AUGUST 2, 2017
“And blessed (happy, to be envied) is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of the things that were spoken to her from the Lord.” Luke 1:45 (AMPC)
It’s a compelling thought: God speaks jaw-dropping promises to His women, and if we dare to believe Him, we’ll be blessed.
Consider Mary, an average young woman living a quiet little life in Nazareth, tending to her family’s chores while daydreaming about her engagement to Joseph.
Suddenly, the angel Gabriel steps from Heaven onto her humble patch of earth and says something outrageous. He makes a promise that could never be fulfilled through mere human effort.
He declares the upcoming birth of a Savior — the long-awaited Messiah — through her, a virgin. He makes it clear she is God’s chosen vessel and through her, the stunning plan of redemption will occur. And then Mary does something equally outrageous.
In spite of her initial misgivings and not quite understanding how it will all work, she chooses to believe what God tells her. And history declares her blessed among women.
Meet the Scripture where it all started, the first chapter of Luke. I call it every woman’s verse:
“And blessed (happy, to be envied) is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of the things that were spoken to her from the Lord” (Luke 1:45).
God speaks. He gives the promise. And we believe.
Simple, right? Yet believing God’s promises is sometimes the hardest part. Believing is daring. Believing flies in the face of all we’re experiencing. We feel uncertain, scared we’re making it all up. Our faith feels woefully wobbly and feeble.
But if we dare to believe, we’ll be blessed among women. This truth holds the capacity to anchor our hearts while we face the two struggles every woman experiences.
Our first struggle is to believe we are who God says we are.
Unfortunately, we often believe less about ourselves — that how we are is how we’ll always be.
“My mother was moody, and I am, too.”
“My father was short tempered, and that’s just the way our family is wired.”
Struggles with stubbornness, strife, feelings of inadequacy, or the ability to hold a grudge are simply a given — a family legacy like freckles or muscular legs or blue eyes.
We’ve accepted a lesser version of ourselves.
What if, like Mary, we pondered and then truly accepted and dared to believe that we are who God says we are?
- Beautiful (Song of Solomon 1:15);
- Accepted (Ephesians 1:6);
- New creations (2 Corinthians 5:17);
- Precious in His sight (Isaiah 43:4);
- Unquestionably free (John 8:36);
- Chosen (John 15:16).
Our second struggle is to believe the stunning promises God whispers to our hearts.
How many times do we struggle because what God speaks to our hearts makes no sense? We wonder, How? How can this happen since _____?
I struggle to grasp God’s infinite abilities, because the deep issues I wrestle with in private seem impossible to overcome. Or I’m baffled by the logistics. Though we desperately long to believe, so much of what we see is the exact opposite of the promise. Our hearts soak in the promise but cannot comprehend the how.
What if we dared to believe God could do anything — anything at all — in and through us? What if, like Mary, our hearts were open in the midst of our most baffling, uncomfortable, unlikely situations?
God births supernatural things through women. He whispers to our imperfect hearts and beckons us to believe His stunning promises. Even when we’re a hot mess. When we dare to believe Him, He is honored. He is glorified. And His promises begin to unfold.
As God birthed the Messiah through Mary, His chosen vessel, so He births beautiful things through each of us.
What promises are you holding on to? Has God whispered a stunning promise to your heart — one so big there’s no way it can be accomplished apart from Him? Or maybe you’re gripped by the fear that there’s no promise for you.
If you’ve ever felt like you’re somewhere between a rock and a hot mess, you’re not alone. And contrary to how it might seem, you’re actually in a good place. A divine place, where holy promise exists. A place where every woman can dare to believe and embrace all God offers.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Job 42:2, “I know that You can do all things, and that no thought or purpose of Yours can be restrained or thwarted.” (AMPC)
Ever felt like a hot mess and wondered if genuine, godly change is really possible? With wisdom and authenticity, Julie K. Gillies helps you embrace God’s hope and promises in a fresh way through her new book, From Hot Mess to Blessed: Hope to Propel Your Soul and the Promises That Change Everything.
Join Julie on her blog to receive 7 Promises for a Hot Mess, and get the chance to win one of 5 signed copies of her just-released-today book, From Hot Mess to Blessed.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Here are specific prompts you can pray this week to cultivate faith as you dare to believe:
Ask God to bring your heart into alignment with His heart. (Matthew 6:10)
Ask Him to cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will. (Proverbs 16:3)
Ask Him to send strength and encouragement to your heart. (Isaiah 40:29)
Ask Him to strengthen your faith. (Mark 9:23-24)
© 2017 by Julie Gillies. All rights reserved.