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Friday, November 16, 2012

Does God Take Pleasure in Us?

Don’t throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 
For you need endurance, so that after you have done God’s will,
you may receive what was promised.
"For yet in a very little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. 
But My righteous one will live by faith;
and if he draws back, I have no pleasure in him" (Heb. 10:35-38 HCSB).


Treasured friend,

The reminder above is one I needed today--and quite possibly God will speak to you through it, as well. In the high-intensity season of caregiving where Mom and I find ourselves just now, we're experiencing a greater than ever dependency on God for the endurance He says we need.

I suppose this truth jumped out at me during my devotions today especially since the last portion quotes from a passage in Habbakuk 2 that formed the basis of a study I presented last week at our Adult Bible Fellowship group. The prophet is asking God why He allows distress and challenges and bad experiences in our lives. Why He doesn't do something about it -- and why He isn't quick about it. God's answer is that quote the writer of Hebrews uses in vv. 37-38. Here's my loose paraphrase and interpretation of how God responds to His prophet, His exhausted children in the days of the Hebrews, and His exhausted children today:

I'm not delaying. I'm coming in just a little while. But your task in the waiting time is to stay the course. No turning back. No throwing away the faith you've professed. It's not over. The reward for your hard work and endurance is on the way. Keep trusting. Keep waiting. It won't be too much longer -- in the greater scheme of things. I am coming. Wait for Me.

I'd challenge you to re-read the greater passage of Hebrews 10-12 devotionally in the next few days, and listen in particular to the ways God promises that He is already providing for you everything you need. He's offering refreshed energy, bolstered faith, and renewed resolve. I suspect you'll want to hear Him tell you one day that you've successfully lived by faith -- and that He takes pleasure in you. I know that's what I'm hoping to hear. With that in mind, I'm praying that His Spirit will renew in me a confidence, a desire to endure, a resolve to believe He is coming soon to bring an end to the suffering we and our loved ones are facing.

It's popular in our culture to BELIEVE. But I submit it's way more important to be sure you can trust the one in whom you believe. So, in faith, let's take our stand with the Apostle Paul and say, "I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded He is able to keep that which I've committed to Him against that day" (2 Tim. 1:12). I do believe if we're successful in living by this brand of faith, one day our Lord will indeed take pleasure in us.

Blessings and prayers,

Julie

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