It seems as if the Lord is testing my faith right now. Testing its length, breadth, width, and depth. Testing its strengths and weaknesses. Trying its endurance and perspective. Stretching me to points that seem painful without giving release from the pressure. Some days I wonder if I am going pass this testing period, or if I will fail and have to re-take this test again. Most days, I am not even sure over what exactly I am being tested.
There are days when it seems overwhelming. Those days when you just cry out, “Lord, I believe! Help Thou mine unbelief!” Those days when that proverbial mustard seed just falls out of your pocket, and you are desperately trying to find it, knowing that it is necessary for your survival.
For without faith, it is really hard to please God. No, wait…
It isn’t just hard to please God without faith – it is totally impossible. You cannot do it. You must scrounge up that mustard seed of faith and hang onto it for dear life.
Why is having faith so difficult, so against our nature? Because faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. We cannot see what God is doing, and therefore we doubt Him. We doubt that He is working all things for our good and His glory. We doubt that He really has everything under control, because it seems so out of control from our perspective. The sin that so easily besets us is, I believe, the sin of unbelief. We are all prone to faith failures, and it can happen so quickly. That mustard seed of faith is so easily replaced with a seed of doubt. Is God really all He promised to be? Is He really hearing my prayers? Is this trial really for my good?
Perhaps you have slightly different questions, and vastly different situations, but if we are honest, we have all been there at one time or another. Those times when our feelings tell us one thing, and God’s Word tells us another. What is the answer of faith in trying circumstances? Be still, and know that I am God. Know. Believe. Trust. Have faith. Stop everything. Focus on the fact that He is God, the all-knowing, all-powerful, everlasting God. The One Who knows you, sees you, hears you, answers you, and loves you. The One Who asks you to trust Him and believe that He is everything He said He would be. The One Who knows the end from the beginning. The One Who sees the sparrow fall. He is there. He is God. Have faith.
Sometimes this “head knowledge” is denied by the way I live my life. I am sorry to say that doubt creeps into my heart at times, and I must remind myself of these things. Thank the Lord for His Word, which gently rebukes and corrects my errant thoughts. Just yesterday, I was reading in Ephesians 6 about the armor of God. I don’t know how many times I have read or heard that passage quoted. In the light of this thought, I noticed something that had never stuck out to me before. As it lists the pieces of armor we are to wear and carry, it says,
“Above all, taking the shield of faith…”
I paused in my reading at that point and read it again. Above all. More than any other piece of equipment. The one we absolutely cannot survive without – faith. I read it , pondered it, and marveled as God spoke to my heart once again. “Trust Me. Believe. Be still and know. Your crisis is a faith crisis. Above all, you need to know that this is of Me. That this is for your good. That I love you, my child. Just trust Me.”
I wish I could end the story with, “So she did, and she lived happily ever after.” However, the story is far from over. It is still being written. My desire is that one day, I will stand before God and hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” May God increase my faith.