"And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into His plans."
- Romans 8:28 TLB
I often hear from people who ask me, "Have you ever received confirmation from God in a matter, and yet not seen it come to pass?" One such occasion was when I received a letter from a young man whose girlfriend had just broken up with him, after they had been together for more than a year. He was devastated, and he was looking for answers. He cried out to the Lord, and asked Him to reveal to him whether or not this relationship would be restored. God sent this young man the confirmations he eagerly sought, and he was greatly encouraged. That is, until his former girlfriend told him about the confirmations that she received from the Lord herself, convincing her that this young man was not His choice for her, and that she should move on. Now this poor man was utterly confused. He asked me which confirmations from God I thought were true. And when I told him that only time would tell, he admitted that his pastor had told him the very same thing.
Years ago, I had a relationship with my high school sweetheart that both of us felt was destined to lead to marriage. After we were together for more than three years, my boyfriend chose to break off the relationship. My life was shattered, and I sought the Lord for a sign that we would be reunited. After having a vivid dream about our getting back together, I was sure that God was confirming that my desire for a reconciliation would come to pass. It never did. But seven months later, I met my husband, Joe, and I knew that my ex-boyfriend's parting words rang true when he said, "Someday you'll thank me for this."
When my husband and I had to ask our oldest son to leave our home because of his persistent disobedience and rebellion, I was devastated. I prayed night and day that the Lord would change my son's heart, so that we could all live together in peace again under one roof. As I sought the Lord for encouragement and reassurance, I received a multitude of signs that led me to believe that our family would someday be happy and whole again. As it turned out, my dreams for a restored family eventually came true, but my son never came back home again, as I had envisioned. Nevertheless, he married a godly young woman, who has enlarged both our family and our blessings.
I know many people who have gotten apparent "confirmations" from the Lord in a matter, yet never saw their dreams come to pass. We may never know this side of heaven why this is so. Perhaps the truth is simply too much for us to bear, and God knows that, and shields us for a time, until we're ready to accept it. I believe that God does not want us to focus on whether or not we will get our way in a matter, but He wants us to concentrate on loving and serving Him, regardless of how things might turn out for us. If we don't keep the proper focus during these times, we will lose our peace, our joy, and our sense of purpose, and our spiritual progress may be severely hindered.
The Lord has promised that He will never allow you to face more tests or troubles than you can bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13) And He has promised that if you love Him, and are doing your best to live for Him, He will make "all things" work together for your good. (Romans 8:28) My prayer for you today is that you'll put your wholehearted trust in the Lord, and receive the "perfect peace" He has waiting for you. (Isaiah 26:3)
Prayer: Lord, teach me to keep the proper focus when I'm going through tests and trials. Deliver me from the temptation to rely on so-called "confirmations" from You. Instead, create in me a new heart that will trust in You and Your intentions, no matter what comes my way. Thank You that as I keep my eyes on You, and draw upon Your strength, You will transform all of my troubles into triumphs!
- J. M. Farro