Sometimes when we are following God, we come to a place of uncertainty and fear and begin doubting ourselves, and God. Were we really supposed to make that decision? Perhaps we should have stayed back in that safe “place” where we were before…
“And Jacob said, ‘O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O LORD, who didst say to me, ‘Return to your country and to your relatives, and I will prosper you,’ I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which Thou hast shown to Thy servant; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two companies. Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me, the mothers with the children. For Thou didst say, ‘I will surely prosper you, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.”” ~ Genesis 32:9-12
I like Jacob’s prayer. He began by acknowledging Who God is and remembering His promises to him. When I am afraid or uncertain, I need to remember exactly Who God is, what He has done for me, and what He has promised me in the Bible.
“The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.” ~Lamentations 3:22-23
“‘The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.'” ~Job 33:4
“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.'” ~Revelation 1:8
“‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,'” ~Hebrews 13:5
“‘My peace I give to you;…Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.'” ~John 14:27
“‘My grace is sufficient for you,'” ~2 Corinthians 12:9
“God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able” ~1 Corinthians 10:13
Then Jacob freely admitted that he was undeserving of God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness, and he gave God the credit for the riches of his life. That is a no-brainer. The closer I come to the Lord, the more I recognize what a sinner I am, and the more thankful I am for the ways He has richly blessed me.
Next, he made a request of God. Esau had vowed to kill Jacob, so it is understandable that Jacob asked God to protect him and his family from his brother. What are we fearful about? Bring it to God. Tell Him about your fears, and then trust Him to take care of them for you.
Finally, he reminded God of His promises. Does God need a reminder? Um, no, He is all-knowing, not forgetful like we are. Do we need a reminder? YES!! Go back and read God’s word, remember His promises, remember Who He is, what He has already done, and then trust Him to take care of the rest.
Paul reminds us “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 1:6