As I interviewed Laura Story about her book, “When God Doesn’t Fix It” I was reminded of such a powerful truth.
God doesn’t always change the circumstances, but He does change us.
Examples in the Bible like Job and Esther and others who experienced victory and redemption and a “happy ending” are not the only stories in the scriptures. Life on this earth didn’t end happily ever after for Paul. He spent lots of time in prison, and was martyred—as were all but one of the twelve apostles. God didn’t fix their circumstances in this life, even though they had great faith in what God would do.
I share my Job-like story of redemption to encourage you that our God is faithful—but He is just as faithful in Laura’s life where He didn’t fix the circumstances as He is in mine where He did.
As Laura pointed out in the interview, we must put our hope in Jesus—not in the potential answer to our prayer for a husband or a child, or the new medical treatment that may be the answer to provide a return to normalcy, or the job we so desperately need. Our hope can only be in Him and His love for us, knowing full well that what He does is good.
He is a God of redemption, and of bringing beauty out of the ashes, but that process doesn’t always end up looking like we expect. For me, it was above and beyond anything I could have ever dreamt of. For Laura, it’s not anything like she’d hoped for. And I’m sure for many others out there, it’s somewhere in between those two dramatic extremes.
Your story may turn out like mine, or it may turn out more like Laura’s, or Paul’s, or Peter’s. He is faithful no matter the outcome. He always does what is right for us and good for us, (Romans 8:28).
My husband was preaching on gratitude on Sunday and his eldest son was leading worship. As he broke into “Great is Thy Faithfulness” we both wept with thankfulness. Before Ross began his sermon, he reminded us where that hymn came from. Right in the middle of chapter three of the book of Lamentations, where Jeremiah was bemoaning how the Lord had turned His hand against him, sending him bitterness and hardship, breaking his teeth with gravel, depriving him of peace. He was literally in the pit of despair, but in spite of his great despondency he proclaims:
Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”
Lamentations 3:21-24 NLT
Oh yes, great is His faithfulness, even in our darkest hour. He is our inheritance, therefore we hope in Him.