The Testing of Our Faith
The Testing of Our Faith
"For twenty-five years, Abraham waited for God to fulfill His promise to give him a son. He looked to God, who never fails, and believed His Word - There is no limitation when you place your faith in God." - Smith Wigglesworth
Knowing God is the beginning of faith. It is the moment when we realize there is a real and living God that loves us beyond measure. He called to us, touched our heart, and revealed His love in such a real and powerful way. This was the beginning of our eternal relationship with Him. And like any relationship, the more time you spend with someone, the more you share in your lives together; your experiences both good and bad – those moments create a deeper bond and trust. Unfortunately, our relationship with God is not always handled in the same way. Our human nature simply isn't designed to hunger after that which we do not need. Or pursue something that is invisible and intangible. If we can't put our hands on it; if it can't give us instant gratification - why bother? For some, God is nothing more than our "go to guy" when all hell breaks loose in our lives. But as soon as the storms calm, we thank Him and send Him on His way.
In my experience there are typically two ways to get to know who God really is. First - during the high mountain top experiences in our lives when we might catch hold of a "God high". And we ride it out until the high is over. And secondly, when we hit the bottom of the bottom. And the only hope left is to grab hold of the hand of God. I don't think either is wrong. I think God will take whatever we will give Him, because He loves us so much. And He is so very jealous for us! However, we can choose to know God in such a way that we don't need mountain top experiences or wait for destruction to have its way in our life. We can live in such a constant, divine place where nothing can shake us! This is the place where life changing faith is birthed. This is the place we can say "consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds". Joy is birthed because you know God, and is not determined by external forces. When the things of God pour into you, because you know Him - you have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. And against such things there is no law!
Hebrews 11: 1 - Now faith is being sure of what we hope for,
and certain of what we do not see.
Faith is most easily defined as trust. It is being sure of what we hope for. It is being certain of what we do not see. How can we hope for something we can only imagine? Is faith a mind game? Is it just a thought? Is it a feeling? What exactly is faith? Faith is believing that God is who He says He is. And can accomplish everything mankind cannot! For all things are possible with God! Nothing is impossible for Him! The most basic illustration that comes to mind is that of a loving parent. When we were children, we didn't have to ask our parents to provide for us. They did from birth. If we got sick, they took care of us. If we made mistakes, they bailed us out. Consider this; if your parents told you that they were going to do something important for you. Would you need to have a lot of faith to believe that they would? Or do you know and love them so deeply that there is no question in your mind that they will. That is where deep faith begins in our relationship with God. Is it harder to believe when God is invisible? And often times seems so mysterious or confusing in His ways? Absolutely! I will not tell you it's easy at first. It goes against our earthly mindset. But if you can understand God the way you do with your own parents, it becomes easier to stop questioning or wondering about His character. You simply trust! For His ways are "higher than our ways" and "his thoughts higher than our thoughts". And again; "trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding". Sometimes we just have to let go and realize that God is too big for us to understand. But if we know Him we can be certain that our faith is not in vain!
"I cannot move on faith unless it is better than my mind, greater than I am." - Smith Wigglesworth
Thankfully, God has given us some spectacular examples of faith to follow. In Hebrews chapter eleven, we are reminded of the great faith "Hall of Famers". What we may not realize when reading their stories, is that each person was just an ordinary man or woman. And unfortunately, the Bible doesn't spell out every detail of their lives or relationship with God leading up to their great moments of faith. But I believe it is safe to assume that they struggled in their belief just as much as we do. If not more! If I saw some of the Old Testament miracles I know it would blow my mind, and skyrocket my faith through the roof! So keep that in mind when reading those great stories. These people were not superheroes with great powers. They just knew our God. They knew God was who He said He is. That He holds His word above His very name! If He said, it is as good as done. We can take Him at His word. We can birth faith! Be desperate for Him!
"We must be in the place where God can depend on us, never giving in, knowing no defeat, always making our stand by a living faith and gaining the victory. Faith is the victory - This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." - Smith Wigglesworth
See Hebrews 11 - also:
The creation of everything - Genesis 1
Cain and Abel - Genesis 4
Enoch - Genesis 5
Noah and the Ark - Genesis 5
Abraham - Genesis 16 - chapter 22
Isaac - Genesis 24 - chapter 35
Jacob - Genesis 27 - chapter 50
Joseph - Genesis 37 - chapter 50
Moses - Book of Exodus
Walls of Jericho - Joshua 6
Rahab - Joshua 2
Gideon - Judges 6-8
Barak - Judges 4
Samson - Judges 13 - chapter 16
Jephthah - Judges 11
David - Books of 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 Kings
Samuel - Books of 1 & 2 Samuel