An “Even If” FAITH

An even if faith

Hebrews 11:1

  “What is faith?  It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen.  It is the evidence of things we cannot see yet.” 

  I cannot count how many emails and comments I get from men and women who have a wayward spouse that is not at all remorseful, or ready to change.  I honestly don’t know what to say when they write back at times. 

  If you have read our story, you know that thankfully, I had a spouse who:

A) confessed, instead of was caught in the indiscretion
B) was totally forthcoming with the facts of the incident, after said confession
C) was so sorry and ready to do whatever it took to reconcile our relationship

  I have been praying and asking God what to tell these broken people. My heart aches as I write to them, because I know that stab of pain all too well.  I usually just sit here praying and wishing I could fix it for them, but I can’t. All I can do, is point them to Jesus and to God’s Word. 

  I send them go read the blog post “The Prodigal Spouse, Because God Is Bigger Than Your Divorce Papers” because I believe that God is still in the Restoration business.  I’ve walked that treacherous road, and lived to tell about it.  You better believe it seemed easier to just walk away from it all, hoping one day I could learn to love again.

  I believe with time, even wayward spouses who seem totally uninterested, can be brought back to Him and then, to you, in total restoration of that original Marriage Covenant! I believe mountains still move at the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

  In a world that pushes Divorce and what we “deserve,” it’s hard to change that mindset to dying to self, to lay down the desire to get revenge, or move on, and just accept your circumstances for the moment, never ceasing to ask God to work a miracle, but being satisfied in the meantime.

 But what if the wayward spouse isn’t interested in coming back?

Let’s look at the story of 3 men who had faith in the face of adversity.

  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, had an “Even If” faith.  We can read their story in Daniel 3.   

  It all begins with a declaration that all must worship the giant image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, when the music started playing….Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the one true God, refuse.  They know no matter what their society is telling them to do to keep the peace, that they should NOT bow to worship this idol.

13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But EVEN IF he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

  Now, we know this story has a happy ending, with 3 very alive men walking around in a furnace 7 times hotter than normal, with a “mysterious” 4th figure in there.  Let’s think about this is real terms….these men had NO IDEA if God was going to spare their lives.  They literally were about to be burned to death in a furnace so hot, that it killed the guards standing outside of it. 

  But God is in the miracle business.  He allows these circumstances that seem IMPOSSIBLE, so you can remember with Him? ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

  Where you end, HE begins.

  I want to encourage you today, to keep waiting and watching for your wayward spouse to come home.  To not bow to the World and it’s demands for revenge, and a better life after divorce. 

  Remain faithful as you wait for your love to come back to you.  Seek God with your whole heart, and let Him fulfill you in the meantime.  He is the lover of your soul, and wants to minister to you, to teach you, during this time of separation and of sorrow.  Don’t stop believing and asking for that miracle, do not stop asking for Him to break the heart of your spouse and make it new.  Even if you have to walk away for months, or years in the meantime. Even if, in the end, you walk away entirely.

  Don’t stop praying, that one day, your spouse will see what he had with you, find Jesus, and come back changed. Be Jesus when you speak to them during your time of separation, using the verbage that comes from your heart, always planting seeds of hope and a future: “Someday, when we are back together again, I want to…”
Send a text now and then, “You are on my heart today, missing you and praying for you always.”

You CAN be Jesus to your wayward spouse, we are to be Jesus to the spouse who is lost, because we just might be the only Jesus they see.

1 Peter 3:1-2
“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.”

1 Corinthians 7:10-11
“To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife…..”  

Our Father’s heart hurts to see His children feel the consequences of divorce.

However, the Word also says in 1 Corinthians 7:15-16:

  “But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?”

  I know these verses sound opposing, but we should view this, per unique situation, as a matter of prayer.  Of what God is calling YOU to do, which will be different than others.

  In the end, you are not responsible for the actions of your husband or wife, who are living in sin.  They answer to God for that, not you.  At the end of your life here on Earth, you will give an account of what you did for Christ, and be blessed for your faithfulness in the midst of sorrow, in your diligent prayers for redemption.

 And you know what?

  EVEN IF restoration doesn’t happen for you,

  EVEN IF that spouse keeps hardening his heart, or plugging her ears, to the Lord’s nudges for redemption, reconciliation and restoration for the rest of their lives here on Earth,

  EVEN IF the world scoffs at you for not just divorcing the jerk and moving on, you will be blessed for your obedience beyond your wildest dreams and expectations….

                  It’s time we have an “Even If” faith like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did.

Our prayer should be as follows:

  I will obey you, Father, EVEN IF I never get to see the fruits of this harvest of obedience blessings until Kingdom come.

  I will trust you, Lord, EVEN IF all I see is the mess of strings from the back of a beautiful tapestry I know you are weaving with my life.

   Because even if you don’t answer my prayers just the way I had hoped, I know I can rest easy knowing that you have plans for me to bring you glory, and to bring me hope and a wonderful future…

  Thank you, Jesus! Amen.

 ~T

 

 

 

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17 thoughts on “An “Even If” FAITH

  1. I love this post. I am currently writing a book on “Profiting What Ifs.” This Blog post has got me thinking for my book to include “Even Ifs.” Thank you for this message and devotion of the day.

  2. Perfectly beautiful Tonya! Directing folks to the Truth of the Word is always the sure fire way to get through life. This is an awesome post…thanks for sharing. I have no doubt, many lives and hearts will be touched because of what you’ve shared here. XO

  3. Tonya,
    This post really touched me. My son’s heart was broke severely by my daughter in law. She walked out on him and their 1 year old son. It was devestating for all of us. Nothing is worse than seeing your child’s heart break. We prayed and prayed that she would come to her senses. He finally moved on and met a WONDERFUL girl that had her heart broken 3 years earlier in the same type of scenario. ANYWAY, my daughter in law DID come back and DID want him back….but it was too late, our son was already in love with someone else. My heart broke again….I just wished she would have realized it sooner, then there wouldn’t be a broken family and lives. What do you do?…..She took too long and my son fell in love with someone else. He is now remarried and constantly tells us that he’s never been happier and feels like the broken road he was on is what led him to his current wife. Like everything was “meant to be” in order for him to meet her.
    Your post is WONDERFUL, and I feel very strongly about everything you said, as my husband and I have been married for 32 years and the word divorce never, ever came out of our mouths….we worked our way through our problems. HOWEVER, the post was also VERY HARD for me to read, because even though I love my current daughter-in-law, the whole situation still breaks my heart and I wish it would have never happened like this.
    SO SORRY, this is getting very long. Anyway, keep up the good work with your blog….it’s awesome as always!

    • Thanks, Cathy. Bless your heart, that IS so hard! We can’t live in the Land of “What If’s and If Only’s” though. What IF she had come back sooner? If only he hadn’t move on…etc
      I love the part where the Bible says our Father has plans for us to bring us a hope and a future. The grace and love part of our faith means, that even if we don’t deserve it, or even if we miss the boat of God’s perfect plan, He still has wonderful things in store for us.

    • He should have waited the Bible says if a man divorces His wife and marries another it is committing adultery!
      mark 10:11-12!
      Luke 16:18!
      Praise Jesus for truth!

  4. Pingback: The Prodigal Spouse: Because God is BIGGER Than Your Divorce Papers | 4 little Fergusons

  5. God is so good! and timely!! Thank you for being such an obedient servant and mouthpiece for God. I have been following your blog for 2 years now. My friend Jocelyn Buxton introduced me to your blog when I experienced betrayal in my marriage. We attempted to work things out for almost 2 years…when I found he had been cheating again. We are separated now and I have absolutely no desire to reconcile with this man he has become. I pray God will pour His conviction out on my husband that he would change his ways and realize the enemy is winning the battle! Thank you also for giving me something I can point others to, to help them understand my viewpoint on why I haven’t filed for divorce yet.

  6. What a wonder blog today, I am sure you have helped many with the words you wrote today……..love your blog…

  7. This makes some excellent points; I think people are often too quick to “move on” after a divorce anyways! I’m sure that in many situations, God will point hearts to be patient and in time, their wayward partners will be drawn back to them. Other times though, especially after some time has passed, I am sure that God might point hearts to “moving on”. Although God CAN work miracles and drastically turn the heart of ANY wayward spouse, realistically, He does not choose to in every situation. In those cases, the remaining spouse’s heart might be righteously guided to find happiness with a new person.

