“Haal-e shoma chetoreh?”
In Persian one asks another “Haal-e shoma chetoreh?” It’s like our version of “how are you doing?” In fact it’s better than that. Translated, it is actually asking about the transient state of one’s heart. In other words “how is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?”
How is your heart doing? Is it overwhelmed? Maybe your heart is full of joy? Of hope and expectation? Perhaps feeling weary? Maybe you are like the tribe in South America that went on a long march lasting days. All of a sudden they would cease their walking and rest, explaining that they needed this time of rest so that their soul could catch up with them.
We see too in Psalm 42 that King David enquired after the state of his own heart. He asks where his peace, his quiet has gone.
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?” (Psalm 42:5)
He then speaks to his heart with faith, with hope in God.
“Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.” (Psalm 42:5)
If your heart is not doing well there is no better place to be than in the presence of God, in the hope of God, in the love and in the safety of God.
“When my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2)
“Bold faith stands on the shoulders of quiet trust.” (Bill Johnson)
Faith is not knowing what the future holds, what the outcome will be, but knowing and trusting in our God. We can be bold in our faith when we trust in God. When we trust in His character, His goodness and His love for us. No matter how scary the future might appear we can trust God’s heart for us.
Faith is Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego trusting in God as they are thrown into the fire. Faith is Abraham and Sarah holding on to God’s promise when everything on earth suggested it could never come to pass.
Faith is trust.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Saviour
Trust without borders. Dare we? Dare we remove the limits to our faith? Those safeguards that lie at our faith’s edge? Dare we declare to God for Him to take us deeper than before?
We all have those borders – those places of security. Our health, relationships, our financial provision, our job security, our reputation, our identity. Without borders is putting that on the line. It is saying I will trust you to what you call me to, to what ever happens, I will trust.
It sounds scary to live a life without limits. But actually trusting in God is what makes us appear brave on the outside. It’s when we choose to ignore what our circumstances are telling us. It’s when despite the reality around us we choose to step out of the boat to what God has called us to. We choose to trust Him. To seek Him in the deepest waters, to seek Him in the mystery .
It means that there is nothing that will halt our faith. Nothing that puts limits on our trust in God.
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
“The fears are paper tigers”
Fear in the right situations is good and provides us with a healthy caution. But more often it just produces undue stress and anxiety. It will often start as a mere thought that then creates emotions that then impact our decisions and actions.
Fear is a weapon of the enemy. He uses it to manipulate our behaviour. Fear can stop us from walking in our destiny and can destroy our enjoyment of life. And that is exactly what the enemy wants to achieve!
Fear is after our faith. In fact fear is the opposite of faith. It causes us to doubt God and to make our fears the loudest voice in our lives. When we are in faith, it opens the door for God to work in our lives. Fear does the opposite and gives the enemy control.
We need to learn not to fear the fear! To see our fears as paper tigers. For paper tigers cannot harm us. For fear is not reality. It says in Psalm 23 “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” A shadow, like paper tigers cannot cause us harm, for God is there with us.
We need to face our fears with faith.
“The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1, NIV)
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3)
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
“Our hearts will take us where our heads can’t fit.” (Bill Johnson)
My nine year old is studying space at school. He has us outside most nights pointing to the various constellations and planets that he can now recognise. With it has come a plethora of questions. Questions of Galaxies and Universes. Imaginations of what it would be like to live on Mars or travel in space. Questions too as to what people who lived around the time of Galileo and Copernicus believed about space. Did they know of the existence of other galaxies? Did they think travelling to space would ever be possible? Staring up at the stars ourselves, it is even hard to think that such a thing actual occurs today.
Back in the 16th Century I don’t think they would have been able to conceive how much more there is to know about space. Just as we know today that even with our advancements in technology and accumulated knowledge we are still only scratching the surface of what space holds.
It’s rather like our faith. We only see in part and cannot fully comprehend God, His love for us and His ways. A lot of the time we won’t have all the answers for what happens in life or know why things occur. It wouldn’t be faith if we could reason out and comprehend all. Faith is about mystery. It is about choosing to trust in God and place our complete confidence in Him despite what we face or even what others say.
We can be assured though of this, God loves us and is true to His promises. Lysa Terkeurst puts it well when she said “If God is good and God is good to me, then I must fill in the gaps of the unknowns of my life with a resounding statement of trust. God is good at being God. I don’t have to figure my present circumstances out. All I have to do is trust.”
“We will not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but will be strengthened in faith, giving glory to God and being fully convinced that what He promised He is able to perform.” (Romans 4:20-21)
“The walk of faith is to live according to the revelation we have received, in the midst of the mysteries that we can’t explain.” (Bill Johnson)