Although I recommitted myself to the idea that I would remain determined to live with great expectancy in God, I have learned just what a battle that is for someone like me. I just can't surrender myself to someone else's ideas of who God is. I also can't take someone else's faith in God as my own. It is somewhat like I have a little alarm that goes off inside that judges some people's faith to be shallow or untested. I say that is a judgment because I have no idea whether their beliefs are shallow or untested. Perhaps they are not communicating well the depth of their beliefs. Maybe they are summing-up the end result of their journey and are simply telling me the distilled truth. Maybe this "distilled truth" is simply too potent for me and I just can't stomach it. Or, perhaps my faith is too small.
On the other hand, this might be a struggle of perspective. Maybe the 65 or 70 year old is no longer able to see the struggles of the 40-somethings. Perhaps the 20 to 30 year-olds haven't got a clue yet about aging parents, the final gonging of the biological clock, the passing seasons, the acceleration of evil and selfishness on the planet, the illnesses or deaths of friends…
The Character First definition says that DETERMINATION is: "Purposing
to accomplish the right goals at the right time, regardless of the
opposition." THAT is not what determination is! Determination requires a focusing and re-focusing of priority or focus. That previous definition focuses on the accomplishment of goals. I feel that determination has much more to do with belief.
Then there is the determination to live with great expectancy in God. Again, this is a process of belief. It is about believing in such a way that I am moved forward to believe for a result. In this case, I am believing in God in such a way that I expect some result for that believing. I am focusing and re-focusing on the belief that I can expect that some result will come from believing God.
Is that a circle? I don't think so. I think it is a way of leaning forward. It is an attempt, followed by other attempts, to fix my eyes on God's ability.
This is where the challenge is as I communicate. For many, faith is believing FOR something. For me, faith is believing IN someone–uh, SOMEONE.
Psalm 118 enlightens me in this determination:
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
5 In my distress I prayed to the Lord,
and the Lord answered me and set me free.
6 The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear.
What can mere people do to me?
7 Yes, the Lord is for me; he will help me.
I will look in triumph at those who hate me.
8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in people.
9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes.
17 I will not die; instead, I will live
to tell what the Lord has done.
24 This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Please, Lord, please save us.
Please, Lord, please give us success.
28 You are my God, and I will praise you!
You are my God, and I will exalt you!
29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
While these small verse express only part of the psalm, it is interesting to me the focus…and refocus…the proclamations…the heart. Rather than succumb to the fears and testimonies of my personal failings and the failings of others, I can determine to recognize the Lord who made the day (v. 24), to take refuge in him (v. 8), to believe that he will help (v. 5-7) and to stand saying, "I will not die; instead, I will live to tell what the Lord has done." (v. 17)
Thanks for wallowing in my reflections. 🙂