This is not actually a commercial for Faith Talk 99.5 on your radio dial. But I will say that I thank God for it. I was listening yesterday as Andy Stanley preached about the foundation of our faith.
The significance of it to me was to remind me of where I was 30 years ago. Meeting the friend God put in my life in 1986 proved to be the watershed moment of my life. It was moving along a certain trajectory beforehand, but it changed dramatically afterwards. I went from being an undisciplined, ignorant, immature Christian to a truly committed Christian during those first three weeks of studying with him, and the journey is still ongoing.
Some would say that’s when I was truly saved. But I know my heart. And I know how much I loved the Lord—even while I engaged in sinful activities, trying to convince myself that surely God didn’t intend for us, in this day and age, to keep the biblical commands He set forth so long ago. Like I said, I was ignorant.
Yesterday, Andy Stanley reminded me of that place of ignorance. Back then I thought that if you do A, B, and C, that God would do E, F, and G. And when I did A, B, and C to the absolute best of my ability and He didn’t do E, F, and G, I felt betrayed and crushed. I thought, “He answers prayers for others, but not for me.” I couldn’t even read Romans 8:28 without crying from a genuinely broken heart. Surely God was not working “all things” to my good!
Oh, thank You, Lord Jesus, that You didn’t leave me there.
You see, my faith was wrapped up in circumstances, and I let those circumstances define God’s faithfulness to me. And I saw Him crushing me time after time, though I was doing everything I knew how to do. Bless my poor, uninformed heart.
It was like my pastor said. It’s like being on a treadmill and no matter how fast you go or at what incline you run, you’re still going nowhere—regardless of the effort you put into it. That was me.
But, praise God, our confidence is not based on circumstances. It is based upon Jesus Christ and His power and glory. Jesus Christ, the Rock of our salvation. When we measure His love for us by the circumstances He sends our way, we will always be crushed by the weight of sorrow. When we’re tempted to doubt God’s love for us, we should stop and remember what He did on a little hill outside Jerusalem. That’s how we measure His love—what HE did, who HE is, and how HE remains faithful in His promises to us, even when we’re faithless, doubting, weak little sheep.
No. Our faith is not based on circumstance. It’s based on Jesus Christ—on His birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension. It’s based on the one who reigns at the right hand of the Father in heaven, who intercedes for us, who hears our prayers, and who brought us from darkness into His marvelous light. It’s based on the one who said, “I have said these things to you, that in me, you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world,” John 16:33.