Joyfully Confident

And he [Jacob] blessed Joseph and said, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day, the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys; and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.” Genesis 48:15-16

When I look back in time, I can see how God provided and blessed. In the present however, I fear that He won’t continue to be gracious. Words of faith are choked out in environments of deprivation. That’s unfortunate because remembrance is meant to feed my faith. God did show up when things were dire. When I tried to quit the fight for faith, God brought new manna to breathe hope into the crevices of my soul.

Jacob embraced his two newly adopted grandsons. Half-Egyptian grandsons. He remembered God’s promised covenant to his family. He remembered that God was faithful to preserve their lives when it looked like their line would be extinct. He praised God for the past, but his language quickly changed to thank God for what He would do to bless his descendants. Faith is future.

Some years ago, I was lamenting to an older woman that I greatly respect that I feared God was not going to answer my prayers.  I had plenty of evidence to prove it. She listened to it all. Her reply was this, “Live joyfully confident!” When I questioned her further, she replied again, “Live joyfully confident!” I understood that she wasn’t going to spoon-feed me the meaning.

The phrase describes what faith is. When all things point to failure – I live joyfully confident that God can create options where I see none. When people I love are disinterested in the God I cherish – I live joyfully confident that God is a wooing God and will not forget to offer them every opportunity to become His child.   

What ‘joyfully confident’ statements of faith might you need to make today about some area of your life that invites despair?  You may smell death but know that God is a Resurrector. Affirm this out loud and then ask for the grace to live in joyful anticipation. 

I’m learning to dance before the party. Amen

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