April 16, 2020
What Makes Faith Fall Apart
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"And he said to me, ‘This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, and enters the sea; when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh.'" Ezekiel 47:8-9 (ESV)
Trauma has a way of making us lose hope. We start to doubt God could ever bring new life from something this broken ... this awful.
In my own life, there have been areas of devastation where I doubted God ever could bring restoration. I more than doubted - I flat-out told God I couldn't believe Him for something so impossible.
I trusted Him to help me survive. But to bring life and restoration to my situation? I was too tired and traumatized by what I could no longer see to hope beyond the obvious.
Maybe you're in that place right now - unable to hope beyond the heartbreak in front of you. That's why I want us to look at what might seem like an unlikely passage of Scripture, but I promise it holds great hope.
In Ezekiel Chapter 47, we find the prophet Ezekiel sharing the details of a powerful vision God wants conveyed to His exiled people. It's a promise of restoration spoken to hearts that might feel leery of letting hope in after spending many years in captivity.
But God wants them to know what He still wants us to know today: There is always hope with Him.
Toward the end of Ezekiel's vision (a tour of the temple that begins in Ezekiel 40), he finds himself back in the inner court where he sees water trickling from the threshold of the temple. It's a miraculous flow that grows from a trickle to a river so deep it cannot be passed through. (Ezekiel 47:3-5) But it's the water's ending point that I want us to note.
Ezekiel 47:8 reads, "And [the Lord God] said to me, ‘This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, and enters the sea; when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh.'"
These words mirror those of Zechariah's prophecy about the day when Jesus returns, and His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives. Zechariah says, "On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea" (Zechariah 14:8a, ESV).
The "sea" that's referenced in both passages is the Dead Sea, located 16 miles east of Jerusalem. The Dead Sea is around 1,300 feet below sea level, making it the lowest point on the surface of the earth.
Although fresh water runs into the Dead Sea from the Jordan and other rivers, its unusually high salt content (over 24%) makes life impossible. Not only can fish not live in it, but any unfortunate fish that comes down from the Jordan River will die in this salty sea.
And yet, God promises He will bring life to this impossibly dead body of water!
This is such a beautiful picture of what God promises to fallen humanity. We live in a world that's harsh, desolate and filled with pain. But just as Ezekiel prophesied of the sweet healing water that will flow from Jerusalem, we have the promise of a new earth when Christ returns and restores all things.
We also have the right now hope of the abundant life of Christ flowing within us. Flooding every dark corner and every broken space with His light, healing and life. (John 4:10-14; John 7:37-39) Helping us thrive where we had resigned ourselves to simply survive.
I don't know what's going on in your life that feels too far gone for God to touch, sweet friend.
But I do know that what makes faith fall apart isn't doubt. It's being too certain of the wrong things.
I can't promise you God will move in all the ways you're longing for Him to move today or even on this side of eternity. But no matter how your circumstances turn out, remember that with God there is always hope, there is always redemption, and whatever He touches, He is able to transform.
Father God, I'm so thankful Your plans are good, even if they don't match what I want. In You, I always have hope. When everything seems final, You remind me You have the final say. Help me fix my eyes on You today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
John 7:38, "Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." (NIV)
Are you exhausted trying to keep everything under control because you fear God won't come through? Loosen the grip of trying to control people and circumstances in your life by taking steps to truly rely on God with the help of Lysa TerKeurst's newest Bible study, Trustworthy: Overcoming Our Greatest Struggles to Trust God. Order your copy here today.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Is there anything that looks too far gone in your life right now? We would love for you to share what you're entrusting to the Lord and even take this opportunity to pray for one another here today.
© 2020 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.