One definition of happy is “favored by fortune; lucky.” In other words, we’re happy IF things happen to be going our way. But we don’t know how things are going to turn out?
In the last Super Bowl, the New England Patriots were down by 25 points early in the 3rd quarter. It didn’t appear that things were going the Patriots’ way … except they won!
To God, all of History is His Story. He knows every move, every hurt, every fumble, every betrayal, every noble deed, every evil deed … nothing escapes His notice. And it all fits into His Story—We are assured and know that God being a partner in their labor ALL THINGS work together and are fitting into a plan for good… (Romans 8:28).
Check out the stories of these five women—
Tamar had to pretend to be a prostitute in order to get her father-in-law to followthrough on his commitment. As a result, she became pregnant by him and was almost burned at the stake.
Rahab didn’t pretend to be a prostitute; she was a prostitute. She lived in an important city that was about to be defeated by the Israelites. Instead of trying to make things easier on herself, she trusted God and put herself in a very dangerous position.
Ruth was a non-Israelite married to an Israelite man. But when her husband, her brother-in-law, and her father-in-law all died, she took a huge risk in staying with her mother-in-law. She could have moved in with her family in a country she knew, but she went where she was an alien, a widow, and dirt poor.
Bathsheba was married to Uriah, who was a member of the king’s inner circle. But the king took advantage of her when Uriah was away at war, impregnated her, killed her husband, and then married her. Their son from that union died shortly after being born, but Bathsheba trusted God to make something good of her tragedy.
Mary was engaged to be married when she was found to be pregnant. Society could have shunned her, her fiancé could have had her killed for her unfaithfulness, but she trusted God to keep His word.
God used all of these women. Despite the way they were treated or mistreated; despite their own mistakes; despite the injustices committed against them. God used all of them as irreplaceable parts of His Story.
To God, all of History is His Story! He’s doing things through your life that you can’t possibly imagine. Trust Him—if you do, your name will also be recorded in the best “His Story” ever recorded!
Whenever you don’t know what’s going on, lean into Him, cry out to Him. But then say with Mary, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” And what does God say? “I am working ALL THINGS together to tell My Story through your life!”
One of my favorite old-time television shows is Perry Mason, the famous attorney who always wins for his clients. In the courtroom, sometimes Perry appears to be daydreaming or disinterested, but he is always tuned-in to the proceedings.
Sometimes he will speak up, “I object, your honor, on the grounds that this is not best evidence.” Or perhaps he will say, “Objection! Hearsay, your honor.” In other words Perry is pointing out that the witness doesn’t have personal, first-hand knowledge but is merely telling the court what they heard someone else say.
A powerful testimony is one that is a first-hand, eye-witnessed, and personally-experienced.
As the Israelites are preparing to attack the city of Jericho, two young men are having a conversation with a citizen of Jericho named Rahab. She has grown up with stories of her gods El, Baal, and Ashera, but she is listening to these Israelite men tell of their first-hand experiences with Jehovah God. They have personally walked through the parted Red Sea; they have tasted manna and have drank water that God brought out of a rock in the middle of the dessert; they have seen God defeat their enemies.
As Rahab hears this new testimony, she realizes that what she has believed about her gods has all been hearsay testimony. She has no first-hand experience, but is only living on stories others have told her. She cries out, “Objection! Hearsay!” And then reaches this startling verdict: “The Lord your God IS GOD” (Joshua 2:11)!
This is why it is so important for those of us who have personally known and experienced God’s blessings to give first-hand testimony. Those around us think they have heard convincing evidence, but when they hear testimony from you that is first-hand, eye-witnessed, and personally-experienced, it annihilates that old hearsay testimony.
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? (Romans 10:13-14, NLT)
Don’t keep quiet about God’s blessings. Don’t let others live with their paltry hearsay testimony. Be a vocal and convincing witness that the Lord your God IS GOD!
A great example of this is a woman by the name of Rahab who lived in ancient Jericho. She was doing her best to provide for her family in a very unsavory way: she was a prostitute. Yet this is a woman who is commended for her faith in God (Hebrews 11:31) and her righteous actions (James 2:25).
I know many moms who work hard to provide for their families, sometimes taking jobs that are very difficult and pay a low wage. They still find the time to buy the groceries, fix the meals, do the laundry, help with homework, attend after-school functions, and a million other things. Even after all this they feel inadequate, like they are not quite measuring up to the “best mom” standard.
To those moms, I say this: Look at Rahab, and learn what she learned. Rahab tried to provide for her family too, but when she got to the point where she was completely desperate she turned her family over to God. By helping the young Jewish spies, she turned her back on her countrymen and lost any other options for help. She said, “I believe in God, and I’m willing to trust Him with my family completely” (see Joshua 2:1-13).
As a result, God’s faithfulness to her is something we still are blessed by today. In giving us the genealogy of Jesus Christ, Matthew says this: Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David (Matthew 1:5-6). Rahab went all-in with God, and is now an indispensable part of the lineage of Jesus Christ!
Here’s the pattern for all moms to follow:
Moms, you have great power and you hold in your hands the destiny of nations, if you will just turn your concerns for your family over to God, and leave them in His loving hands.