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http://www.michellebenthamcreates.com

Please visit me at REDEEMED...RESTORED...RELEASED: One Woman's Story of Living Free to read more about what God is doing in my life and how He is working those things to set me free. Thanks so much for following, visiting, reading all about it and supporting me as you have done so many times these last few years. If you follow my other blogs, the posts from all three of my blogs are going to be transferred to the new digs for one big blog about our journey to restoration and freedom in Christ.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tuesday's In Other Words: Credited as Righteousness

Miriam (Mipa) at Miriam Pauline's Monologue is hosting this week's IOW. If you would like to participate, just copy the quote above and write your own post In "Other"
Words about this week's quote.


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Even the demons believe that God exists and shudder. Belief in the existence of God is not enough to be called by the name of His Son. Belief in the existence of God does not guarantee us the promise of heaven and eternal life with the God in whom we believe. The kind of faith that is credited as righteousness is the faith that declares Jesus as Lord and Savior, the God who redeems that which is lost and restores brokenness and overcame the grave. The One and Only Son of God who came to seek and save that which was lost.


When I read this quote I think of Abraham. Abraham who sent one son off to the desert with his wife's handmaid, Hagar, and entrusted his life to the Lord and His promise for Ishmael. Only to be given an even more difficult task.

I think of how God called him to give up the promise to see if Abraham's faith was in God or in the child God had given him. However, as we read in Genesis 22, Abraham acted faithfully entrusting His son's life to God and believing that if God called him to sacrifice the child of promise, that God would indeed bring Him back from the death and that is exactly what God did.
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My favorite part of the retelling in Genesis 22 is when Isaac asks his father on the way up the mountain, "I see the altar. I see the knife. But, Father, who will provide the lamb?"
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Abraham's Answer: "The Lord will provide the Lamb."
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How Abraham's heart and love for his son must have raged against his willingness to be obedient to the Lord even in death.

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I have never questioned God on the death of my son, Justin. I know there is a better purpose and plan in it all. I have experienced deep comfort and peace in the arms of my Savior over this issue. I had to trust God to be as good as His Word and that He would not let me stumble or fall even in the most devastating circumstances. I could have raged against Him and cried out about the injustice... I could have renounced my faith in Him because life had not worked out the way I had planned and the answers to my prayers for my son were often the situation growing much worse rather than better. Anytime we experienced a moment of reprieve in his life, it would seem it was only the calm before a much more violent storm. Yet, in it all, I never stopped praying, believing, asking or hoping that God would deliver on the words spoken over my son all his life.



And what about Ishmael? What happened to Abraham's other son? Hagar ran from the harshness of her mistress while pregnant with Ishmael, she ran to the desert where she encountered the Lord and received a promise. Had she not believed God for that promise, she could not have returned to the harsh treatment of her mistress and endured for the sake of her child. She returned to her mistress and endured the harshness with the promise that the Lord saw her agony and would take care of Hagar and her unborn child. She went back only to return to the desert once more. Only to watch as her son almost die... And the God who sees, El Roi, He saw Hagar and Ishmael and had mercy on them - just as He did with Isaac and Abraham on the mountain. Sometimes, receiving the promise means believing God while returning to places you had once thought the door would be closed forever.



This Psalm comforts me when I find myself revisited by haunting moments of my past - places and things that have been long done but have not been dealt with between the Lord and I. Things I'd just asoon never revisist. However, God in His mercy would not allow me to be pushed back to those places unless He intended to help me and bless me through them so that those circumstances could never make me fall again.

When I find myself in the grips of self-defeating life patterns, going back again and again to what has wrought havoc and destruction in my life, I am learning to ask God why I keep going back and how this works in His plan for my life. He is ever faithful. He restores my heart, my mind and my soul in those moments and always provides a way out for me. He then cleanses me of it and redeems the memory to show me where He was and what He was doing during those dark and painful times. It is truly for Freedom that Christ has set us Free. Going back does not mean revisiting and reclaiming the shame and destruction of a particular period of my life, going back means believing by faith that if I entrust my past to God and allow Him to redeem it - it will be used to reveal His good and glory in the life of another and in turn bring restoration and healing to me. He is faithful. He never forsakes us. He asks only that we would believe.


"What does the Scripture say? 'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.'" ~ Romans 4:3 (NIV)


God gave Abraham credit for trusting His word. He gave Abraham credit for believing in Him through much adversity - and He will give you credit, too. Not for how you failed Him, but for how you trusted in Him when the times were hard, the memories painful and so difficult to understand. Trust Him completely let Him redeem your past as He delivers you into a glorious future. He truly is making all things new.

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For more info about In "Other Words", check out Loni's blog at Writing Canvas.

9 comments:

Esthermay Bentley-Goossen said...

A tender and very personal post. Thank you. I read it and re-read it. AND was blessed. I've landed on your blog before, but never really lingered. Reading this post really touched me -- I'll bookmark you.
Kindest Thoughts,
Esthermay

Joyfull said...

Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing that in the depths of pain, God is faithful and does not push us back but keep us moving forward in Him.

Karen said...

That was a wonderful post. We do have to trust that God will be as good as He says He is. We will never be disappointed if we trust in Him, even during those times where He takes us back before going forward.

Laurie Ann said...

Absolutely beautiful post. Going back to go forward is often God's way, isn't it? More than we realize!

Patricia@Typing One-Handed said...

"Going back does not mean revisiting and reclaiming the shame and destruction of a particular period of my life, going back means believing by faith that if I entrust my past to God and allow Him to redeem it - it will be used to reveal His good and glory in the life of another and in turn bring restoration and healing to me."

Yes, yes! What a wonderful God is He!

Bonnie W said...

Wonderful, inspiring post today Michelle.

"He then cleanses me of it and redeems the memory to show me where He was and what He was doing during those dark and painful times."

I remember this happening too. As I began to deal with the pain and shame, I remember seein Jesus holding each incident reverently in His hands and looking at them with tears in His eyes. Just knowing He wasn't condemning me brought such healing - then He redeemed the memories so I could be whole.

Wow - this spoke volumes to me today.

lori said...

Michelle...
You really spoke to me here...

"God gave Abraham credit for trusting His word. He gave Abraham credit for believing in Him through much adversity - and He will give you credit, too."

That thought comforts me..perhaps because I've gone backwards kicking and screaming...but believing...and it makes me smile to know that it counts for something...
peace...
wonderful post!

lori

Tami Boesiger said...

Your sincerity and trust shine in this post, Michelle. I am certain God will be faithful to you.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:10)

luvmy4sons said...

So much truth and victory in this post. What a shining example of the power of God in someone's life. Hugs to you.