“…the God who gives life to the dead and speaks of things that don’t yet exist as if they are real.” Romans 4:17b (ERV)
Expect Great Things
A while back, a friend of mine encouraged me to do the “Love your Spouse Challenge” on Facebook. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it—even more than I thought I would! While sharing my posts, I wrote all the things I loved about my husband at each stage of our relationship. Pondering how we met and all of the fun we’ve had together over the past 28 years made me smile at my husband a little more, and my heart felt happier than usual thinking about our great life together! I think that’s the key to being happy; we remember the good, and we expect the good, especially from God!
When we expect great things from God and other people, we often get what we’re looking for: great things! But if we allow ourselves to stay in a place of doubt and look for all of the things that are wrong in our relationships with God and the people in our lives, we will stay in that place of unbelief and experience the fruit of a faithless life. This type of life does not please God, and this lack of trust and faith affects our relationship with Him and others.
Even when we don’t feel God helping us or changing a situation, rest assured, He hears every prayer and will answer in the perfect time that He himself knows to be best. Our faith is very precious to God, and He wants us to show faith constantly while we are praying and waiting on His wisdom, answers, and help.
I remember when my daughter, Christie, was younger and incredibly strong-willed! It seemed as if she was constantly in trouble, and my heart prayed and cried out to God day and night for help and wisdom! During this time, my husband was reading The Sacred Romance by John Eldridge. Through this book, he became aware of the power of focusing on the good in people and seeing them as who they could become, not as who they presently are. We both agreed to apply this principle of speaking of things that don’t yet exist as if they are real (Romans 4:17 ERV), to our daughter. I believe this one habit changed our relationships with our daughter and set the stage for the beautiful, close relationship we all enjoy as a family now. Speaking life is powerful!
Our words have power, and they show our faith or lack of faith in God and the members of our family and friends. Was my daughter perfect all the time, or did God answer my prayers by giving us only easy days from then on? Certainly not! But we began to treat Christie like she was the sweet, godly, purpose-driven person she could become. We spoke words of faith, not because of anything Christie would do or accomplish or whether she would obey. We based our words on the belief that God and His faithfulness and power could help make her into the Christ-follower and amazing woman she is today.
That’s the key: speak words of faith and life to the people and situations in your lives as if the outcome depends on God, His power, and the promises in Scripture. Base your words of faith on God answering your prayers, no matter how long it takes. I’m not saying you should live in denial or be blind to your child’s sin or the problems in your life, but I am saying you should “call into being” the possibilities in your child’s life or your situation.
Blessings and Love,
Pray and ask God to give you a list of encouraging words you can speak over your husband and children. Write them in your journal and use them for the “What’s Next” exercise below.
Do you have a difficult spouse or child? How about, instead of complaining about him to God or your friends, praying for him! Then believe God is answering your prayers and act as if He is answering right now! Catch your difficult child being good as much as possible! Praise your husband and tell him how much you love and appreciate him. Live your life as if God is making the changes and answering your prayers. Call the greatness into being with your words.
Does this require humility? You bet! Your husband may not be encouraging, or your teen may be rude. Even so, be kind and trust God. Remember, you are not placing your trust in people and their behavior; you are placing your trust and hope in the living God, the One who made the heavens and the earth and is faithful to answer!
I remember going into my daughter's room night after night and kneeling beside her bed and crying my heart out to God because I didn’t know how to be a Christian mom; I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. You know what? God is so faithful! He answered me and simply said, “Spend time with me, Deb.” And so I did. I began arising 15-30 minutes earlier each day so I could read my Bible and pray, and plan out my day with my family.
If there was one thing I would love to share with you is that God is personal and loves you as you are. You don’t have to be perfect to be loved by our amazing God! Come as you are! His loving presence can be practically known and experienced. He is not a God who is far away, He is near and easily found. He longs for you to come to Him!
Randy and I have been married for 28 years and we have two grown children, Christie, and Jack, and one answer to prayer son-in-law named Alex. And now I get to be a Gigi to my sweet little grandbaby, Aspen! Yay!