Faith. What does faith mean to you? Faith is something that is easily taken for granted. You had faith the chair you sat down in this morning would support you, but what if it didn’t? What if you came crashing down to the floor as you went to take a seat? You would inspect the chair thoroughly the next time you went to sit, wouldn’t you?
I admit, that chair has come crashing down beneath me in my own life. Unfortunately, the primary object of my faith was not Jesus Christ at the time. There were so many unanswered questions that took place when my stroke occurred. How did this happen? What is the purpose of this, and would I ever walk again?
Since then, hidden away in a tiny corner of my mind, I have thought that after surviving the stroke, I had filled my quotient of pain and suffering. However, as I seek to understand God’s plan for myself as a child of His, I know that there will be moments were my faith will be tested.
What about you? You may not have suffered a stroke, but I’m sure your faith has been tested. Do you continue to call out to Jesus like Bartimaues, the blind man? (Mark 10:46-52) Even though you are not blind, it is sometimes easy to focus on the trying circumstances that engulf you. This leads to worry, anxiety and frustration.
God never promised that serving Him would mean living on “easy street”, but He does ask you to trust Him because He has overcome the world. (John 16:33) I tell myself that I don’t want the so called “easy street.” There is a part of me that would prefer more moments of comfort.
I do not know of many people that enjoy pain, but it is the painful times that drive me closer to Jesus. The first half of this year, has been quite painful for me physically, and it has prevented me from doing the thing I love most…writing about my Savior.
I’ve asked myself what God is seeking to teach me through this very uncomfortable process. I came across a verse I had memorized a few years ago, but God wanted to give me a reminder.
Consider it all joy, my brethren when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result that you may be perfect, complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1: 2-4)
Perfect? Now that is a daunting word indeed. As long as we live on this earth we will never be perfect like Christ. The good news is… He continues to mold us to be more like Him.
Why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand? Or the seven loaves and the four thousand, and how many large baskets full you picked up? (Matthew 16:8-10)
Your faith will continue to be tested. Satan is always on the prowl, but God instructs you to resist him. (1 Peter 5:8-10) He is relentless in his efforts to destroy you and your testimony for Christ. He even tested Jesus three times while He was here on earth.
The trials and tests can strengthen your faith, but it all depends on your response to those trials. Do you dive into God’s word and seek Him in prayer during these times? It is only with God’s power that you can overcome the enemy.
There is a very insightful verse at the end of Jesus’s testing by Satan, and if you are not careful it is easy to miss. It is not mentioned in the Matthew 4 version of Christ’s temptation, so I want to illuminate it for you today.
When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him for an opportune time. (Luke 4:13)
Wow! What a reminder to dress ourselves in the armor of God every day. Satan is roaming about looking for the perfect opportunity to attack, but God has left us with the necessary tools to equip us for the spiritual warfare that exists. When you dress yourself in God’s armor, you are confirming your faith in Him.
Another path you may travel on your journey to unwavering faith is by being tested by God. Remember Abraham and the tests God placed before him? God instructed him to leave his family and go to an unknown country. God promised to bless him and his wife, Sarah with a child at an advanced age.
However, He then asked Abraham to sacrifice that same child, Issac, on an altar. What I love most about the story is that Abraham believed God’s promises. There were moments of doubt and consequences for not waiting on God, but his faith grew as God showed Himself faithful. Look at Abraham’s response to his son as they were headed towards the altar. Issac questioned his father about the sacrifice.
God will provide for himself a lamb for the burnt offering, my son. So the two of them walked on together. (Genesis 22:8)
Having unwavering faith is a process. You don’t just wake up one day and it magically appears. Just like with the chair I mentioned earlier. You sat down in it because it has held you up over the months and years. You don’t walk up to it and inspect it before you sit. God should always be the object of your faith because He will never let you down. I absolutely love this promise from God.
Do not fear for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will surely help you. Surely, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
I was just sharing this verse with my mother the other day as we were encouraging one another. What a wonderful promise from an omnipotent God! Can you think of anyone better to put your faith in? He is promising help and strength and imploring us not to live fearful.
I am going through God’s training to not live anxious. He wants me to lean into and trust Him. I may not be able to see His complete plan, but my faith in Christ continues to grow because I remember all He has done and continues to do in my life. If you want to experience God’s indescribable peace, allow your faith in Him to grow during times of trial and testing.
The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock. (Isaiah 26:3-4)
So, as you travel on your spiritual journey to unwavering faith, there will be testing along the way. Remember this my friend, God is sovereign, and nothing takes place that is not His will. You will encounter potholes,detours,and there may be times when you feel you’re drowning in quicksand, but it is all part of God’s plan to continue growing you up in Him.