This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at www.jenniferhudsontaylor.net.

Monday, July 01, 2013

God's Faithful Promises - In the Midst of Adversity


By Jennifer Hudson Taylor


"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful." (Hebrews 10:23 NKJV)

After reading this verse, you may wonder, what are God's promises? Over the last few months, I have been writing devotions on God's Faithful Promises. You can review them at the links below. 

~ Introduction: Join Me in Discovering God's Faithful Promises
Three Kinds of Promises from God
Nothing Can Separate Us From God's Love
Spiritual Salvation
Our Spiritual Adoption
~ God's Promise Through the Rainbow

The list above is only the beginning of some of God's promises to us. Once we know these promises, we must believe and trust that God is faithful to His promises. It's one thing to believe that He CAN fulfill His promises, but another to TRUST that He WILL fulfill them. Hebrews 10:23 says that God is faithful to His promises. 

The verse above also tells us not to waver in our confession of hope. How do we do this when adversity comes and things around us fall apart -- a loved one is in pain or dying, betrayal is penetrating our heart, the bills aren't paid, a loved one self-destructs, or prayers continue to be unanswered days, months....years?

If God's promises are faithful, what does this verse mean when things turn out wrong and so painful? Do some prayers go unanswered? Why are some born to struggle in poverty and others to wealth and privilege? Does God have favorites?


It boils down to trusting in God's sovereignty.

~ God is infinite in wisdom
~ God is perfect in love
~ God is supreme in power & judgment

In Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges, he points out that God is still on the throne and in control of our lives when things are both good and bad. God orchestrates things according to His sovereign will without taking away from our free will by working in the hearts of people. Just because God knows what course a person will choose, doesn't mean He will not still give them the chance to choose. And in knowing, He plans around that person's bad choice, because it may hurt us and others. As a result, He helps us overcome it so that we aren't forsaken, and we are never alone. 

We cannot have the free will choice to choose between good and evil if He erased all the evil. This doesn't mean that God causes evil. He created ALL things to be good, even Satan was created as an heavenly angel named Lucifer, but he CHOSE to be evil. The fallen angels (demons) CHOSE evil as well. As a result, some people will CHOOSE evil. All of them have a choice. 

For example, it was not God's will for Hitler and the German regime to murder millions of Jews during the Holocaust, but it was His will for the Germans to exist and have free will choice to do good or evil. They were meant to exist--even Hitler. Therefore, God worked in the hearts of Americans and the allied forces to end Hitler's tyranny. The same can be said of the Egyptians and the Israelites, the school bully, the unfair boss.

We do not yet live in a perfect heaven. We live in a fallen world where evil exists. God is holy, supreme, sovereign and cannot exist where sin lives except through the hearts of people. He can only dwell in our hearts if we CHOOSE to believe in Jesus Christ as the one-time sacrifice in our place, that He rose again, and His Holy Ghost Spirit was left behind to dwell in us. This belief cleanses our hearts so His Holy Spirit can dwell inside. When we believe and accept Him, the Holy Spirit becomes our communicator to God through prayer, our teacher through knowledge, and a comforter through peace that surpasses human understanding, an addition to the Holy Word of God (Bible). All of this means nothing, without believing in God's sovereignty. 

If we are going to learn to trust God in adversity, we must believe that just as certainly as God will allow nothing to subvert His glory, so He will allow nothing to spoil the good He is working out in us and for us. (from Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts)

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)

You WILL be hurt by other people's choices, because God has given them the same free will that He has given you--to choose good or evil. 

Sickness and disease will attack people and accidents will happen because we are living in a fallen world full of evil. Some will be healed and given more time and others will not. We don't know how long a person is meant to live, so we must accept God's sovereign will in their lives. Perhaps He is giving them mercy from a lifetime of chronic pain or saving them from a future of something worse. We do not know, so we must trust God to know what we do not. 

Remember, He has promised us peace with a future of hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) I believe this promise extends through adversity on earth and into the afterlife in paradise, because nothing can separate us from the love of God, not even death. (Romans 8:38-39)

2 comments:

I have read several books by Jerry Bridges, but I haven't read that one. I will have to check it out!

This is my first book by him, and I like it enough to read more. I wish I had more time. I've been reading it in short spurts on my cell phone.