It is easy to trust God – joyfully – when he is orchestrating everything similar to how you hoped and planned. However, that doesn’t take much faith. The testing of our faith comes in the midst of changed plans, closed doors, bad outcomes, confusion, and questioning. During these times, the biggest question of faith you need to ask yourself is this:
do I trust Him still?
There would be no need for faith if God was always loud, outwardly active, and easily seen and understood. But sometimes – in fact, more often than not – He is working behind the scenes. Faith means believing God is still good and faithful in the midst of this darkness and silence. It is in these times when you actually have to use your faith; when your faith gets put to the test.
Hebrews 11 defines faith like this:
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for… And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (v. 1-2 & 6).
Being sure and certain of the goodness and faithfulness of God, even in the midst of trials – that is faith.
And our steadfast faith pleases God.
Scripture highlights many notable people who had extreme faith – these are the “ancients” mentioned. One well-known, faith-filled person was Abraham. Hebrews 11 tells us that by faith Abraham,
- obeyed and followed God to a foreign place without any indication of where he was going;
- believed, even into very old age, he and Sarah would conceive children, just as the Lord had promised;
- was willing to sacrifice his first born son – the one he waited many years to have – because the Lord called him to do so.
And Abraham isn’t the only one who acted in faith. Hebrews chapter 11 gives us many examples of individuals in the Bible who lived a faith-filled life. These examples are given not to discourage us or make us feel less-than, but to lean on as encouragement. Their extreme acts of faith can encourage us to trust God, even when our faith is being put to the test.
Personally, my faith is easily strengthened when, after having suffered some type of trial, God comes shining through, working in power to better my situation. However, the ancients in Scripture were not commended for the strengthening of their faith after resolve.
The ancients were commended for their unwavering faith before the promise.
Hebrews 11:39 tells us that all these faith-filled people remained faithful before they received their promise. It wasn’t after they had gotten a bunch of good things from God did they decide they would trust Him. No, they trusted Him in the darkness, in the silence, in the questioning, and in the waiting. Just like you and I experience today.
My challenge for you is to ask yourself this:
When you don’t see, hear, or feel God and the emotional, spiritual “high” is gone, does your faith still remain?
Will you continue to worship and praise, even when you don’t experience God’s presence?
Will you still pray, even when you don’t hear him?
Will you stay expectant, even when you aren’t seeing the fruit of his work in your life?
God is able to get you to the other side of the storm, of the wilderness. Is your faith strong enough to trust Him to do it?
We can have faith because our God is faithful. He will always do what he says; He never breaks a promise. He is good, all the time. Do you believe this? Is your faith ready to be put to the test?
*Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash