Something I learned this past week: putting faith in God isn’t a half-in-half-out kind of thing. Did I think it was? No, not really.
But I had to make a decision: trust myself and my limited knowledge of the world, or trust God Almighty in His infinite wisdom that goes beyond all human understanding.
Hmm. I know, I know.
You have to admit that most of us find it easy to have faith in the good times though, right? It’s great to share testimonies about how God has changed lives, purified hearts and opened doors.
(If you’re wondering if you can trust God, there’s a post with some interesting comments here.)
But there’s something about being in the midst of a hard trial — one that makes us question our position, our responses, our future — that calls for a decision of faith.
After a rough patch in my own life, one that left me feeling emotionally drained and confused, I had to ask, “Do I have faith in God to move through this the right way?”
What is True Faith?
By definition, faith is complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
Complete. Total. Unwavering.
I can be just the opposite of those words. God is the very definition of those words.
When God told Jacob to return to his homeland and family, Jacob moved. It couldn’t have been easy; twenty years earlier he left on bad terms after taking the birthright and blessing of his twin brother, Esau. And it was clear that Esau wanted revenge in the form of murder.
Jacob sent messengers ahead to alert Esau of his return — and to let him know of the riches he returned with, hoping to find favor in his brother’s eyes. The messengers returned to tell Jacob that Esau was coming to meet him… and he had 400 men with him.
Like all of us in times of trial, Jacob admitted he was afraid. But Jacob’s fear wasn’t that God was wrong. Jacob’s fear wasn’t that he may have misheard God. Jacob didn’t try to get God on board with some of his own ideas.
Jacob moved on faith that was complete, total and unwavering. He prayed and then moved forward with God’s promise:
“Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.'”
– Genesis 31:1-12
To me, that is true faith in God. It’s inspiring.
Faith in Everyday Life
Like Jacob, I want to trust God completely, but in the word “want” there’s a lot of wiggle room. While wanting to do something, I can end up doing something else. And yet, a decision must be made.
Yes, I trust God completely. His will is greater than my own.
Jesus said there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known. (Matt.10:26) At the end of my life it is between me and God. At the end of your life, it is between you and God.
And yet we have the opportunity to know God now, to ask Him for guidance through hard times and to trust in Him to deliver us, convict us and protect us. He already knows all there is to know.
Do I have faith in God? Yes.
I have faith that God sent his son, Jesus, to come into this world in human form and be given as a sacrifice for our sins so that we may have life! And that is the good news.