“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Know what I love about faith? It doesn’t have to see to believe. The world may appear in direct opposition to what the heart desires, but faith sees beyond the now and focuses on the eternal. Faith doesn’t doubt when desires and expectations are delayed or seemingly rejected. Faith doesn’t doubt the goodness and wisdom of the Giver of all good things even when life appears all but good. Faith keeps going–keeps believing–for faith knows He who promised is faithful. That truth is worth repeating: He who promised is faithful.
And since He who promised is faithful, a person of faith recognizes that an unanticipated failure, a sudden roadblock, or an unexpected setback does not indicate a broken promise, but it could indicate a misunderstanding of its fulfillment. Abraham is a great example of a man of faith not doubting the promise, but definitely misunderstanding God’s fulfillment of it. Abraham’s misunderstanding led to Ishmael, but in God’s timing, the true promise arrived with the birth of Isaac. God kept His promise; He just fulfilled it differently than anticipated.
Which leads me to the point of this post. Proverbs 16:9 reminds us that while our hearts may plan our ways, it is God who determines and establishes our steps. This means faith and surrender must go hand in hand.
Now at first you might wonder how faith and surrender go hand in hand, since by the world’s definition, faith tends to be associated with strength and surrender with weakness. If I have faith in something, I trust its power and strength; if I surrender to something, I am giving in to its power and strength.
Yet the integration of trust and surrender form a steadfast faith in God, for true faith comes when we surrender in our belief.
Look again at Hebrews 11:1. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for. When we hope for something, we hold on knowing it will surely come to pass. Faith fully believes what we hope for will come to pass. As I said above, there are no doubts or fears when it comes to faith. Nevertheless, in this belief, in this wholehearted trust that God will do what He says He will do, we must also surrender. We must surrender OUR ideas as to how and when God will fulfill what HE has promised. We must have faith in God’s promise but surrender to the way He chooses to fulfill that promise. We must surrender to the truth that God’s ways are higher and greater than our finite minds could ever comprehend.
As people of faith, we must not only BELIEVE God will do what He has promised but also SURRENDER the timing and actual fulfillment to Him as well.
So do you have a dream that doesn’t appear to be coming to pass? Does your life appear in direct contrast to what you’ve been praying for? Are you beginning to feel weary in your waiting? I encourage you to keep on believing. Hold fast to your faith! Remember, He who promised is faithful. Yet as your grab the hem of your Savior’s garment and remind Him of His promises, surrender to His sovereignty as well. Get on your knees before God and pray as Jesus did before He paid the ultimate price for us: “not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39).
In doing so, you are not giving up, but rather you are letting go. Letting go of your timing, your expectations, your plans. And letting God be God. And when we let God be God–when we cease striving–God moves.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.