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. HEBREW 11:1-2
We are not alone in our human tendency to have small faith in God’s big plan for the world. Because of this tendency, we love to read the epic stories in Scripture of the would-be underdog responding in small faith to God’s outrageous requests. Every time, God delivers His promises and our faith soars! There is something so hopeful in stories like Jonah and Esther and Moses that proves God could use ordinary people to do the extraordinary at any time in history. Perhaps even the stories themselves are calling us to a deeper understanding of our own destiny? Can these stories also inspire our faith that God has a special plan and purpose for our lives that will be communicated clearly to us one day?
BUT A STRONG FAITH DOESN’T HAPPEN BY ACCIDENT. OUR FAITH GROWS STRONGER ONLY AS WE NOURISH AND EXERCISE IT; IF WE DON’T, IT WILL ALWAYS BE WEAK. Billy Graham
One of the more difficult spiritual practices is to simply have faith. Having faith requires radical discernment to identify where God is moving in the circumstances of our lives. It feels very vulnerable to give up trusting our self-will or popular culture to guide us in life decisions while waiting for God to communicate with us.
Begin this week by getting a clearer vision of your life with God:
What is God asking me to do right now?
What measure of faith do I have to believe God will work through me?
Even pausing to ask questions of God is a way to demonstrate that we believe God will answer us. Once we become accustomed to hearing God, then it becomes easier to discern the next step that God may be directing us to take.
We can all identify times in our life when we had great hope and expectations that ended in an unfulfilled dream. Perhaps it was a new job that seemed a shoe-in, perhaps it was a new relationship that looked promising and made us feel joyful and secure, or perhaps it was the first day of a new class where we were certain that we would obtain that perfect A! But with every advancing step, challenges and fears crept in until we were certain that we would not get the job, our relationship was not what we hoped for, and we became happy to just get a passing grade. These are common life circumstances where we can learn how to operate in faith that God is still working even when we don’t see any evidence.
Faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see. – William Newton Clark
Identify some times in your life when you had faith in an unknown situation. What did it look like for you to operate in faith?
Are there people or situations that seem impossible to figure out? What examples do you find in Scripture that might give you hope in what you can’t see in the present?
Name some obstacles you are facing this week. As you do this, do you feel full of fear of full of faith?
Even while you don’t see what God is going to do, rest knowing that He is always working all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).