Monday I spent some time with a close friend who is in ICU recovering from surgery on his spine. The doctors removed a very fast growing cancer and reinforced his spine with screws to avoid a paralyzing fracture. During our conversation, my friend tearfully expressed his thankfulness for how Father coordinated everything from the timing of his admission into surgery (hours later would have guaranteed paralysis or worse) to a compassionate surgeon who went beyond the standard procedures to perform such an extensive operation on a patient classified as terminal. Questions are raised concerning financial repercussions and the many complications resulting from a lengthy rehabilitation. In reference to these considerations, my friend smiled. “Money, cars, houses; they just don’t matter,” he concluded. “It’s God’s love for us and our relationship with him and one another that really counts.” A smile lit up his face as he recounted God’s faithfulness.
To be secure in Father’s love is to be wonderfully free and unencumbered by the cares of this world. To the degree that our security is attached to anything else, we suffer bondage.
Trusting in Father’s love and faithfulness is the essence of faith. How often have you heard a brother or sister express what could happen if they only had more faith? Yet faith is not gained by trying harder to believe. It is not bolstered by more accurate doctrine, nor can it be worked up. Faith grows as our relationship with Father grows. It grows when we act on what has been made real to us through his love and goodness. It becomes manifest when his desires and burdens become ours, at times initiating passionate prayer in concert with his will and emotions.
His faithfulness may not necessarily be expressed through financial blessing, physical healing or with anything else tied to our temporal stay on this earth. But he is faithful to finish in us what he started. As The Message puts it:
God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them in a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.
So what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose?