Come to think of it, we all have harboured doubts, nursed baseless fears that have ditched us into complete disbelief, thus shipwrecking our faith. The Bible teaches that, “And without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6) How far afield have we drifted from exercising our faith and trusting the God we say we believe in, particularly when we face adversity?
Even believers sometimes have their faith tested just so God could ascertain whether what they profess rhymes with their deeds. Very often, this is revealed when they face challenges, worse still when they come in chains. You may not know exactly what is happening; but if you believe that God is with you whilst you are in the fire, it should be the least of your worries because God will take control of the situation.
Unbeknown to Job, God showcased him by allowing Satan to try him. Ruthless as Satan is, he destroyed Job’s property by razing it to the ground. In less than twenty-four hours Job lost all of his possessions – his livestock (camels, donkeys and sheep), his offspring was crushed when “a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they [were] dead.” (Job 1:19)
An unbeliever, who does not have faith would have hollered, ‘Why me? Why me?’ What did Job do? He “got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.” The Lord gave, the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:20-21)
Take a minute; put yourself in Job’s place. What would you have done? Job had staunch, unmoveable faith - to the extent that later when his body was riddled with boils and he was suffering, all he could say was that “... though He slay me, yet will I have hope in Him; ...” (Job 13: 15)
Job continued: “What you decide on will be done and light will shine on Your ways. When men are brought low and you say, ‘Lift them up!’ then He will save the downcast.” Job nursed his pain in silence believing that the God whom he worshipped was aware of his predicament and “... when He has tested me I will come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10) While all this was taking place, Job hadn’t the slightest inkling that it was God who had given permission to Satan to taunt him.
God, the Omniscient, knows those who are His and those who would stand by Him at all costs – particularly in trying moments like these.
Yes, you can argue that God has given us different measures of faith, therefore we cannot all operate on the same level of faith as Job. To say so is to be ignorant of the faith level that God requires of us. Jesus equated faith to the size of a mustard seed. In our day, we can qualify faith ‘as little as a pinch of salt.’
For our faith to rise, we have to work at it. Most people ignore that the trials we face are not meant to make failures of us. On the contrary, our trials and difficulties are meant to build us up. We are going through a process from which we should graduate with flying colours - if only we trust God’s word that, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5b)
God is faithful; He will never abandon His Children in times when they need Him most. However, it must be said that God is not a fire fighter who is constantly being called upon to quench fires. God desires that we knit a relationship with Him in order to strengthen the bonds with His Father figure. “Faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord must believe that He can deliver. God is like mount Zion that cannot be shaken; that means He is steadfast. He cannot be moved. Besides, He does not change. You cannot come to Him doubting His ability to save humanity and still expect results. Oh, no! We must come to Him with the conviction that He can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us...” (Ephesians 3:20)
Jesus compared faith to a mustard seed – a minute seed that grows into one of the largest trees. In sum, He is saying that we are to water our faith and nurture it for growth. A plant does not grow all by itself; it has to be watered. That water is God’s Word as contained in the Bible. The Word of God is accessible to all; moreover, it speaks to us and to our souls when we peruse it. It is the building block for our faith. “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” (John 7:63)
We need faith to stand firm and steady and not falter in the face of trails and temptation. Satan, the evil one, will not stop throwing his fiery darts at us. We can overcome him with the word as our Lord Jesus did in the wilderness. Faith should be the weapon of our warfare.
Young David, the shepherd boy, was able to bring down the mountain that Goliath represented, by an act of faith. Hear David’s faith-filled words addressed to Goliath before he attacked and slaughtered him. “You come to me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head....and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel ... for the battle is the Lord’s.” (1 Samuel 17:46-47)
Act by faith and not by sight, for when you do, you are showing the world who is backing you – the Lord God Almighty, the Lord mighty in battle, the King of glory.
Today, step out in faith!