amount through tele-banking. I was excited and on top of things. Then, I heard the banking agent ask me to confirm the tax year I was making the payment for. As my eyes trailed to the top of the letter, I realized it said 2008! Uhm, yes, not only were we reassessed for 2009 but also for 2008 and that 'reduced' amount I was singing about the day before was actually an additional charge for the 2008 reassessment! I quickly hung up the phone and called my husband away from mowing the lawn, to hear the news.
He said, "Tash, we have to trust in the goodness of GOD. The same GOD whose praises you were singing yesterday is the same GOD today. We have to worship Him and trust Him just as we did when we thought we had to pay less." Then while driving home another day, he said, "We have to trust in God's nature. We cannot let our situation determine what we think of God. Whatever GOD puts you through, He has the best plan for your life."
We recently attended a church service where the Pastor (Sam) said, "Faith is trusting that GOD is who He says He is, and that He will do what He says He will do."
I began to reflect on these truths, our situation, my behaviour and GOD's faithfulness. Brothers and sisters, we must not let our circumstances direct our faith but let faith direct our circumstances. We can trust in GOD's faithfulness, trust in His nature and allow Him to be the centre of our lives, including every situation that comes our way. Here are some truths about GOD to meditate on:
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Hebrews 13:8
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17
"God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" Numbers 23:19
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11