It makes it difficult to face challenges in life when we are indirectly (and sometimes directly) taught that circumstances occur because we don't have faith. Faith-ers have this distorted view that says if you believe hard enough and are good enough at it nothing bad will ever happen to you or your family. That just simply doesn't bear out in scriptures, as we've discussed here before.
If faith prevents difficult situations there's be no faith building stories like David and Goliath, Moses and the Red Sea, Joseph in prison, Paul and Silas in Prison or Jesus on the cross. That's just to name a few. It was in the struggle we see their faith, not the fact that they believed to avoid it.
We hold on to the stories in scripture where we see God prevail. David took Goliath down! Joseph wasn't always in prison and did see his dreams come to pass. Moses crossed that Red Sea, Paul and Silas got out of prison and Jesus rose from the grave!! But each of them had to walk through the difficulty to get to the end. Even Job held on to faith in dire circumstances and even though God restored everything to him - he never got his first kids back. He suffered loss and clung to faith.
So as I am reading about Abraham's faith in Romans 4, all these stories are going through my head. The act of faith is not avoidance - it's the circumcision of the heart. Abraham believed God before the covenant of circumcision. Verse 11 says the circumcision was a sign of his faith. It didn't cause him to have faith, but was an outward demonstration of the covenant of faith.
In verse 20 where it talks about Abraham never wavering in his faith it says instead of wavering, his faith grew stronger. I know my faith has been totally redefined, especially since I got into this caregiving gig through great tragedy. I'll tell you I lost it altogether a time or two. But I always come back around.
While I cannot honestly say that I have not wavered in my faith during the trials of life, I can say I have seen my faith grow. Even though it's been totally redefined and may not look like I thought it would. I can say my faith in God (not just what He can do) is continuing to grow. If you'll take a close look - it's likely your faith is being strengthened too. Maybe it just looks like determination that says to God - I won't let go of You! even when we don't understand. Maybe it looks like running to Him to find answers that remain fuzzy. Maybe faith looks like tears streaming down your face asking Him why one more time. No matter how it looks - if you are still at his feet - you have faith.
Romans 4:20 says Abraham's faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God.
So if you are still standing, even on wobbly knees. If you are still trusting, even with shaky heart. If you are still praying, even silently because words are gone. If you are still wondering and quietly seeking Him even if you didn't want to sometimes. Your faith is bringing glory to God; and I believe He is pleased.
Today my thoughts will be on how He finds pleasure when I pursue Him - no matter what life looks like from here. I'll turn my thoughts to the fact that He's still right here - and He has me in His heart - and I can't escape. My meditations will be on the fact that I don't have to work to please Him - He's happy with my faith, my trust and the fact that I am bound to run to Him. And I will trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?
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