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What do you do when your experience doesn’t line up with God’s Word?

Do you interpret Scripture through the lens of your experience? Or do you interpret your experience through the lens of God’s Word?

About a year ago, I was repeatedly meditating on a particular promise in Scripture that sounded amazing yet seemed too good to be true. I didn’t see the fulfillment of this promise in the Church either. I asked God to give me understanding. The Lord responded by encouraging me to simply take Him at His Word.

Around the same time, I was praying some bold, faith-filled prayers but becoming discouraged because of what I was seeing and experiencing. I was very tempted to give up, but the Holy Spirit reminded me of my responsibility: I am called to stand on His Word and promises and to cultivate faith and expectation, regardless of what my experience has been.

We don’t need to understand everything, and we are not to judge the faith of others, but we are to fight the good fight of faith, refusing to reduce the Word of God to the level of our experience.

God doesn’t lie, His promises are true, and we are wise not to adjust His Word so that it makes sense to us. The nature of faith calls us to persistently pursue the Lord’s promises and prove them true.

Faith isn’t about believing because we see. It IS about believing even when we can’t see.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Faith looks at the pain and disappointment in life and then turns its gaze toward God and says, “But as for me, I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more” (Psalm 71:14). Why? Because faith looks beyond the present circumstances, knowing that God does not lie, and His promises are true. God is greater than whatever stands in front of you.

Faith acknowledges the hard but confidently expects God’s goodness and compassion to come through.

“You who have shown me many troubles and distresses will revive me again, and will bring me up again from the depths of the earth.” Psalm 71:20

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His Word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” Psalm 107:19-20

Faith looks at the gap between the promises of Scripture and what is presently being experienced, then lifts it up to God. Faith presses on, grasping all the tighter to what the Lord has clearly said.

Thank God that we are not on our own in the journey of faith! The reality is that sometimes we are weak and so is our faith, but we have the resources of heaven at hand. Faith is ultimately a gift from God, so we can ask Him for more. In addition, we have the sustenance of Scripture to feed our hungry, weary souls. “So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).

We may not be able to conjure up faith, but there is a power that can sever doubt from our souls.

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword….” Hebrews 4:12a

“’Is not My word like a fire?’ declares the Lord, ‘and like a hammer which shatters a rock?’” Jeremiah 23:29

We must not forget that we are in a spiritual battle, and we have an enemy who will do whatever it takes to discourage and deplete us. He would love nothing more than to dull the glory of God through our faithless living. We have to fight back. Our good Father wants and intends so much more for us!

Refuse to interpret the Word through your experiences. Saturate your life in the supernatural Scriptures, and grasp hold of God’s promises, refusing to let them go. Don’t lose heart. Wait upon the Lord, and He will come through.

“Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” Isaiah 64:4

Father, forgive me for adjusting Your Word to align with my experiences. Increase my faith and help me to hold tightly to Your promises, regardless of what I see or don’t see. May my life be a demonstration of Your goodness, Your power, and Your credibility. Do all this in Jesus’ Name, for You are worthy of it all!

Kimberly Vaughn

Kimberly Vaughn is The Connection’s blog editor, as well as a co-leader for their mentoring program, “Together.” She is a wife and a homeschool mom of two. Kimberly has a passion to encourage and build up other women, especially those who are hurting and broken. She has been involved in various aspects of ministry since graduating from Bible college 20 years ago. It is her desire for women to experience hope and transformation in Jesus through the words she writes and speaks.

1 Comment

Donna VanWert about 1 month ago

Thanks for sharing, Kimberly. Sometimes we forget how big our God is.

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