“Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” ~Joshua 21:45
I don’t know about you, but I doubt the word of the Lord. As a Christian of 41 years, I grew up with and continued to follow in the teaching that all of God’s Word is true. I have always fundamentally believed that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (II Timothy 3:16) Yet when it comes to my own life, my own fears, my own anxieties, I have found myself doubting what God says He will do.
As I get older, I find myself needing less. Sure, I want life’s basic comforts and, to be honest, maybe even life’s unnecessary luxuries, but I don’t crave things beyond my means. My husband and I are considering a move in the not-so-distant future, and there are boxes we’d both like our future house to check. As recent as a few years ago, I would have stressed and emotionally clamored for the perfect “forever home.” And though I spend more time on real estate sites than I should, I honestly have left the home in which God wants my family and me to reside completely up to Him.
No, what I crave these days as a 46 year old married mother of two is far less materialistic in nature. I have been craving to be one with my Creator. God has graciously placed on my heart stronger and stronger desires to be near Him—to spend more time with Him and in His Word. I can’t explain it. I’ve just felt a palpable pull towards things of God. And in spite of all of that, I STILL find myself doubting He will do what He says He will do.
To be clear, I don’t doubt God’s ability to do the things He says He’ll do, but I do doubt whether He WILL do them.
I’ve begun year two of reading through the Bible via The Bible Recap. If you’re not familiar with it, please check it out. It takes you through the Bible chronologically and is accompanied by a podcast hosted by Tara Leigh Cobble. Each day’s podcast is only around 8-9 minutes long and she merely expounds on the day’s reading, which is so helpful because there are plenty of things that go over my head. I’m reading about the Israelites and God’s deliverance of them from slavery in Egypt. God made promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to provide them with land in which they would settle and thrive. God promised to bless them abundantly, providing for every single need. These promises, however, were contingent upon their obedience to Him and the keeping of His commandments.
Two things stood out to me as I was reading the book of Joshua and the account of the Israelites entering and settling into the land God promised them: 1) Verse 45 where it states, “Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” and 2) The Israelites had disobeyed God multiple times prior to their acquisition of the Promised Land.
I had trouble reconciling the two.
God promised so much…land, provision, health, safety, abundant blessings. All He asked in return was that they keep their hearts for Him and Him alone. That’s all He wanted. And truthfully, that’s all they had to offer anyway. He simply wanted them to love and obey Him. And not blind obedience because He wanted to be controlling but because obedience to Him ensured their very best. They were His beloved children, and He is a jealous God in the very best sense of the word.
Meanwhile, Israel complained and disobeyed. They grew weary of the manna that God provided for them. They grew tired of wandering in the desert, a consequence of their own disobedience. And whereas, because He is just, He had to discipline an entire generation by allowing them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until that generation died off, He stayed true to His promise and allowed their children to enter the Promised Land. He is gracious. He is steadfast, never wavering in His love.
God remained faithful to His people even though they gave Him no reason to remain faithful. And purely because of that faithfulness alone, not one word of the good promises the Lord had made failed.
I know I’m a wretched sinner. I fail daily. I complain, grow weary, and question God. That is why I doubt He will follow through on His promises to me. But why do I doubt? The Israelites also failed daily. Yet to this day, Israel remains God’s chosen people.
Do you ever wonder if you’re deserving of God’s best for you? Well wonder no longer—you aren’t. We deserve nothing good. We deserve death and hell for mankind’s disobedience to a holy God. God’s blessings on us are solely based on His goodness and His goodness alone. We aren’t entitled to any of it.
The good news is, God promised He would draw near to us if we draw near to Him (James 4:8). And boy, has He made good on that promise to me. Despite my sin and doubting, He has drawn me closer to Him than I’ve ever been before. And subsequently, I am blessed beyond measure. Not with things of this world, but with a knowledge and confidence that no weapon formed against me shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17). That my God will supply ALL my needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
And He’ll keep His promises to you.
What is it that you’re seeking? And is what you’re seeking in the will of God? Because that’s important. It’s the key that unlocks the doors to blessings. The Bible says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
Take less thought for the things of this world. Take less thought for what you’ll eat or drink. Take less thought for tomorrow (Matthew 6:31-34). Ask God to give you the desires of HIS heart. For those desires are life-giving! Those desires are anxiety-ridding! Those desires are heart-changing!
You align your heart’s desires with the will of God and not one solitary word of His promises will fail. All will come to pass.
~ Bridget Depew