“And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred (family), and I will deal well with thee: I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed (shown) unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed (crossed) over this Jordan (River); and now I am become two bands (camps). Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children. And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed (descendants) as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.”Genesis 32:9-12
If you are like me, then you have been in a bad spot where you did not know what was going to happen. Life can seem pretty dire when the hope meter is on empty. You may have felt like there was no way out, and you started to pray like you never have before. Maybe it had been awhile since you cried out to God, but your overwhelming circumstances got you on your knees before God who now seemed to be your only option (although He is always our only option).
I was a year out of high school and did not really have a plan for what I wanted to do with my life or which direction to take. Our former pastor came to visit us in Chicago, and he shared with me a verse in Proverbs that seemed to resonate with me. He quoted Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” My confusion and lost sense of direction did not fully go away right then, but I took comfort in those verses and felt there was hope for me after all. I started a painting job shortly after that visit, and I enjoyed it until one day I was given a task that I did not particularly care for.
We drove to the painting job and the building was three stories high, which at first, did not overly concern me. The concern came when I was told to climb up the ladder and get to work on the eaves of the building. I am not particularly fond of heights. I am scared to go on roller coasters and will shy away from the edge of anything over two stories high. I looked at my boss and told him I didn’t think I could do it. He got really upset at me and gave me another task, but said if I did not climb up the following day, then he was going to fire me on the spot. I bought myself time, but knew I was either going to climb the ladder or be looking for another job. I told my mom about my situation and she told me fear was of the devil and to trust in God. I prayed that night before bed and asked God to help me.
The next day, we got to the job site and set the ladder up, and I knew what I had to do. With every step I took up the ladder, I said to myself, “Fear is of the devil”. I got to the top and my knees were knocking like an engine that needs oil. I kept looking down and was close to falling as I did not feel well and felt like falling was my only option. I stopped for a moment and began to pray and told God that I would acknowledge Him and I needed Him to direct my paths. I went into the Rolodex in my mind of the verses I had memorized as a kid, and reminded God of all the promises in His Word and looked to other verses to comfort me. I felt His presence that day and my knees quit knocking and I was able to complete my job.
Jacob was not fearful of falling off a ladder, but he was concerned his angry brother would take his life. Jacob prayed earnestly as he felt the end was near, and was in need of God’s divine help. Jacob reminded God about the promises He had made of how his descendants would be innumerable – as if God had forgotten His promise. Jacob was barely clinging to the promises of God instead of resting in them, of which I imagine we all have been guilty. Jacob looked for assurance in his moment of need, and while it is good to recall the promises of God, we must rest in them as well. We must have the faith to take God at His word and rest in His promises.
Where do you find yourself today friend? Are you facing a dire situation and do not know what to do? Are you resting in the promises of God, or are you biting your nails not knowing what to do? Are you reminding yourself of the promises of God, or are you complaining about the situation you are facing? May we rest on the promises of God when our knees start to knock. God is always near and we can always cry out to Him.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
II Timothy 1:7
Stay in the Fight!
Standing On The Promises of God