When your faith is tested … | Faith
by The Press and Standard | July 22, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: July 18, 2018 at 12:38 pm
Hebrews 11:1(KJV) says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” What does this mean to the Christian?
First of all, we all have faith in something or someone. When we get up in the morning, we have faith that when we turn on the light switch, the light will come on. When we turn on the water faucet, we have faith that water will come out of the spout. When we get into the car and turn the ignition, we have faith that the car is going to crank and get us safely and promptly to our destinations. When we go to our doctors, we have the faith in them that they are going to diagnose our conditions and prescribe the appropriate treatment. However, all of these scenarios are things that are not only hoped for, but they are things that can be seen.
What is it then to the Christian when the evidence cannot be seen?
We have faith in our daily routines, but what about that spiritual faith that is spoken about in Hebrews 11:1?
William D. Brown, a member of Glassy Mountain Baptist Church in Easley shares a profound explanation of this Scripture: “Faith is the affirmative response to God’s will and word. Man possesses faith when He takes God at His word. We don’t need to see something to believe it. Faith is the acceptance of something simply because God has said it.”
In other words, “God said it, and that settles it!”
In this life, situations occur that sometimes test our faith. One of the greatest tests of faith probably known to the Christian is that of God’s servant, Job. However, the Word says In James 1:2-4 (ESV), “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Over these past few years, Lord, have I had some trials to test the very foundation of my faith! The end result has been that these trials have made my faith in God stronger and have drawn me closer to Him.
Recently, my family and I have experienced some trials that have struck us with some challenging blows, but we’re going to make it because God has been faithful to us.
My husband was hospitalized a couple of weeks ago with a serious illness, but I thank God for having given me the discerning spirit to observe some things that were going on with him and get him to the hospital in time. Thanks be to God, my husband is doing so much better.
Last week, my niece lost her baby when she was five months pregnant. Just a few days later, she became seriously ill and is currently in ICU. We are claiming a complete recovery and healing for her and endurance for her husband.
If that wasn’t enough, we received a call on Sunday that my husband’s brother is in the hospital. We are trusting God for a healing for him. As the old adage goes, “When it rains, it pours!”
When circumstances such as these come upon us and we are waiting on God to answer, what should happen for any family is for everyone to come closer together and even closer to God. Here is the promise from God in His Word after our faith has been tested: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you,” (1 Peter 5:10 ESV).
There are those moments when our faith is being tested that we tend to get impatient as we wait on God. Some of us try to hurry God, but we must remember that God is not the Internet, a microwave oven, an icemaker, a smart TV, a computer, and so forth. In Exodus 3:14 (ESV), “God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am. And he said, ‘Say this to the people of Israel, I am has sent me to you.’”
When your faith is tested again, refer to the Scriptures that I have shared and this illustration, “You Need to Move Closer,” that I am going to leave with you this week:
“Not long ago I heard a story about a young man and an old preacher. The young man had lost his job and didn’t know which way to turn. So he went to see the old preacher. Pacing about the preacher’s study, the young man ranted about his problem. Finally he clenched his fist and shouted, ‘I’ve begged God to say something to help me, preacher; why doesn’t God answer?’
“The old preacher, who sat across the room, spoke something in reply, something so hushed it was indistinguishable. The young man stepped across the room. ‘What did you say?’ he asked. The preacher repeated himself, but again in a tone as soft as a whisper. So the young man moved closer until he was leaning on the preacher’s chair. ‘Sorry,’ he said. ‘I still didn’t hear you.’ With their heads bent together, the old preacher spoke once more. ‘God sometimes whispers,’ he said, ‘so we will move closer to hear him.’
“This time the young man heard, and he understood. We all want God’s voice to thunder through the air with the answer to our problem. But God’s is the still, small voice … the gentle whisper. Perhaps there’s a reason.
“Nothing draws human focus quite like a whisper. God’s whisper means I must stop my ranting and move close to Him until my head is bent together with His. And then, as I listen, I will find my answer. Better still, I find myself closer to God.”
Have a wonderfully blessed week, and never leave home without Him!
(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)