Isaac said, “Father!” He answered, “Yes, my son?” Isaac asked, “I see that you have the coals and the wood, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide one.” And the two of them walked on together.
Genesis 22:7-8 GNB
As King David came to Bahurim, a man came out and cursed him. He was from Saul’s family group, and his name was Shimei son of Gera. He threw stones at David and his officers, but the people and soldiers gathered all around David. Shimei cursed David, saying, “Get out, get out, you murderer, you troublemaker. The Lord is punishing you for the people in Saul’s family you killed! You took Saul’s place as king, but now the Lord has given the kingdom to your son Absalom! Now you are ruined because you are a murderer!” Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse you, the king? Let me go over and cut off his head!” But the king answered, “This does not concern you, sons of Zeruiah! If he is cursing me because the Lord told him to, who can question him?” David also said to Abishai and all his officers, “My own son is trying to kill me! This man is a Benjaminite and has more right to kill me! Leave him alone, and let him curse me because the Lord told him to do this. Maybe the Lord will see my misery and repay me with something good for Shimei’s curses today!”
2 Samuel 16:5-12 NCV
I expect and hope that I will not fail Christ in anything but that I will have the courage now, as always, to show the greatness of Christ in my life here on earth, whether I live or die. To me the only important thing about living is Christ, and dying would be profit for me. If I continue living in my body, I will be able to work for the Lord. I do not know what to choose—living or dying. It is hard to choose between the two. I want to leave this life and be with Christ, which is much better, but you need me here in my body. Since I am sure of this, I know I will stay with you to help you grow and have joy in your faith. You will be very happy in Christ Jesus when I am with you again.
Philippians 1:20-26 NCV
These are the people of faith that I want to copy. They display such faith in God’s goodness and ability to bring good in all situations. They are not quick to judge a situation but instead recognise that God is greater and is sometimes, perhaps even often, working in ways that we do not understand. They are confident that the best is yet to come. There are many good things now to be thankful for but we can be sure that “the end” will be much better. I want to be one, like Abraham, who is willing to wait and see what God will do, trusting that he will indeed meet my need. I want to, like David, be slow to criticise, to accept that God might be using the painful experiences in my life and thus be open to God’s goodness rather than be defensive. I want to say with Paul that I know that one day all will be made well and all evil will be taken away and I look forward to that day but that doesn’t stop me seeing the good in today or the good that I can do here and now. In short, I want my faith in God to exceed my fears. I want my faith in God to give me confidence to face and deal with my failings. I want my faith in God to be greater than the weight of my disappointments. Lord increase my faith. I want to be so sure of God’s love for me that I do not doubt he will help me. I want to be so sure of God’s power that I do not doubt that he will overcome the evil I encounter and heal the wounds I suffer. I want to be so sure that God is in control that I trust him to bring good in what might appear to be bad and hope to overcome despair.
Prayer: I am sorry Lord that I so often seek to solve the problems I see without consulting you, much less waiting to see what you are doing. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit, with patience and a deep, deep trust in your goodness toward me. Lord I am sorry too for the times I have rushed to judgement, declaring something good or bad without first looking to see what you are doing in and through that situation. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit, with a humble heart and a greater expectation of seeing you turn it around. Father I am sorry that I so often consider only the here and now and thus lose sight of all that you have promised. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit, with hope and confidence and thankfulness that your good purposes will prevail. All glory to your Son our Saviour. Amen