Out of Exile: Day 37 – Reframing God

Several years ago I was lamenting the life of someone I was counseling. It didn’t seem like they would ever climb out of the hole they were in. Then I remembered Psalm 23 where David said of God, “…he restores my soul.” It struck me that those words were either true or false. Did I believe God was a restorer of souls or not? I believe he is.

I’m convinced that many people stay stuck in exile because of a low view of God. For whatever reason, they don’t believe God is a restorer of souls, and they pay the price for it.

My last recommendation for reframing has to do with choosing to see God as a god of abundance, not scarcity.  Will you look at life expecting God to show up in a big way? Or will you assume the worst? 

We serve the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

Scarcity is about fear. You are afraid there won’t be enough: enough money, enough love, enough time, enough forgiveness: whatever it is you feel you need in life. 

Scarcity focuses on what little you have; it’s all you’ll get, and if you aren’t careful you will even lose that.

Scarcity is about walls and locks and secrets and hiding because you can never be too careful to guard your meager holdings.

Abundance is the opposite. Abundance is about hope. Abundance sees opportunities when others are cutting back and preparing to throw in the towel.

Have you ever noticed how many seeds a tree throws off every year? Literally thousands. One tree shed enough seeds to create a forest. God has wired abundance into his creation. If he’s done that for trees, won’t he do it for his children?

In the wanderings of the Sinai Wilderness, God’s people doubted his goodness. They doubted he would meet their needs. God responded:

How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? Numbers 14:11

When I have a scarcity mindset I hold God in contempt. I tell him he’s not enough. He is not sufficient for my need.

Paraphrasing, God responded by saying: Okay. It’s your choice. If you don’t think I can help you overcome the obstacles then fine, don’t enter the Promised Land. And in fact, they didn’t enter. They wandered in the Sinai Peninsula for forty years.

It didn’t have to be that way. They had a choice.

In contrast to their contempt for God was Abraham. He believed in a God of abundance: the God of resurrection. Paul wrote that Abraham believed in:

…the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations …Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead–since he was about a hundred years old–and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” Romans 4:17-22

We serve the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

I know there are exceptions. I know that all stories don’t end in resurrection and deliverance in this life. But God is a god of abundance. Why not expect the best? Why not expect something amazing…even if that’s an amazing sense of peace and joy in your exile?

Maybe you are in a hopeless place. But did you see what Abraham did? It says… against all hope, Abraham believed in hope… 

You are not a fool to hope. You are a person of faith.

Do you see God as a God of abundance or scarcity? Be honest.  What will it take to renew your hope in the God who gives life to the dead? Leave a comment below.

 

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5 thoughts on “Out of Exile: Day 37 – Reframing God

  1. Anonymous

    I believe God is of course a God of abundance. But I also believe we experience seasons of scarcity – and that sometimes God allows that scarcity to endure for a while. And as you point out, sometimes the season of scarcity last even unto the end of life. But I was recently encouraged by your words (in Healing the Hurts of the Past) where you talk about God’s character is to “make up for” seasons of loss and scarcity – to store up the blessings and then restore more than was lost.

    1. F. Remy Diederich Post author

      I’m always so happy when I hear that someone is encouraged by my words. That’s my goal in all of this. Too many of us want to quit or live half-hearted lives. Too many of us leave our best on the bench because no one saw the good in us and bothered to challenged us to give our best. THanks for mentioning my words in my book. The thought about God making up for our losses would be a good note to close out this series.

  2. michelle

    Im truly stuck in a scarcity mindset, fighting for all thats being taken and what little i have left…40 years and i cannot see any joy…im ashamed but stuck and tired, but clinging to contempt…

    1. F. Remy Diederich Post author

      You may have little, but God is never limited by your lack. Don’t let contempt steal what little you have left. If scarcity thinking has gotten you here, it’s time to switch to new thinking. I trust God can give you what you need. Thanks for your honesty.

  3. Pingback: Out of Exile: Day 39 - Double Blessings - F. Remy Diederich

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