Is there some promise of God of which you need to be reminded today? And how would it change your day (in terms of what you do and where your mind lingers) to be fully persuaded that this promise will be fulfilled?
Living by promise can be a tricky thing. We can tell ourselves that we trust in and take our stand upon the hope that God has given us. And yet, when we examine our actions and the thoughts that motivate them, we sometimes discover that our behaviors and the springs from which they flow are not as “rooted in faith” as we thought.
For example, I believe the promise (or at least – I want to believe the promise) that my worth depends on God: I am loved by God – not because of anything that I do or accomplish, but solely because of His purpose and grace. And yet, when I arrive in the office each morning I often find that my thoughts (and the actions that flow from them) are driven by the feeling that an awful lot depends on me: how “good” I can be, how many people I can serve, how many things I can check off my to-do list, and so on.
Don’t get me wrong, of course. “Doing stuff” is great! I think God is pleased when I seek holiness and bless others and manage to be productive. But the motivation for those actions matters. And if they’re done to earn God’s favor – rather than in response to the promise of God’s favor freely given – then they’re really just an exercise in self-reliance rather than God-reliance.
Among the readings from today’s Daily Office, we find the Apostle Paul extolling the faith of Abraham:
“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed…he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.” (Romans 4:18-21)
May we be fully persuaded today that God has the power to do what He promises. And may that faith change the way we think – and the things we do – so that we, too, can receive strength from and give glory to the God who is faithful in all He does.