Good morning! I saw answers for several common problems I face in life, and maybe these ideas will help you the next time you find yourself in one of these situations.
If You Don’t Believe…
“Then [YHVH] brought him outside and said, ‘Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’
“And he believed in YHVH, and He accounted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:5-6).
Abraham is famous for his belief in YHVH’s word. YHVH appeared to him in a vision (Genesis 15:1), giving him many assurances that He would be a shield to him and an exceedingly great reward. When Abraham asked Him how he would get this if he didn’t have any children, YHVH responded by taking him outside and showing him the stars.
Abraham believed YHVH, but I noticed that this belief was based in solid facts.
“Hold on, Anne,” I can hear you saying. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
Yes, faith is believing that a promise given to you by God will truly happen. No, you have not seen the promise come true yet. However, notice that faith is based in substance and evidence.
For Abraham, the evidence was in front of his eyes. First, YHVH appeared to him in a vision; in other words, this was something that felt real to all of his senses, and I’m sure he replayed that conversation over and over again for the rest of his life.
Secondly, YHVH took him outside, and with the night breezes blowing his beard, he was told to look up at the stars. I have no doubt that those stars acted as a visible reminder to him of God’s promise, night after night after night. Just when he was tempted to doubt, all he would need to do is look up and SEE the stars.
Thirdly, YHVH had him bring an offering, and after cutting the animals, falling into a deep sleep with yet another vision, and possibly eating a covenant meal with YHVH, he had a ceremony to remember as evidence that all of the land would be given to him as promised. Do you remember your wedding supper or another important meal in your life? Of course, and I have no doubt Abraham would always remember these, too.
If you are struggling with belief, then find the evidence in the Word of God. Write that evidence down and place it where you’ll see it often. What are other evidences God has given you to reassure you of His promises? From a dream to yearly reminders of His promises at the biblical feasts (Leviticus 23), to rainbows or seeing the sun go down on Friday evening to begin the weekly Sabbath, to an encouraging card from a friend, a text to confirm a prayer request was heard, or a memorial of past miracles — we can remind ourselves of His promises in tangible ways. It helps us believe God!
If You Feel Rejected…
Ishmael started out his life with the burden of rejection. His father Abraham rejected him even in the womb, and as we’ll see, the rejection piled up throughout his early years and into adolescence.
“He shall be a wild man;
His hand shall be against every man,
And every man’s hand against him.
And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren” (Genesis 16:12).
Rejection by others is one of the most common problems people face, and it can haunt them throughout their lives.
For Ishmael, that rejection chased him for the rest of his life, and I can’t help but wonder if it was passed through his DNA from generation to generation, haunting his descendants even to this day.
But while YHVH predicted how others would treat him, He himself did not reject Ishmael.
He told Hagar to name him Ishmael on purpose. The name Ishmael means “God will hear,” from the same root word where we get the word shema, or to hear and pay close attention to. YHVH was promised to keep His eyes and ears on Ishmael and pay close attention to him, even in the midst of his affliction and rejection.
When we feel rejected by a person, even though that rejection is real and brings pain and affliction, we can be sure that He will never reject us! When I struggle with these feelings, I actually go to a “Scripture Pictures” collection of Bible verses made by Christine Miller, and I scroll through the pictures, reminding myself of His promises to me. I highly recommend bookmarking all of her topical collections to use whenever you need encouraging reminders.
If You Need Strength…
Psalm 29 is all about YHVH’s amazing strength.
There have been a lot of times in my life when I needed strength. Maybe I was fighting a chronic illness. Maybe I was pregnant and tired. Maybe a child was sick. Maybe my to-do list was impossibly long. Maybe there were problems I couldn’t fix. Maybe all my websites were breaking. <wink>
“YHVH will give strength to His people;
YHVH will bless His people with peace” (Psalm 29:11).
Strength and peace are amazing promises! And when I start to doubt that He is able, I can look at His strength in creation for confirmation. Thunder, the ocean, the forests and mountains… all of these are places where His strength is displayed in majesty, if I will only look. Evidences of a worldwide flood confirm the truth of Scripture — but they also remind me of His power, power that is available to me in my life.
Please note that this strength is most evident when we are in His presence:
“Give unto YHVH the glory due to His name;
Worship YHVH in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:2).
The phrase “beauty of holiness” means “holy adornment.” According to the Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew lexicon, this word is always used in connection with public worship of YHVH (See also 1 Chronicles 16:29, 2 Chronicles 20:21, and Psalm 96:2).
In order to gather in a public setting at the Temple to worship YHVH, each participant has to be holy. That means that their lives must each be clean, and often, sacrifices were brought to ensure that cleanliness. It took a lot of work and travel to get there, and once there, after the days and weeks of preparation and planning, each person was surely excited! They were together, hearts prepared, and singing and shouting His praises together.
“And in His temple everyone says, ‘Glory!'” (Psalm 29:9).
Compared to all the other noises of creation that remind of us His strength (thunder, mountains, wind in the forests, pounding sea waves), nothing compares to the beauty of clean worshipers coming before Him with shouts of praise!
And when you need strength, the enemy will whisper to you to hide in your closet. Just ignore him! Prepare your heart by confessing any known sin (Matthew 5:23-24; 1 John 1:9), and then gather with other believers and SHOUT HIS PRAISE! I guarantee your levels of strength with rise exponentially.
If You Need Confidence…
Finally, when you feel like you’re a nobody and that you can’t do anything to change the world, remember the authority that has been given to you through Yeshua the Messiah.
In Matthew 21, we read example after example of how Yeshua walked confidently in the authority His Father had given Him. He knew who He was (the Messiah, the “Son of David”), and He got busy doing what the Father wanted Him to do, no matter what anyone else thought of Him.
His authority amazed everyone around Him.
But His eyes weren’t on other people.
When you realize that authority you have been given, you think about that job, you think about how you learned that the job was yours (faith), you remember that you were specially accepted for it (not rejected), and you remember the strength that has been given you to do it. Your head goes up, your stride is sure. You focus on the mission, and you get it done.
“Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Matthew 21:21-22).
Your faith is based on His promise, and that’s evidence you can bank on.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture in this blog post taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Any Amazon links mentioned in this post are affiliate links. That means I make a small commission from any purchases you make at Amazon after visiting my site. This helps our family purchase books and supplies we need to study for future ministry.