“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
This statement about Jesus’ mother hits me a bit hard this morning. I’ve been struggling with doubt…and it can be so difficult at times to believe what God has promised to us. Because when we can’t yet see the fulfillment, or when we fear that when He fulfills His promises it won’t look like what we want, anxiety and doubt and despair can easily take root in our heart and begin to grow, choking our faith.
I want us to allow our ever-faithful God, the One for whom nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37), to take this simple statement about Mary and use it to build our confidence in Him and solidify our hope in His Word.
Hebrews 11:6 tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” This sentence is placed in the midst of a list of people who exhibited strong, confident faith in their God. When one is struggling to maintain faith, that list may seem a bit overwhelming…we might lose hope of ever getting there. And the fact that if we are to draw near to God, we must believe not only that He exists but that He also rewards those who seek Him—that He never lets them down or lets them go, that there is good in store for those who walk with Him through trial and loss and difficulty—it could serve to weaken our hope rather than strengthen it. But that is what makes Hebrews 12:2 so perfectly placed. Right after that long list, when we may look within us and think we’ll never get where God wants us to be, the author turns our focus away from ourselves: “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.”
The One who began our faith is the One who is perfecting it. And it isn’t us. It is Jesus. We could look at our circumstances and declare God’s fulfilling His promise “impossible.” We could look at ourselves and lose hope, knowing we aren’t strong enough to muster faith to believe what our Lord has said. We could look at the world around us, at those who have hurt us or let us down, and despair that nothing could ever change. But all of that is faulty reasoning. Instead, let us fix our eyes on Christ, crying, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). That in and of itself is an act of faith. And He will help you. He sees you. He understands every fear, every battle you wage in your heart and mind. He knows exactly what to do to perfect your faith and build your hope in His Word.
Our God will meet you where you are. As you look to Him, He will show Himself strong. He will prove Himself faithful. And He will never break a bruised reed or extinguish a faintly burning wick (Isaiah 42:3). He will strengthen you, and as you hold fast to His truth, He will open your eyes so that you can say with confident faith, “he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name” (Luke 1:49).