Years ago, while attempting to be a wise parent, I found myself adopting a simple phrase to remind our young daughter to take courage and believe whenever something wasn’t working. Where and when it started exactly, I’m not sure. How it has paid off, though, I know with complete certainty.
Nothing new under the sun, until…
It came about while we were still adjusting to our new life in full-time ministry. We had started strong, but the sudden economic downfall drastically plunged us into crippling uncertainty. Funding disappeared as supporters were forced to pull back their giving, doors leading back to secular work were closed as jobs diminished, our savings got swallowed up, and getting to the mission field was impossible. Our ministry stopped. Life came to an agonizing halt. The plan that we thought God had for us wasn’t working out.
We had expected trials and testing to come our way, but not at the magnitude or duration that we were encountering. We feared we had completely missed God on our calling. We were in anguish. Even though we could open our Bibles and point to myriad examples that proved “nothing new under the sun” was happening to us, believing we would overcome before utter despair crushed our spirits was an excruciating exercise.
But then there was the memory of that simple phrase…
It Always Works Out
Praise God, He’ll use anything to accomplish His purposes. God saw that we hadn’t abandoned His Word; however, our emotionally-driven “ya, buts” got in the way of progress. So, He reminded me of that simple little phrase.
It Started in Desperation
I had to decide that “it always works out” was true. The alternative was to give in to a lie, and that wasn’t an option. To help me refocus, the Holy Spirit caused me to remember all the instances when our daughter saw things work out (often even better than she could have imaged) when she believed that truth, just as we had taught her. So, I began to meet every challenge with the declaration that no matter what we were facing, “it always works out.”
It Ended in Praise
Guess what happened. Things started working out. And not just small things. Our house is a perfect example. When families all around us were losing their homes, God miraculously rescued ours from foreclosure.
But something even greater took place. The trial exposed that I had limits to my faith. While past experiences proved my faith would endure much, I still possessed elements of a conditional faith. It needed to be stretched to new levels. My view and expectation of “it” that was supposed to work out was distorted (I’ll elaborate on that in the next post). It didn’t match God’s view. In persevering, I gained new sight and strength for my faith.
Those desperate days were not very long ago. There’s still much that remains to work out for us, which means they’re still in the process of being worked out. But there’s peace in the waiting (most of the time). There’s joy and strength in the memories we’re building with what has worked out. There’s unwavering confidence in the Father’s love and purposes for us.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Rom. 8:28)
Whatever your circumstances may be, God wants you to know and experience, it always works out.
In the next post, I’ll cover some of the hard truths God brought to light along the way of stretching my faith to believe “it always works out.”