Abraham named the place “The Lord Will Provide.”
Genesis 22:14 NLT
In Life University, some examinations are harder than others. Some of My tests are so demanding that you may despair of even making a passing grade. I probe your deep emotions to see if you really love Me. I use adversity to get your attention—not because I want you hurt, but because I want you holy.I refine your character through the crucible of difficult circumstances, skimming off evil impurities until your Christlike heart reflects My holy face. You learn, in the process of relying on Me, I always take very good care of you.
My optimistic friend told his servants that he and Isaac would return after they had worshiped. He did not deny the possibility that his son of laughter might cry or that he could die. Nevertheless, he assumed that if his beloved son did die, I would resuscitate him. This patriarch was no Pollyanna. He just implicitly trusted Me.
How is your outlook? In trying times do you say, “The Lord might provide?” Do you tentatively edge out on the limb, taking a chance on My goodness? Do you think, “The Lord could provide” reasoning I will help you if I should choose to? Do you exercise faith’s radical optimism—”The Lord will provide” no matter what may happen!?
If death occurs, there is resurrection. If nothing works out like you would wish, I will strengthen your character and teach you to sing for joy. If hard times should come along, you will still be able to find reasons for gratitude. Struggling? I will be your Hiding Place.
You have reason to be optimistic because of who I am—My infinite power sustains, and My unfailing love comforts. You can be optimistic because of My reliable promises—goodness will prevail when eternity dawns. I already know how everything will turn out. After the long, dark night of the soul, there will be a golden sunrise. I look on the bright side, and believe Me, it is far brighter than you can imagine from your limited perspective! I am the quintessential Eternal Optimist.
The cross is a plus sign—changing negativism into positivism, checkmating death by life, canceling transgression by forgiveness, conquering hate by love, eclipsing crucifixion through resurrection, converting skeptics into believers. Whatever you need between now and not yet, I will provide. After you have passed My finals, what will you name your place?
Johnny R. Almond
Pastor, Hull's Memorial Baptist Church
Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity