Friday, January 26, 2018

Had Your Faith Tested Lately?

Consider all the scripture we so confidently stand on when we are healthy, job secure, and happy, does it hold true when we are sick, in need of financial aid, lonely and sad? If we are genuine believers, we know the answer is YES. Nevertheless, in the midst of trials, sometimes it’s hard to keep the faith and believe.

I’m going through such a test right now. I have been diagnosed with Vertigo, a deep inner ear inflammation that causes dizziness and nausea. The ER Doc says it has to run its course. But when will that be? I’ve prayed for healing, yet I’m still waiting. I’m a busy, energetic, working woman reduced to lying flat in my bed and sleeping most of the time. I can’t serve the Lord this way and He knows it. I don’t know what to do and I don’t know when I will be better. I’m tempted to fear. But I know, deep down in my soul, God is good, no matter what. He has not given me a spirit of fear. No, He’s given me a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. God loves me and I believe He will bring me through this trial once I’ve learned all He has intended.

So let’s travel this road together. As I encourage myself with what I know to be true of our God, maybe, in the process, you will be encouraged too.

1. I know God is faithful.

God’s Word says no temptation or trial I have faced or am facing is uncommon. These are the same trials that usually come to humans, since we live in a sin-cursed world. And because God is faithful, we will not be tested beyond what we are able to bear. In the midst of the trial, He will give us the strength to withstand it and provide a way of escape. Even though, at this time, we cannot see one.[1]

2. I know God is willing.

To the leper, Jesus reached out His hand, touched him and said I am willing.[2] To the woman with the flow of blood for twelve long years, when she touched the hem of His garment, He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.”

As I was reading the passage just now, I was struck with this thought:  You probably cannot touch the hem of a garment without being either prostrate, on your knees, or at the very least, close to their feet. What can I learn from this? Maybe in my busyness I’ve sort of left Jesus out. Was I only doing token Bible reading and prayers? The problem is, I know better. I know I am nothing and I can do nothing without Him. So maybe, this is a time to reset and refocus. To remember any work I do in my own power comes to naught. Yes, I truly needed this reminder. Still, He called her, daughter.  I, too, am His daughter. So, I will believe and receive His Holy Word.

3. I know God is Sovereign.

In times like these I identify with Job. He said, “But He [God] is unique, and who can make Him change? And whatever His soul desires, that He does. For He performs what is appointed for me...”[3] Almighty God uses everything He allows in my life to mold me into the person He created me to be. And He works all things for my good, whether they seem right to me or not, because I am His child and I love Him.[4]

4. I know God is merciful.

When in great distress, faced with punishment for his sin, King David chose to fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great.[5] Jeremiah, too, understood this. He cried, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”[6]

5. I know there is NOTHING that can separate me or you from God’s love.

Through all our human lives we are going to face adversity, trials, and tribulation. Yes, Jesus has overcome the world and we should rejoice. But Scripture also says, “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”[7] We have a role as well. We will suffer at times, but we are to persevere, to believe God in all things and trust His heart even when we are scared. “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”[8]

I’m encouraged and my faith is strengthened. Is yours?

[1] I Corinthians 10:13; I Peter 5:6-11
[2] Luke 5:13
[3] Job 23:13-14
[4] Romans 8:28
[5] I Chronicles 21:13
[6] Lamentations 3:22-23
[7] Romans 8:37
[8] Romans 8:38-39