This year marks my 50th year of walking it out. I penned a bible study, Discovering Hope in the Psalms and when I hit these verses, all the moments of God’s faithful love and provision seemed to replay like a favorite TV rerun in my mind:
The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. (Psalm 37:23-25)
One of my earliest memories as a preschooler was getting up early, before the rest of my family on Sunday morning and turning on our black and white TV set and watching a television show produced by the Lutheran Hour that depicted a loving father caring, leading and providing for his family. Life in that home was happy and harmonious—which was a stark contrast to the confusion and chaos of growing up in my home, where even as a youngster I could tell Daddy’s drinking was the cause of the domestic violence that permeated the weekends. As I watched the happy, healthy father on TV, I prayed to my Father in Heaven—trusting that even in the unpredictable, He my Creator God, my Abba Father would take care of me. The miracle in this is that my family didn’t attend any church! Somehow, my child-like faith just KNEW there was a God watching over us.
Eventually, my mom’s best friend invited us to go to church. There I heard about a God who loved us and offered a wonderful plan for our life—and I said, “Yes!” to Jesus.
Forty-some years later, as I penned Becoming a Brave New Woman, I reflected upon God as a powerful protector and provider: One of the prayers I often pray is ”Lord, we look to You for your power, protection, peace and provision.” I know I can ask this because God offers His character to back up His promises.
My favorite name of God is Jehovah Jireh, meaning “the one who provides.” Jireh is the Hebrew verb for to see. And if God sees, he also fore sees. “As the One who possesses eternal wisdom and knowledge, He knows the end from the beginning. As Elohim He is all knowing, all-wise, and all-powerful. From eternity to eternity He forsees everything. But another word for seeing is vision, from the Latin word video—to see.”[i] So it’s like God has the video for your life! Not only does he have the video, he is the director!” [ii]
Your opportunities in life directly reflect how you view God. If you know Him, you will trust Him. If you trust Him, you will step out in faith and gain that big wonderful life he promises: “A.W. Tozer says in his classic book, The Knowledge of the Holy, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Henry Blackaby and Claude King agree. In Experiencing God, they write, “How I live my life is a testimony of what I believe about God.” I like to say, “Show me your God, and I will show you your ability to achieve. Small God—small life. BIG GOD—BIG OPPORTUNITIES! BIG GOD—BIG COURAGE!”[iii]
But what does it look like to walk out our belief that God desires to extend his loving-kindness and practical provision to us? There are many times I have stepped out on a promise of God, trusting Him to be who He promised to be. Let me give a few examples of how my husband, Bill and I have “walked it out” believing God to be our Provider. We trusted God would provide . . .
- When we married at age 20 with only part time jobs and no college diploma yet
- When Bill quit his job and we lived on just Pam’s salary so Bill could finish 2 years of college in just one very packed academic year
- When we went without a car for almost that entire year, riding our bikes, trusting God would somehow provide one (We only had $100 for one.)
- When we set off for Talbot seminary and Biola University to get training for ministry
- When we started a family on a youth pastor’s salary
- When we decided Pam would be a “stay at home” professional mom when our kids were preschoolers
- When we bought our first home –then remodeled it
- When we took a cut in pay for Bill to take a Sr. Pastor position at age 28.
- Before the move to San Diego, our only car died, and we had only a few hundred toward one.
- When we bought property and built a home in San Diego
- When we stepped out and Pam went back to school to complete her degree
- When we started our writing and speaking ministry
And those are just the decisions to trust God that laid the foundation for all we are doing in our Love-Wise ministry today.
God has never let us down. We married young and followed hard after God to complete our education, go to seminary, all while working with youth. And God treated us as His kids. He sent groceries when our cupboards were bare. He sent a car for just $64 after we rode bikes for a year. He sent supportive families to contribute toward our seminary education because they were thankful we shepherded their teens. He sent wise mentors to help us think through the buying of our home, and faithful families who jumped in and helped hammer together the one we built when we moved into the senior pastorate. God provided every step of the way in small and large ways. We worked hard, yes, very hard. But when our work fell short in providing, He moved circumstances, or the hearts of people, to pull off many answers to prayer that we see as miraculous. And He will do that for you. There is just one condition- walk uprightly:
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11 NASB)
That’s a promise you can bank on as you seek to walk it out, sincerely, genuinely, honestly, authentically, with a heart to give your best…one day at a time, one hour at a time . .one . . step . . . at . . .a . . .time.
He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever. (Psalms 111:5)
More about Discovering Hope in the Psalms:
“What an incredibly unique and creative Bible study! It’s multilayered, dimensional, theologically rich, touching the senses—enlightening the mind, capturing the heart.”
Kay Arthur, cofounder of Precept Ministries International
“I love the encouragement, inspiration, and delightful details woven throughout.”
Darlene Schacht, Time-Warp Wife and bestselling author of Messy Beautiful Love
This Isn’t Your Average Bible Study
Explore God’s Word on a deeper level and engage with his truth in fresh ways! This study of 10 psalms of hope invites you to discover the incredible design and purpose of inspired Hebrew poetry.
Perfect for group discussion or personal reflection, Discovering Hope in the Psalms offers compelling teachings, motivating devotions, and plenty of creative options for interacting with the psalms—including beautiful artwork to color. This discovery book will show you how to…
- rejoice in God’s mercy when sin knocks you down
- request help with hope when troubles surround
- respond with thanksgiving for each answered prayer
Immerse your mind, heart, and soul in the hope flowing through the psalms.
Pam Farrel an author of 45 books. Pam, with her husband, Bill, seek to walk out their words and their faith in God worldwide as speakers for their
organization: Love-Wise. . When not on the road for ministry, your will find them walking on the beach near their home, a live-aboard boat, docked in Southern California.
[i] Nathan Stone, Names of God, (Moody Press, Chicago, Il. 1944), p.60.
[ii] Brave New Woman (formerly entitled Woman of Confidence: Step Into God’s Adventure for Your Life) Harvest House, Eugene, OR, 2010.
[iii] Ibid p 15
More about Walk it Out
What Happens When We Read God’s Word and Actually Do What it Says?
Bestselling Author Tricia Goyer demonstrates the powerful work God accomplishes if we are willing to step out in obedience to Biblical commands and His quiet urgings, no matter our fears or feelings of inadequacy.
Walk It Out illustrates the real-life results of listening to the Scriptural mandates such as care for the orphan, serve the poor, go into the world to spread the gospel, and love others of all races. The author’s journey, from accepting Christ’s forgiveness and telling her story of redemption to answering the call to adopt seven children when she least expected, is filled with the exhilarating, radical, unexpected life that we experience when we walk into God’s plans for us.
“I neither planned or expected any of this—from the ten kids to the stamped-up passport. I didn’t accomplish these things by making a list and checking it off. They happened as I took steps of faith to follow God’s directives.” ~Tricia Goyer