When nothing seems to be working, what am I missing?
This is the question we need to be asking when situations and people (sometimes that’s us!) seem to remain unchanged.
I’ve always encountered questions around unchanging situations and recently, there's been several in the Brilliant TV comments... and there will be again. So in addition to giving you this key processing question, I’m going to put some additional mentoring around it for both current and future Brilliant Community members.
Often, when we don’t get an answer that we expect from God, we continue to ask various forms of the same questions:
“Why hasn’t there been breakthrough?”
"Why are others progressing and I'm not?"
“Doesn’t God care?”
“How long will this continue, I can’t take much more?”
Instead of those questions (or refined versions of them), the better question to ask instead, “What am I missing?”
That question comes with expectation of the unchangeable nature of God. It begins with a default that God is good. Always has been. Always will be.
So, beloved… no matter what is occurring (and I say this in the kindest, possible way), if you aren’t seeing the goodness of God in your situations, then there’s something missing in your revelation of God’s true nature. The good news is, missing pieces always come with His promise to provide them!
The real learning that’s occurring is in upgrading our starting point and our expectations to better align with His.
Our starting point must always be that God is good. You may have heard that message a thousand times, taken notes, done studies and can quote scripture and verse. But if your perceptions, thinking and how you talk about your situations make room for a doctrine of doubt, then you have some more learning through experience to do.
Look at whatever situation seems to be unyielding and unchanging - any place that discouragement, hopelessness or fear has taken hold. Ask these questions:
1. What has been the outcome of this situation so far?
2. Is there a pattern of consistently disappointing outcomes similar to this? If, so, let's track those back to your starting point and discover the disconnect in the process.
3. No matter what the circumstance is, where in this process has the goodness of God been evident?
Make a list of the evidences of His goodness that you have seen. If you can’t make one, there’s the beginning of your upgrade. Goodness has to be there, or God is not true to His nature… and that’s not one of the options for us. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you.
Hint: It’s not just in the resolution of your circumstances.
4. Once you see His goodness, get into a place of real rejoicing and thanksgiving for those. It will completely alter your lens. It’s why David said in Psalm 27 that he would have lost heart unless he knew that he would see the goodness of God in the land of the living. Rejoicing in the goodness of God keeps us anchored to life in a very real way.
5. Then consider your starting point. When this first began, what was your expectation of God? Was it based in the truth that He is good and that He has promised to never leave us, nor forsake us? If not, what was your expectation and what was missing?
Remember, there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. He is never ashamed to call you His family member! So if you discover gaps, don’t be ashamed. Rejoicing and thanksgiving are still in order. You’ve got some great experiences of Him ahead.
There’s always those people who say, “Yeah, I tried all this stuff and it didn’t work.” The reality is that they’ve developed a learned helplessness that allows for them to give up because it's not working. Beloved, that’s a world-based spirituality.
The relational spirituality of the Kingdom doesn’t leave room for negatives, nor doubt in who God will be for us. It doesn’t provide a theology of failure on the part of God, leaving a possibility that He might not be faithful, kind or good. Once we start making allowances for failure, the damage to majesty and sovereignty is huge. We can’t downgrade the Lord to match our poor experiences… we just simply can’t… at least we can’t and still expect to encounter the fullness of life in Christ that is promised to us.
Daniel's 3 friends demonstrated a Kingdom-based mindset in their response to the King when threatened them with the fiery furnace. He offered them another chance to bow down, but their pre-determined response was that they didn't need to think about it again. They were fully persuaded that God was absolutely able to deliver them. But even if He didn't, it would not change their stance in this circumstance. They did not delay their faith until they had seen an outcome. Their trust was already rooted in the supremacy of God - and they were not shaken - which allowed for one of the greatest encounters of majesty in the Old Testament as the "fourth man" walked with them in the midst of the flames.
That doesn’t mean every challenge or difficulty we face will resolve the way we want it to.
There will always be places in God that go beyond our understanding. People still have a free will and can make choices that are not good.
But none of that is big enough to prevent YOU from discovering something beautiful about God in the midst of it and becoming more like Him in the process.
It’s okay to check things out with the Lord, like Jesus did in the garden. He asked His Father if there was any other way for the redemption of the world to be accomplished - as the horror of the cross was becoming more real. But when the answer was “no,” He trusted that His Father would be enough for all that He was facing.
We can’t have faith for anything if our trust in the unchanging nature of God is in doubt. So another great question is: where are we not trusting?
And if you truly feel that your trust in God is not misplaced, if you really are believing in the unchanging nature of God, then the evidence of that trust IS going to be rejoicing and thanksgiving in who He is for you. There is no other option.
From that place, we KNOW (by knowledge and experience) in whom we have believed and are fully persuaded that He is able. If we’re not fully persuaded by God, then we will be persuaded to think less of Him and ourselves by the circumstances we encounter. You can’t have it both ways beloved.
You’re either going to believe the Lord, or you’re going to believe something less. Doubt says God is responsible for not being enough… and that’s not who you are. You’re all here at Brilliant TV because you ARE on a journey to discover something more.
Look for the more. Discover the missing pieces. Gain confidence in who God will be for you. Don’t cast that confidence away. You have a promise from the Faithful One that it has good reward. Scriptures says that the inheritance of a promise often requires faith AND patience. Take full advantage of the opportunity to practice how these partner together.
Thanks for reading through to the end.