  8. Thank you for your posts. I’ve been standing for my 33 year marriage for 3 years. My husband filed papers and we are now in the middle of the “agreement”. We live in a no fault divorce state. Doesn’t matter what I think , feel or want. While I do NOT agree to divorce I realize I must stand up for myself as I have no college education as I happily supported and encouraged his college education twice as I was his wife and fortunate stay at home mother. Now our youngest graduated high school the divorce begins for him. I have repented of any and all wrong in the marriage and God has taken me to the mud and more and continues to renew me everyday. I know God hears our prayers for our spouses, they have hardened their hearts towards Him. God does not choose to not restore a marriage as that is against His own word and He is not a liar. Instead we must continue in prayer, as you said, for their lives and hearts to be broken in two and spill out before them in order to bring them to Godly sorrow and the beautiful grace and mercy from Jesus Christs sacrifice for their and our sins. Nothing is too hard for God, yet He allows our free will and He will not stop wooing our spouses. Satan prowls around without ceasing. But. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world, so I must continue praying, interceding. I pray it is not a even if until my death, but Gods will be done. I am having the wording changed on the divorce papers just in case. Perhaps others within the court that day may change their hearts if not my beloved husband. Praying incessantly. Gods love endures forever.

  9. I’ve been scouring and soaking in all kinds of testimonies and sites like these. I’m the prodigal. I was unfaithful, and when she found out, she separated and then filed for divorce. When I received the divorce papers I signed them in anger. I was angry with her… She was born again, and a strong believer, and although I’ve always been a believer in Christ I’ve never been a follower. A little while after the divorce I went through the darkest period of my life. Depression and anxiety hit me so hard. I’m not sure if I was contemplating suicide, but for the first time in my life I found myself understanding why people thought about suicde and why some went through with it. The pain was that unbearable. It was so heavy on me. One morning it was so bad i keeled over in pain and anguish and finally with tears streaming down my face and sobbing I fell to my knees and cried out for god. I begged forgiveness and begged him to help me. The darkness lifted a little at first, just enough to allow me to stand. And I’ve been praying and reading his word for a few months now and it’s been a lot easier. I wrote my wife a long letter begging her forgiveness and begging her for a chance to start again in Christ and make amends for all the hurt and destruction I caused her. I pray and beg God to restore my marriage even though I don’t deserve it. I’m a work in progress, and sometimes my faith is so weak, and I’m terrified of walking this life alone without her. I’m so scared because I’m getting what I deserve and this might be my punishment. It helps so much to read testimonies from marriages that God has restored. I read them all with tears just streaming down my face. Sometimes it’s all I can do to get to a washroom or somewhere private so I won’t be seen. I keep praying for stronger faith, but sometimes I just get so scared. I pray God will reach her and move her heart before she meets and marries someone else better. Which is what she deserves. I thank you for posts and testimonies like these. Please pray for my marriage. I want to come home. I’m so sorry.

    • Yes, Jeremy I will most certainly pray for you ,your wife and your marriage.
      I to am feeling the lost sometime even hopeless, empty, disconnected, emotions. Only picking up your Bible and getting into the word will relieve those feelings.
      Right now my wife is somewhere with another man. She has filed papers and is claiming half of all we have. I have to sell my home other properate just to satisfy her and her boyfriends desire for wealth.
      But I am the one who will prosper. Because I love fear trust and obey the Lord. I am growing stronger each day in the faith. My heart trembles to be in their places.
      But even now I would reconsile.
      Tim

      • Thank you so much for your response Tim, and I am so thankful and appreciative for your prayers. I’m so sorry for the situation you are in, and I can only imagine the pain you are experiencing right now, except that it can only be like what my wife experienced. People like your wife and I just don’t realize the destruction we cause when we look to fulfill our selfish desires. If there is one bit of hope I can offer you its this, God changes hearts. He changed my heart. He turned me from my selfish and sinful desires and lifestyle and brought me back. He can do the same for your wife. I’m very new at this, but I’ve learned so much, and I still have a lot to learn, but for the first time in my life I have a willingness to learn. Thank you again for your prayers and I have already prayed for you and your wife and will continue to do so.
        God bless

        Jeremy

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